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    Starting a Business


    Hello, I am currently a web developer that wishes to start a small business on the side to help pay for college. I have some experience with the business aspects of web development, but not nearly enough to venture out on my own. I was wondering if anyone would be willing to contribute some advice and/or links to help me.

    I have worked with proposals somewhat, but was wondering about the signatures on them. What can happen if I fail to comply with the agreement, or if they fail to comply?

    I have no experience with copyrights. Is it something I could learn on my own, or should this be handled by a professional?

    What are some good ways to attract clients? I am not really looking into anything high volume, actually I would prefer small or personal sites. However, I can't seem to find the right way to promote myself.

    When I design or program something for someone, who owns it? Do I have to specify beforehand any stipulations on how it can be used? Will I need to create a license for everything I create?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
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    Depends how you generate your contract. You make your clauses. You are in business here and you make your own rules. Your client might now like that, and you might have to make some changes, and if you both agree, then you shouldnt have any problem changing the agreement.

    Copyrights are not hard to learn, google for this.

    Small personal sites? You shouldnt have any problem, you can look for postings on this forum or local newspapers. If you are college goer - network. Talk yourself to people, get business cards -> Vistaprint.com - free cards. There is no right way to promote yourself.

    Yes - specify beforehand. Are you going to lease your code? Sell your code? etc... Don't have to create license.

    Good luck...
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    What state are you located in? You should also look at the website for your state's Department of Revenue. Most have a "how to start a business"-type PDF or something. You'll also want to look into the different types of taxes that are appropriate to your business.

    I would consult a CPA about the accounting principles of your new business. I would also consult a lawyer for things such as name registration, copyright laws regarding your work, etc.

    Good luck!

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