Starting a business is easy on paper, but more difficult in action. An owner must spend an exceptional amount of time, energy, and money to start and maintain a business. Having a passion for it helps. Starting a video company is like starting any business that requires special equipment to run it.
Forming the Company
1. Decide if your company will be corporate, a partnership or a sole proprietorship. Individual jurisdictions have different laws pertaining to the formation of the company. Consult the office of the Secretary of State where you reside for your state’s specific rules, or consult your local Small Business Association.
2. Determine if you want your video company to provide production services, post-production (editing) services, or both.
3. Purchase the necessary equipment. If you will be shooting video, purchase your camera. If you intend to provide services to broadcast, you will need to purchase a professional HD camera. If you will be providing services to regular consumers, a “prosumer” camera will do the job.
If you will be editing as well as shooting, you will need to decide between PC or Mac. Most industry editing facilities use Mac and Final Cut, although some use PC and Avid. Some use both. Others use PC and Adobe Premiere. Determine hardware requirements based on the software you decide to use.
4. Buy production insurance. Production insurance can be purchased from most insurance companies. If working with commercial clients, a production company will usually be required to show proof of insurance. Usually the minimum liability is a million dollars.
5. Interview and hire either permanent staff or freelancers. Video production requires at least two people because you need one person to work video and a second person to work audio. The more people on each team, the smoother the production goes, and the higher the production costs that go back to the client. Many people working in production do freelance work, and can be hired on a daily basis.