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Question: Starting a drone photography company

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Jimmykjimmy, Oct 15, 2015.

  1. Jimmykjimmy

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    My application for a LLC has been approved for a company that will do drone photography. The LLC of course is just an incorporation limiting liability.

    My question is this; I'll need to begin advertising locally in a small paper. There is no law or regulation that prohibits flying a drone for business purposes, I have checked. Obviously, you need to follow existing state and local laws besides the FAA quidelines along with National Park guidelines.

    Therefore, should I advertise or start by word of mouth which is more time consuming and possibly not as effective?
     
  2. msinger

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    Either way, I'd suggest you make it known that you have both a 333 exemption and a pilot license. Many potential customers know those things are required. It might also help educate those who don't know and help you win more customers.
     
  3. Oso

    Oso

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    Agreed @msinger. It is becoming more widely known now that commercial use is prohibited without that 333 exemption. It would for sure be a good thing to advertise so that potential customers know that the drone operator is good to go. I suppose you can't even get liability insurance for commercial use without that 333 exemption. Since it takes so long to get and from what I hear is not that easy to get, why wouldn't someone advertise they have it?

    @Jimmykjimmy, how was the 333 exemption process for you? It seems complicated with a long backlog at the FAA. Is that what you found, or was it smooth? When you apply, can you use both your personal name and the name of your LLC or do they need to be separate applications?

    Sorry for the questions, but the whole process to be legal for commercial use interests me in case I ever want to give it a go as something to do for fun on the side. I'm retired, so time is not an issue! Cheers.
     
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  4. Jimmykjimmy

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    Thanks,
    The FAA regg is not required by law to do commercial work, ck'd with a drone lawyer. However, it does add some credence..not sure how much. I've talked to several movie people and they just observe the fed regs about safe flying. The LLC covers my liability.
    Spoke with a guy that flies an Inspire commercially for news broadcasts. He said that the company he freelances for got him the licenses. But he never files a flight plan etc, too much work. Flight plans are supposed to e filed if you have a pilots license and the exemption.
    You see this whole thing is a bag of worms.
     
  5. msinger

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    So, a 333 exemption is not required to do commercial work either?
     
  6. Jimmykjimmy

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  7. msinger

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    What is a 333 exemption for then?
     
  8. nickyb

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    Not sure about state side, but I would get some business cards printed up, a website also, nothing fancy but maybe a page or two, so customers can check it out.

    Maybe do some work for local farmers (crop of field surveys), also local city or town governments too. If your priced well (have all the FAA, insurance etc) you should win the work, then you can build up a portfolio and you'll gain experience. Also think about 'giveaways' to clients, like cheap 2Gb USB drives with you're new company logo and web address..it will do wonders.

    Good luck.
     
  9. Oso

    Oso

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    Wow. Opposite of what we all knew (thought?) about a 333 exemption. Was your drone lawyer named Jimmy McGill by chance? ;-)

    With all due respect, I for one would never do commercial work without one or hire someone for commercial work who didn't have one. Having one shows me that the operator respects FAA regulations (even if they are not legally binding) and more importantly it shows me that the operator is serious about his work as a pro "droner." I cant imagine that any government (city, county, etc) would ever consider someone who is not FAA approved.

    This is not saying I agree with the FAA stated requirements for getting an exemption, especially the requirement for a licensed pilot to fly. Unfortunately, it is what it is for now.

    Hopefully the rules change once the FAA finally updates their rules for drones, but for now its a 333 or no commercial flying.
     
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  10. msinger

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    Right on. Unless you have deeper pockets than the FAA, it's not a good idea to fly commercially without a 333 exemption and a pilot license.
     
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  11. Wizaerd

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    WHen you say "pilot's license", are you actually referring to a license for flying an actual airplane? As if controlling an airplane is even remotely similar to flying a quadcopter? And nobody finds this ridiculous?
     
  12. Jimmykjimmy

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    Thanks for all your input.
    I'm going to noodle this. What appears to be true is that the FAA has sufficiently scared all of us without any legal basis for doing so.
    They aggressively over interpreted the Federal Modernization Act. And of course this is what we get.
    Thanks again
     
  13. msinger

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    Yes. You need a minimum of a recreational or sport pilot license. It's only ridiculous because the FAA is dragging their feet on finalizing the rules for SUAS. Once those rules are out, a pilot license will still be required, but people will only have to take a paper test to obtain it. And, the 333 exemption won't be necessary for most people.
     
  14. Wizaerd

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    Even a paper test is ridiculous, because again, controlling an actual aircraft isn't even remotely similar... Granted, I have no plans for using my P3P professionally, but it's still ridiculous and needs to be fought...
     
  15. msinger

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    They aren't scaring anyone. It's the law. They have the power to exempt people from the law and/or rules they create. For some reason, they are choosing not to do so.

    I'm pretty surprised that your drone lawyer is not up to speed on this. It might be wise to find a new lawyer -- or at least get a second opinion.
     
  16. msinger

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    It won't be ridiculous since it'll be SUAS specific.
     
  17. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    First. This post does not belong in the P3 section as it has nothing to do with it. It goes in General. Please post in the correct areas. Thank you.

    Second. You checked with several "movie people" who said the 333 is not necessary? Those aren't movie people. There are specific guidelines issued by the film industry that not only require strict adherence to all FAA regulations including part 333 but also establish further requirements for closed set operations.

    And you should fire your lawyer. Part 333 exemption is required for any and all commercial drone use. It may seem convenient to think otherwise but you're only fooling yourself.
     
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  18. dysan911

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    A pilots license requirement for the exemption was waived some time ago.

    Should you file the exemption with your Name or the name of your LLC? I figure if you go with your own personal name on the exemption then you could link that to any business you wanted to use now or in the future but if you get the exemption on your LLC you would only be covered commercially under that Business name alone.
     
  19. msinger

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    Every approved 333 exemption includes this requirement.
     
  20. dysan911

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    Ahh thank you. I stand corrected.