As a businesswoman and aerialist I started my company "Robin Lynch Aerialist". As the daughter of a business professor in Westchester County, I set up my business by the book. My business is registered and I have an EIN number. Businesses like me because I have the EIN number and they can write me off as a legitimate business expense. The EIN number makes people feel comfortable in hiring me because they know I won't charge them an arm and a leg for my services. I did a lot of research and networking to know what people in Westchester County are willing to pay for entertainment. I charge a flat rate and not an hourly rate. There are no hidden fees. I don't charge surcharges for "difficult customers". Everyone pays the same price.
Before you hire a company, you can always check the Westchester County Clerk's office. They have a database of all businesses registered in Westchester County. You can also call NYS Dept. of Taxation and they will tell you if a company has an EIN or not. If you have a company in NYS you must operate it with an EIN number. You can initially set it up with a social security number but you must get an EIN number to operate the business. I am the onlly registered aerial company in Westchester County.
The next time you have a party, whip out your W9 forms. Have the company provide their EIN number so you can legitmately write them off.