Start a youtube business by following these 10 steps:
- Plan your Youtube Business
- Form your Youtube Business into a Legal Entity
- Register your Youtube Business for Taxes
- Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card
- Set up Accounting for your Youtube Business
- Get the Necessary Permits & Licenses for your Youtube Business
- Get Youtube Business Insurance
- Define your Youtube Business Brand
- Create your Youtube Business Website
- Set up your Business Phone System
There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple guide to starting your youtube business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.
Exploring your options? Check out other small business ideas.
STEP 1: Plan your business
A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:
- What are the startup and ongoing costs?
- Who is your target market?
- How much can you charge customers?
- What will you name your business?
Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.
What are the costs involved in opening a youtube business?
You will need a camera of some sort. Some YouTube business owners film their videos with their smart phone camera. Others use professional video equipment. Start out with a high-quality smartphone. It will cost a couple hundred dollars up front and between $50 and $150 per month, depending on your data usage. It is advisable to use a high-quality microphone. A microphone will cost between $20 and $100 or more. It will also help to have a computer with a high-speed internet connection and video editing software. Budget at least $750 to $1,000 for this initial equipment.
What are the ongoing expenses for a youtube business?
The business owner who uses his smartphone for videotaping content must pay the monthly smartphone bill of $50 to $150 or more. He will also need an internet connection. A high-speed internet connection will cost about $50 to $100 per month. A computer with video editing software is necessary to produce high-quality videos. Plan on spending at least $500 per year on hardware and software.
Lighting, soundproofing, a green screen, a microphone and support staff might also be necessary. Plan on spending $50 to $100 per month on such equipment. If you are insistent on using paid actors for skits and other content for you channel, budget in at least $50 to $100 for each actor's day of work. More accomplished and experienced actors will make more money yet beginning actors might be willing to work for little money to build their resume. If you add staff for video production, editing, lighting, audio etc., plan on spending at least $10 to $30 per hour for their assistance.
Who is the target market?
There is no single market for YouTube businesses. The target market hinges on the types of videos you upload to your channel. However, it must be noted that many YouTube users are youngsters. Gear your video content to the younger crowd and the odds will be in your favor.
How does a youtube business make money?
Popularity is essential to success as a YouTube business owner. Create helpful, entertaining or otherwise meaningful video content and people will flock to your channel. If one of your videos reaches 10,000 views, you can monetize your channel. It does not matter what your subject matter is as long as your videos do not violate YouTube's and terms of service. Abide by these rules and you will be compensated for views. Just be sure to change your YouTube channel's settings to “Monetize with Ads”. This way, the ads placed in your video will provide you with revenue.
How much can you charge customers?
YouTube business owners are paid a specific amount of money for views and clicks of sponsors' ads. This means the business owner does not choose how much to charge clients.
How much profit can a youtube business make?
This business has the potential to make anywhere from a couple hundred dollars per year to tens of millions of dollars per year. The most popular YouTube business owners like PewDiePie reportedly earn more than $10 million per year.
How can you make your business more profitable?
It is possible to make additional money by promoting certain products or services during YouTube videos. You can also redirect your audience to your personal website or blog where you can sell ad space. Some YouTubers also sell clothing, coffee cups, stuffed animals, and other items that feature their brand or likeness.
What will you name your business?
Choosing the right name is important and challenging. If you don’t already have a name in mind, visit our How to Name a Business guide or get help brainstorming a name with our Youtube Business Name Generator
When registering a business name, we recommend researching your business name by checking:
- Your state's business records
- Federal and state trademark records
- Social media platforms
- Web domain availability.
It's very important to secure your domain name before someone else does.
STEP 2: Form a legal entity
Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your youtube business is sued.
Form Your LLC
Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC
Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services. You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.
STEP 3: Register for taxes
You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!
You can acquire your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our article, What is an EIN?.
Small Business Taxes
Depending on which business structure you choose, you might have different options for how your business will be taxed. For example, some LLCs could benefit from being taxed as an S corporation (S corp).
You can learn more about small business taxes in these guides:
- LLC Taxes
- Sole Proprietorship vs LLC
- LLC vs Corporation
- LLC vs S Corp
- How to Start an S Corp
- S Corp vs C Corp
There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.
STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
Additionally, learning how to build business credit can help you get credit cards and other financing in your business's name (instead of yours), better interest rates, higher lines of credit, and more.
Open a business bank account
Besides being a requirement when applying for business loans, opening a business bank account:
- Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- Makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank or credit union.
Open net 30 accounts
Net 30 accounts are used to establish and build business credit as well as increase business cash flow. With a net 30 account, businesses buy goods and repay the full balance within a 30-day term.
NetMany net 30 credit vendors report to the major business credit bureaus (Dun & Bradstreet, Experian Business, and Equifax Business Credit). This is how businesses build business credit so they can qualify for credit cards and other lines of credit.
Recommended: Read our best net 30 vendors, guide and start building business credit.
Get a business credit card
Getting a business credit card helps you:
- Separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
- Build your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money later on.
Recommended: Apply for an easy approval business credit card from Divvy and build your business credit quickly.
STEP 5: Set up business accounting
Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.
Make LLC accounting easy with our LLC Expenses Cheat Sheet.
STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses
Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.
State & Local Business Licensing Requirements
Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a youtube business business. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.
For information about local licenses and permits:
- Check with your town, city or county clerk’s office
- Get assistance from one of the local associations listed in US Small Business Associations directory of local business resources.
