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Getting a Drone Photography License, Permit & Insurance

Do you want to know the legal requirements you need to start a drone aerial photography business? If YES, here is a checklist of drone aerial photography licenses, permits & insurance.

Having provided you with a:

  1. Industry Overview
  2. Market Research and Feasibility
  3. Drone Photography Business Plan
  4. Business Name ideas
  5. Licenses and Permits
  6. Marketing Plan
  7. Cost of Starting a Drone Photography Business
  8. Marketing ideas & Strategies

We will consider what it takes to get operating license and permit for your drone aerial photography business including insurance coverage and intellectual property protection.

Getting a Drone Photography License, Permit & Insurance

  • Best Legal entity to use for a Drone Photography Business

When considering starting a drone photography company, the legal entity you choose will go a long way to determine how big the business can grow; some drone photography companies operates regionally, some operates nationally while others are operates internationally.

No doubt choosing a legal entity for a business such as a drone photography company can be somewhat straightforward going by the nature of the business they are involved in. When it comes to choosing a legal entity for your drone photography business you have the option of choosing from a general partnership, a limited partnership, an LLC, a “C” corporation, or an “S” corporation.

It is important to clearly state that these different forms of legal structure for business has its own advantages and disadvantages; which is why you must weigh your options properly before making your choice on the legal structure to build your business on.

These are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your drone photography company; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners and investors’ expectation and tax issues.

If you take your time to critically study the various legal entities to use for this type of business, then you will agree that limited liability company; an LLC is perhaps the most suitable. You can start your drone photography company as limited liability company (LLC) and in future you can convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or a ‘S’ corporations especially when you have the plans of going public.

Upgrading to a ‘C’ corporation or ‘S’ corporation will give you the opportunity to grow your drone photography company so as to compete with major players in the industry; you will be able to generate capital from venture capital firms, you will enjoy separate tax structure, and you can easily transfer ownership of the company; you will enjoy flexibility in ownership and in your management structures as well.

Is Professional Certification Needed to Start a Drone Photography Business?

It is important to categorically state that before you can successfully acquire a license to start a drone photography business, you are expected to have undergone some drone photography training and also acquire some certification. In some cases you will be required to acquire security permits and clearance from the department of state security and other relevant security agencies.

These are some of the certifications you can work towards achieving if you want to run your own drone photography business;

  • FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) permit and certification
  • Certified Drone Pilot (CDP)

List of Legal Documents You Need to Run a Drone Photography Business

These are some of the basic legal document that you are expected to have in place if you want to start a drone  company in the United States of America;

  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Non – disclosure Agreement
  • Online Terms of Use
  • Online Privacy Policy Document
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Insurance Policy
  • Contract Document
  • Security Clearance

The Best Insurance Needed for a Drone Photography Business

Actually, in the United States and of course in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy cover that is required by the industry you want to operate from.

Besides, the nature of drone photography line of business requires that you have the proper insurance cover in place or else you will be forced out of business if you are sued for unlawfully taking pictures where you are not supposed to or trespassing with your drone et al.

So it is important to create a budget for insurance cover and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best insurance policies for your drone photography business.Here are some of the basic insurance covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own a drone photography company in the United States of America;

  • General insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Liability insurance
  • Workers compensation
  • Overhead expense disability insurance
  • Business owner’s policy group insurance

Intellectual Property Protection and Trademark for your Drone Photography Business

If at all there are any business that requires intellectual property protection (copyright ©), then drone photography business should be one of them. The truth is that most of your pictures; especially breathe taking pictures that are unique to you will need to be protected if you don’t want it to be used for commercial purpose by your competitors or other people.

Basically, if your drone photography works are not protected by the law, then anybody can successfully print and sell your pictures with little or no stress or use them on their website and TV programs et al. Pirates will make money of your business easily.

If you want to protect your intellectual property or secure a trademark for your drone photography company, you can visit The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to fill a patent application form. The process is not in any way cumbersome. You are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO. The final approval of your trademark is subjected to the review of attorneys as required by USPTO

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