1. Needed Equipment, Software, and Supplies
2. Setting Up the Business

Needed Equipment, Software, and Supplies

When researching how to start a photobooth business, the first step is determining what equipment is needed to succeed. One necessary item is the booth. A couple of vendors sell booths, such as Strike a Pose Photo Booths. Therefore, start researching companies that will sell you a booth. Regardless of what type you choose, make sure to opt for a booth that is simple to assemble and disassemble for easier transport and storage.

The next necessary item is a camera. Photobooth business owners don't need anything over-the-top or too complex. But a midrange DSLR camera is ideal for this type of setting. Both the Canon T2i and 40D work well. The T2i has video functionality, which is compatible with some photobooth software. It is recommended to select a camera for a photobooth business with the capability to take videos.

Another necessary piece of equipment is the AC adapter, which connects your camera to a power outlet. With an AC adapter, you won't have to worry about the batteries dying during an event. Therefore, it's better to use the adapter instead of traditional batteries in the camera. Every photobooth business owner needs a laptop, although you don't need anything too complex or fancy. The photos don't require substantial processes or memory. A basic laptop is typically good enough for storing the images. Either a PC or Mac will work to run the Breeze software and to store photos. 

Other necessary supplies and equipment include:

  • Props
  • Touch-screen monitor
  • Software
  • Printer
  • Paper and ink for the printer 

Some manufacturers offer a complete set of necessary items to begin a photobooth business, making it easier to get started right away. One of the top companies is Strike a Pose. When you buy directly from the manufacturer, you can take advantage of the support provided and choose a model that has been proven in the industry.

Setting Up the Business

When starting a new photo booth business, there are several options for structuring and running it. The most common business structure for small, startup photobooth business owners is a Sole Proprietorship. It's easy to register the name of your business with the government agency in your area and maintain control as the sole owner. If you plan to own the business with one or more partners, choosing to form a partnership may work out well for structuring the business. 

Another option is a Limited Liability Company, or LLC. With an LLC, you can protect your personal assets and separate them from the business assets. In some states, registering the name of an LLC requires you to fill out a short online form and pay a small fee, although the process varies between states.

Insurance may be required when operating a photobooth company. Certain venues won't allow you to bring in your booth without insurance. Still, it's smart to have it even if it's not a requirement. If someone gets injured within the photobooth, insurance offers liability protection. Find a local insurance agent in the area in which you plan to run your business to learn more about plan options and cost.

Relying on the service of a business attorney can help protect your company from problems, especially when you are developing your business contract. Make sure to address these types of concerns and questions in your contract:

  • Is a deposit required to book?
  • What forms of payment will you accept?
  • Will your contract include any booth downtime, such as to make adjustments to the camera or to refill the printer with ink or paper?
  • Can the photos taken at the event be used in commercial settings or advertising?
  • When will the event begin and end?
  • What is the penalty if a guest damages the booth?
  • Event location and on-site contact person.
  • Right to cancel the event as needed, with the option to refund the deposit or payment.
  • What is the policy on charging fees for late payments? 

Another option is to franchise a photobooth. With this option, the company with which you are franchising supplies the hardware (booth) as part of the initial cost when you sign the contract. A franchise works well for a business owner who wants a turnkey company, since the cost typically includes:

  • Marketing support
  • Training
  • Operational support
  • Oher assistance

If you need help with how to start a photobooth business, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.