Online courses are very popular because of their convenience. Starting an online photography business course is a solid idea since you can service customers all over the country while operating from your home office. As with all businesses, you should plan ahead, research competition and survey the market to make sure your business can succeed.
- Incorporate your business in the state in which you operate. You need to file articles of incorporation and register with your state’s secretary of state or department of corporations.
- File for any permits or licenses your state requires, as well as an employer identification number from the IRS. You should contact your state and local government business offices to check for permit and tax filing requirements.
- Design your course curriculum. Decide what information you want to present and what formats you want to use. Build all the curriculum data for your website. Hire digital media professionals if you are unable to do this yourself.
- Hire a webmaster to build and monitor your website. The webmaster should have experience in coding, design, marketing, e-commerce, social media and information technology. She needs to be able to create a secure website that can process credit card transactions.
- Open a merchant account. This is necessary to process credit card transactions online.
- Determine your sales tax requirements. As an online business, you are required to collect sales tax in every state where you have a physical presence, if that state charges tax. Contact the department of revenue in every state where you have an office to see if you need to collect sales tax.
- Launch your website on secure servers. You can purchase your own servers or use a web hosting company.
- Market your business aggressively. Constantly monitor your site for functionality and add new content. New content and additional courses will encourage repeat business.