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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    March 2nd, 2005
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    St. Louis, MO
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    Laws for Affiliate Start-up Biz
    Just getting started - have my biz plan, urls, site is in development and I've joined CJ and Linkshare. So from a legal standpoint what do I need to do? I read in a book that I can report my income to the IRS as a sole proproitor - is that all I need to do?

    - Do I need to register my business with the Gov/State?
    - Do I need to create a seperate Business bank account for my earnings?
    - Do I need to copyright my site/logos?
    - What am I missing?

    Appreciate your input!

  2. #2
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    A sole proprietorship is the easiest, but check with a good accountant to see which type of entity will minimize your taxes.

    Registration and state taxes vary from state to state. Check with a local accountant to see what you're required to do.

    Most banks will require you to open a business account, especially if the checks are received in the business name instead of your personal name. Even if they don't, it's a good practice to keep your business and personal finances separate. If one or the other is audited and you haven't separated them, you'll be subjecting yourself to unnecessary scrutiny.

    A copyright is implied, but you might want to register a trademark. It's relatively expensive (several hundred dollars) and time-consuming (a couple years typically), but can really help if you run into disputes with cybersquatters, etc.

    I would recommend a PO Box, too. It's worth the relatively minor expense to know that you have a bit more privacy and that your business checks aren't being stolen out of your mailbox.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  3. #3
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Your local Small Business Association is also a good resource when you are starting a new business for the first time. The have excellent information and best of all for the most part they are free.

  4. #4
    Newbie
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    March 2nd, 2005
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    St. Louis, MO
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    Great info Michael and Ms. B!

    Guess I need to find a good accountant....

    I'm hesitant to go to my SBA office - kind of afraid they won't understand my business concept. Has anyone had positive experiences with the SBA?

    Also, know of any good copyright law sites where I can do research? Otherwise I'll just start googling the topic.

  5. #5
    Affiliate Miester my2cents's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    I havent been for a while... go to http://sba.gov and dig around the site... lots of free (we tax payers pay for it) info they also have pamphets that you can order...

    Don't worry about the people atthe SBA not understanding the kind of business yuo have... they dont understand most small businesses...

    I have never gotten direct answers in the 30+ years I have been self-employed .

    what i have gotten is really good resource material... just remember the SBA is here to help all businesses they just dont know how to think small.. to them and business with a 100 to 1000 empoyees is small... this is where there mind set is...

    it means you need to take what ever info you get and adapt itto your situation...

    One more thing... when you choose an attorney or accountant... ask them questions about their understanding of your business... many of these folks dont have a clue of the special needs we as Affiliate Marketers have...

    I've been lucky both my attorney and accountant are friends and have been along for the ride since the being of the www as we know it..

    Joe
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    that's my2cents, 'cuz I'm a legend in my own mind....

  6. #6
    Newbie
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    March 2nd, 2005
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    St. Louis, MO
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    Thanks for your 2 Cents My2Cents! Good advice on how to deal with the SBA. I think you're exactly right when you say that they don't think about owner-only biz.

    Wow-you're lucky to have your friends as resources! I'm not even sure to begin in searching for a good CPA or attorney. Guess I'll ask my contacts for recommendations. If anyone knows someone in the St. Louis area let me know!

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador FFoc's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    IRS Small Business Workshop - http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/...=97726,00.html

    Near the bottom of the page is a presentation entitled 'Introduction to Federal Taxes for Small Business/Self-Employed' you'd probably be the most interested in there.

    Requires Flash.

  8. #8
    Newbie
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    March 2nd, 2005
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    St. Louis, MO
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    Wow - Thanks FFOC that's a great link! Appreciate the help.

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