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How do I legally organize my business and websites?

crowzy
Posts: 59
Joined: 15 Dec 06
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How do I legally organize my business and websites?

Hello everybody,

I am a newbie from Brisbane, Australia and I joined Affilorama last year (it sounds much better than 2-3 weeks ago, doesn't it? lol). Since then I've been very busy reading, watching videos and learning more about AM.

I am already working on my first ever website and hopefully it will be ready for publishing by the end of this month.
This is a huge challenge to me but I am sure that with some help from you guys everything will be fine.

The whole concept of affiliate marketing is not something new to me as I've been exploring this field for the last 3-4 years and for 10 months now I've been playing with Google's Adwords. I finally decided to get really serious about whole thing and that's why I am here.

The first problem I am facing at the moment (I wish it was the only one lol) is how to legally organize myself. I contacted a few different Government Departments here in Australia but whenever I mention the term "Affiliate" they suddenly become more confused than I am.

One lady told me that a Business Number is all I need and after that I can publish as many websites under my name as I want.
A lady from another Government Department said that whatever I do under a name which is different from my own name (and that includes domain names) is illegal unless I register that name as my Business Name.
In other words if I have 10 or 20 websites (domains) I should register every single one of them as a separate business name.

Which one of these 2 comments (if any) is true ?
Any input would be highly appreciated.

I wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New 2007. Year.

Cheers
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sean06
Posts: 1377
Joined: 16 Jun 06
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hey crowzy,

I have to admit, when it comes to all that legal tax stuff, I don't have a clue.

I'm sure most marketers use pen names at one stage or another, I don't see how that can be illegal, but who knows.

Anyway, welcome and remember to ask us as many questions as you need.

Sean
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chatyak86
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Um I think your laws are pretty similar to north americas.

You don't need any business number. I am guessing you can just file your taxes as an individual and then pay taxes on your profits.

Adrian,
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sean06
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I assume the tax system would be similar to Canada and the US, but I'm sure there are differences.

As for the business number, I was told by an accountant that you cannot claim business expenses unless you have an ABN (Aus. Business Number).

The accountant told me not to worry about declaring income, which is fine when you're not making much, but when things become more regular, I wouldn't want to be hiding money from Mr Costello (Aus Treasurer).

This is something I will be finding out more about in the near future.
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chatyak86
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I'll have to ask about the declaring deductibles thing too. I"m pretty sure we dont need a number to declare those.

Adrian,
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sean06
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Let us know what you find out.
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crowzy
Posts: 59
Joined: 15 Dec 06
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Hi Sean and Adrian,

Thank you so much for your input.

I am not concerned too much about tax and deductions. My understanding is that here in Australia you can make up to $50000 a year without any kind of registration.
As Adrian says you just declare your income at the end of the financial year as an individual.

You can still claim your deductions (membership fees, advertising costs, hosting etc.) but not some extra things that you are allowed to claim as a registered business like (part of your home mortgage or rent, part of your council's rates and similar) - if you work from home.

My real concern is more related to business names. Judging by what I was told you are only allowed to use FIRSTNAMESURNAME.com (or .net, .org etc.)
For anything else like how-to-train-your-goldfish.com you have to register that name in order to comply by australian laws.

That's why you can't even register a .com.au domain without a business name registration.

My guess is that the only way around this is to register a Company and just keep adding new domains as integral parts of it's business.

I might be completely wrong about the whole thing.

This is a boring topic and not many people want to talk about it but having this information on hand could save us a lot of headache down the track. Someone like Mark would be an ideal person to give us some advice on this subject.

Once again thanks a lot for your time guys.

Cheers
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promocode
Posts: 275
Joined: 05 Sep 06
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Hi Crowzy,

Welcome to Affilorama!

All I had to do to be legal in my town was get a DBA, Doing Business As certificate notorized and put it on file at my town hall. When asked what it is I do, I just put publisher.

I'm sure the tax and registration legalities are different in every country as they are different even in neighboring cities. Best to find out exactly what you need in yours.

Best of luck to you,
PC
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crowzy
Posts: 59
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Thank you very much promocode.

I guess the best thing for now is to forget about the formalities and fully concentrate on learning and building my first websites.

If anything good comes out from this whole project I will be able to pay a professional to take care of the legal stuff.

In the meantime if somebody from the Government or any other Institution thinks that I am doing something that I shouldn't they will come to me and give me an advice for free. (LOL...)

Good luck and all the best to you.
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sean06
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Yep, thats the spirit crowzy :)
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superaff
Posts: 532
Joined: 09 Sep 06
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Totally aggree. Focus on one site for now, and see that later.
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