I passed the test and will soon be an Apple Certified Help Desk Specialist for OS X 10.4. I also completed the application to join the Apple Consultants Network, I'm hoping that I'll hear back on that today or tomorrow and start getting work from it next week, but we'll see. Considering that I've been doing Mac IT professionally for about the past three and a half years and doing it for friends and family for years before that it was pretty much a breeze. With zero preparation I was able to pass the test with an 84% (only needed 62%) in just 30 of the alloted 105 minutes. There really is nothing like experience for teaching you this sort of stuff. Unfortunately after looking at the sample test for OS X Serverâ€”which I need to get the next highest certification, the Apple Certified Technical Coordinatorâ€”it looks like I'm going to need to do some studying. I do have some relevant experience, just not enough. Hopefully I can just find a good book that covers this stuff, as the courses for it are just way too expensive.
Another thing I've been thinking about is the legal status of my company. Right now, as an unincorporated sole proprietorship, I don't really need to do anything. I can do business and collect payment checks made out to myself, and then continue filing for my individual income tax as I've been doing up until now. Rather than getting an EIN I can use my social security number. However I've heard from multiple sources that it would be better to get an EIN and to, as much as possible, make my business an entity in its own right, distinct from myself. I can see a couple advantages to this myself: it would look more professional and it would keep my business and personal finances more clearly separated. On the other hand it would change my tax status and the legal standing of my company, and I'm not really sure if it would change them for the better or the worse. I suppose that what I really need to do is talk to an accountant/lawyer about this and get an expert opinion on how best to proceed. So I'll need to find me a lawyer, I guess.