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Starting a small business using sites that have Affiliate links.

What would this type of business site be called? Marketing business? Help.

     
8:13 pm on Jul 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Hey guys:)

I have a few questions i hope you can answer. Well, i have setup a few websites and they have Affiliate links on them. I joined a few companies that will pay out comissions to me on each sale if someone clicks on the links, goes to the site, and then later buys a product. And so, i need to get an "EIN" (employment identification number).

So my question is:
Q.1. If i made this into a small Business, what type of business would this be called if i basically have a bunch of websites that i use "Only" for "Myself"(my personal use as an income maker, not a service to others.) and the sites all have Affiliate links on them and i get paid commisions on each sale from other companies if i get people to buy their product?

Q.2. On the "EIN" application, there's a line for reason for getting the Ein.
*There is a checkbox for started a business and then asks for the type.
> What type of business would this be based on the information i listed above?

(**i don't mean sole proprietor. I mean "Marketing" or something. I'm not sure what it would be.

**Also I would also like to possibly offer some home based seo Consulting services in the future, so what would this biz be called if i also added consulting Later and did Both?)

Q.3. What did you guys list your affiliate business as on the EIN application?

*Please only answer if you have done the same kind of biz type i listed or a variation of it.
I'm sure many of you guys do. :) I just want to know from people that have actually filled out the EIN form. I have read books on business, but still unclear on some of these areas.
So please help:)

Thank you very much guys for all your time and help:)
I appreciate it very much:)

frenzy

8:23 pm on July 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Call yourself something like an Internet Consultant or Internet Marketing Company. It's general/vague enough to cover pretty much all the things you want to do. Don't obsess over the EIN classification- it's not going to come back to haunt you if/when you add additional revenue streams.
11:36 pm on July 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I agree with LifeinAsia.
1:42 am on July 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Never filed an EIN form (no employees), but "Internet Publishing" is what I normally use to describe my affiliate marketing business for tax purposes.
3:59 am on July 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Thanks everyone for the help:)
I appreciate your advice. It is very helpful to know:)

I was wondering, what if i did "Not" start a business, and instead just created a bunch of websites, joined many affiliate programs that paid out commissions for each sale?

Q.1. What exactly would i need to do if i did "Not" create it as a business?

I only really want to create the websites with the Affiliate links and be paid commisions.

Q.2. Do i need to create a business and get the EIN to do that?

Q.3. The website says that an EIN is required i think.
or encouraged. So is it possible to get an "EIN" and Not create a business to get it?

Q.4. Under reason for the EIN, what would be the reason if it were Not for a business?

I only need it because the site asks for one or a social num. But i don't want to use or input the social into the account.

*Also any experiences as far as what you have done would be great hear about.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated:)
Again, Thank you very much everyone for all the great help:)

frenzy

3:43 pm on July 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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But i don't want to use or input the social into the account.

Well there you go. Those are your only options:
A) Get an EIN.
B) Use your SSN.
C) Don't apply to that affiliate program.

And those are pretty much your only options for ANY U.S.-based affiliate program. Why? Because U.S. businesses are required to report to the IRS any payments over a certain amount paid to individuals.

4:48 pm on July 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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You really don't have to go through the formality of creating a business if it's just yourself with your affiliate sales. It's very similar to being a "commissioned sales person".

I'm not sure where you're located, but here in the U.S. you can consider yourself a "sole proprietor". For this you'll use your own SS# and report all earnings on a "Schedule C" with your annual tax return. You don't necessarily have to have a business name - you can just use your own given name.

There are other options as well, such as setting up a limited liability corporation (LLC) and I believe you will need to apply for an EIN in this case. But I think most one-man-bands are probably operating as sole proprietors.

If you make any substantial income from your affiliate business, you'll probably need to pay estimated taxes every quarter as well (Quicken has a great program to help with this).

I agree with you about being being hesitant to provide your SS# when applying for affiliate programs - it's somewhat unsettling if you don't have any prior experience with or knowlege about the organization. Someone else somewhere suggested an idea of *Cough* *Cough* using a bogus number at first and then changing it to your real number if things really pan out with the organization you're hustling for *Cough* *Cough* ;)

7:29 pm on July 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Thanks guys for all the great info:)
I appreciate your help:)

Q1. Also, would you guys know if it's possible to get an EIN without starting a business? I have seen other options for reasons to apply for one.

But not sure if it's possible to get an Ein just to input into the account for the affiliate program so i can get paid by an affiliiate progam site.

Any info on this?

Q.2. A) Also, if someone were to start a business, and at the beginning made 0 money because the biz was new,

> Would it be necessary to report "That" Quarterly (3 months report?) the 0 money since there would be No money to tax for the fica and other items to be reported in those few months? (2,3,months. not sure.)

(quarterly or whenever you are supposed to report the fica, etc.)

> B.) Would you report 0 for the taxes that are supposed to be reported?

3. Or would someone just skip the period for that reporting since there would be nothing made for that period and thus no money to tax on?

Not sure. Anyone know?

I ask because i was about to start up and need some advice from people that have been there already.

Well, thanks guys for all your input, time and help with this:) I really appreciate your advice:)

Thanks again guys:)

frenzy

3:47 pm on July 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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You do not need to start a business to apply for an EIN. See [irs.gov...] for more details.

If you have no revenue, you generally do not need to make a quarterly tax payment. However, plan accordingly- if you suddenly have huge revenue in the last quarter, the IRS may decide you should have been making quarterly payments all along and charge you a penalty.

2:33 am on July 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I doubt that just not wanting to provide your Social Security number is a valid reason to qualify for an Employer Identification Number.

I can think of only two reasons why someone wouldn't want to provide their SSN to a business who is paying them commissions. Either they don't trust that business with their SSN or they are trying to hide their income from someone who may have a claim to that income.

You should be able to get your questions addressed by the IRS.

[irs.gov...]

2:44 am on July 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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You can apply for an EIN from the IRS without starting a formal business. I recall I did this a few years ago. I just called myself a "website design service" which I can certainly legitimately claim, without involving all the minutia about Affiliate Marketing and Google Adsense Publishing yadda yadda.

You can just fill out a form online to get started. You have to explain that you need the number to start a separate bank account for the business. (At least that was considered a legitimate reason a few years ago)

[edited by: Skeptic at 2:45 am (utc) on July 28, 2007]

 

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