When I first moved to Lynchburg in 2016, I had a dream of starting an aerial photography business. I would build a drone large enough to hold a DSLR camera, then take photos for realtors and event hosts. So sure I was about this that I went out and registered for an LLC in the state of Virginia: “Photorotor Media LC” (stupid sounding name, I know).

Parts began arriving in the mail. I spent many late nights at my makerspace trying to fit them together into a working hexcopter. The thing kinda sorta flew after a number of months, but it had to also hold a camera stable enough for photography. As I fiddled with the nuances of flight controllers and researched plans for camera gimbals, the money ran out. Eventually the project came to a halt as other priorities arose.

The other week, I called the VA State Corporation Commission to officially cancel my LLC. I thought I had done the equivalent of this years ago (automatic cancellation through non-payment), but I was wrong. Hundreds of dollars in fees and fines had accumulated on my account—all for a business that never made a nickel.

Don’t worry about making things official, legal, and taxable until you make some money. Don’t start a Limited Liability Company until you have some liability to limit. Just get started making something that people value.