Trademark & Copyright Protection
If you are developing a unique product, concept, brand, or design, it is prudent to protect your rights by registering for the appropriate trademarks and copyrights.
The nature of legal requirements in distance education is ever changing, especially in regards to copyright laws. Here is a frequently updated resource, which can help keep you aware of the legal requirements.
STEP 7: Get business insurance
Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.
There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.
Learn more about General Liability Insurance.
Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.
STEP 8: Define your brand
Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.
If you aren't feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners, we'll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.
If you already have a logo, you can also add it to a QR code with our Free QR Code Generator. Choose from 13 QR code types to create a code for your business cards and publications, or to help spread awareness for your new website.
How to promote & market a youtube business
One of the best ways to promote and market your videos is to collaborate with others who own YouTube businesses. Contact individuals who are building successful channels or have already established successful channels. Ask if they are willing to feature you on one or several of their videos. You can reciprocate by featuring collaborators on your videos. Be sure to inform the audience of the featured guest's name, YouTube channel name and social media information. This information should be presented verbally during the video and also in text form below the video.
How to keep customers coming back
YouTube businesses do not market their channels like traditional businesses. As noted above, collaboration with fellow YouTube business owners is one of the best ways to attract new customers. Be sure to fill out your videos' title and thumbnail with the most important information. Such information leads to promotion in the form of “suggested videos” next to related content. Always ask viewers to subscribe to your channel and hit the “like” button.
Key in on making videos about trending content. If people search YouTube or the web for information that is referenced in your videos' titles and thumbnail, you will gradually attract new viewers. In terms of customer retention, cater to the masses. You never know who is going to watch your videos so you have to cater to all ages and demographics. Entertain, inform, make people laugh, and solve their problems. Add such value with your videos and people will come back for more.
Still unsure about what kind of business you want to start? Check out the latest Small Business Trends to help inspire you.
STEP 9: Create your business website
After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business.
While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.
Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:
- All legitimate businesses have websites - full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
- Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
- Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You don’t need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.
Using our website building guides, the process will be simple and painless and shouldn’t take you any longer than 2-3 hours to complete.
STEP 10: Set up your business phone system
Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.
There are many services available to entrepreneurs who want to set up a business phone system. We’ve reviewed the top companies and rated them based on price, features, and ease of use. Check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2022 to find the best phone service for your small business.
Recommended Business Phone Service: Phone.com
Phone.com is our top choice for small business phone numbers because of all the features it offers for small businesses and it's fair pricing.
Start a Youtube Business in your State
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
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Is this Business Right For You?
This business is ideal for those who would like to make money by providing helpful video content to others. This is your chance to make educational, entertaining, and captivating video content for the masses. If you have a passion for spreading information, helping others, and making videos, a YouTube business is the perfect way to make money.
Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?
Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!
What happens during a typical day at a youtube business?
YouTube business owners spend the majority of their workday creating and editing videos. The bread and butter of this business is the continuous generation of high-quality video content. The best YouTube business owners are willing to invest the time necessary to edit the smallest details of their videos. A portion of the workday is also spent brainstorming ideas for new video content.
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful youtube business?
Experience making and editing videos will certainly help. Those who have a background in entertainment, marketing, and psychology tend to do quite well with their YouTube businesses. Stage presence is the most important characteristic. Though you probably won't be filming YouTube videos on any sort of stage, it can be argued every setting in which you film your videos is the equivalent of a YouTube stage. If you are comfortable speaking while in front of the camera, you stand a good chance of building a successful YouTube business.
What is the growth potential for a youtube business?
This business has unlimited growth potential as the entire world is your audience. Everyone who has access to the web can contribute to your business's success. It is possible to amass a significant subscriber base, generate millions of views per video and grow the business into a massive video production company with several employees. Or, you can operate every aspect of your YouTube business on your own and still grow your subscriber base and the business across time. The direction you take your channel is completely up to you. The bottom line is high-quality video content will catalyze your subscriber base, subsequent views, and the growth of your channel.
Not sure if a youtube business is right for you? Try our free Business Idea Generator and find your perfect idea.
Take the Next Step
Find a business mentor
One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.
Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.
Learn from other business owners
Want to learn more about starting a business from entrepreneurs themselves? Visit Startup Savant’s startup founder series to gain entrepreneurial insights, lessons, and advice from founders themselves.
Resources to Help Women in Business
There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:
If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.
What are some insider tips for jump starting a youtube business?
Spend some time performing market research. Find out what people are looking for in online videos. Match your strengths and knowledge base to the desires of prospective channel subscribers. As an example, if you have a passion for video games, consider launching a YouTube channel that features video game reviews or footage of your gameplay. If you have a broad knowledge of technology or electronics, consider launching a YouTube channel centered on reviews or previews of high-tech items. Even “reaction” videos to current events, movie trailers, and video game trailers generate a massive number of views. Also, be sure to avoid risque language. YouTube administrators recently decided to pull ads from content creators who curse in their videos. Above all, your videos should provide some sort of value to the audience, whether it is in the form of entertainment, education, or something else.
How and when to build a team
This is a one-man operation for at least a few months. If your YouTube business grows by leaps and bounds, you can consider adding a camera operator, script writer, researcher, and possibly a few actors. However, many YouTube business owners have enjoyed considerable success without the help of others. This is one of those rare businesses that can be operated by a single person.