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Do you need a dba to operate a affiliate income site?

Is it considered a business or just another source of income?Need help.



9:07 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hey guys:)

I hope you guys know the answer to these questions.

I was going to create a website to earn an affiliate income.

So..... I know i need a dba (doing business as) to operate an online business because i have one.

Q.1. But if i were to create *another* website and turn this one into a site with affiliate links is this considered a "business"?

Q.2. And will i need a dba to run this type of site?

>>*I already have a dba for 1 business.

Q.3. Will i need to get another dba for this site or is this type of affiliate income not a business? Is it possible/necessary to have more than one dba?

Q.4. Can i just operate the site as *another source of income* and *not a business* since i will only refer(link to other sites and not sell anything?

*The site will only be a referral type of site pointing to the site that will actually sell the end product. (linked to site and receive commission on sales.)


Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
*Please answer each question guys:)

Thanks fellas:)



9:23 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

1) It can, but it doesn't have to be. Making it a separate business seems to way overcomplicate things.
2) I wouldn't.
3) You can have as many DBSa as you want. But again, why complictae things?
4) Just look at it as another source of revenue.

Look at it this way, if you already have a DBA for selling red widgets, are you going to go through all the work to create another DBA when you start selling blue widgets or speakers for widgets?

Now, if you already had the DBS for selling blue widgets and then opened a hotel, then that's something completely different.


11:07 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The very simple answer is no.

As long as you will have the checks made to you, as an individual, there is no reason why you would need a dba. For most AFF's, you would need to incorporate and provide a corporate ID number in place of your social to get the checks made out to anything other than yourself.


2:59 pm on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Actually, you wouldn't need to incorporate, but you would need to get an EIN. They can be obtained from the IRS: [irs.gov...] (The only reason I know this is because Clickbank is requiring everyone, business or not, to get an EIN)

One DBA is good enough, I run a bunch of sites under one corporation. In reality, depending on the laws in your area, you might not even need a DBA, you should be able to have the checks made out directly to you. Just chalk it up as another source of income.

Of course, as far as TAXES are concerned, if your making any kind of money you might want to consider incorporating. Talk with a CPA.


6:44 am on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hey guys:)

Thanks for answering. I appreciate your advice.

Q.1. But what do you guys mean by *incorporate* and how do you incorporate?

*I have only 1 site and i have (1) dba for this site.

Q.2. What do you do to incorporate and what does this do?
Q.3.How do you do this and how does this help?

Please explain.

>I was hoping to create another site with only affiliate links.

Q.4. So i was wondering why do i need an -EIN- if the new site i create is only run by me. I thought an EIN was for people who have employees.

Q.5. So if i do create another site with only affiliate links, and i run it myself,
>Do i need a -EIN- or can i just use my social number for this income?

Q.6. How do i use my dba for more than one site? The dba i'm using is the sites name.

Q.7.what if i have another site with a different name?Is'nt the dba only for 1 business.

Q.8. Could you please explain what i need to get to start an affiliate site?

>EIN is necessary or just use social number?<<

Q.9. Can i just create the site and at *tax time* report it using my *social number* like it was a job?

***JoshinTX,* you said you have several sites under 1 corporation. That i can have checks made out to me.

*How did you place your sites into 1 corporation?
*I'd like to try this but don't know how to do this or what this does.
Is this a good idea for someone with more than 1 site?

Your advice?

I'm in California. USA.

Well fellas...
Please answer each question. Need info.

A little confused as to what i need to get before starting this affiliate site.

*My first site was alot of permit, license, dba, newspaper placement, etc. That was a hassle to do. Don't want to that again. Please help.

Thanks for responding guys:)
I appreciate your help.



5:13 pm on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

First, since you're in CA, incorporating will cost you a minimum of $800/year in state taxes, even if your business loses money.
Second, for the questions you're asking, you should really discuss them with a tax/business law specialist- most do not have simple answers. In many cases, it won't make sense to incorporate, but in many it does.

My answers will not be complete, but may hopefully point you in the right direction.

1) Incorporate means to form a company as a separate legal entity from yourself. As such, it is taxed separately. But it can also shelter you from lawsuits that could drain you of all your personal assets.
2) Can be done online at any number of incorporation sites. Or you could just file the paperwork yourself (most, if not all, states have the forms available online).
3) See part of 1. Discuss your specific situation with a professional.
4) Pretty much true. But if you incorporate, presumably you're going to pay yourself as an employee.
5) If you don't incorporate, you can just use your SSN.
6) You should be able to just continue with the same DBA. But discuss this part as well with a professional in regards to your specific situation.
7) You need to specify what your "business" is. Is it running site A or is it running web sites in general?
8) Do you mean join an affiliate program (like Amazon's, where you get commissions for selling their products) or start your own affiliate program where you give commissions to people linking to your site?
9) Yes. Um, as April 15th is right around the corner, isn't this what you're doing now? You should be filing a Schediule C with your business income/expenses.

Note: transfering assets (i.e. sites) to a corporation is a lot more complicated than just saying "here ya go!" and giving ownership of the site to the corporation. Depending on the relationship between the corporation and the giver and the structure of the transaction, there can be present and/or future tax consequences for one or both parties. Again, talk to your tax advisor for specifics about your situation.


3:45 pm on Apr 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Incorporate just means filing the appropriate documents and paying fees so that you have a corporation. As far as putting all of your websites into a corporation: once you have the corporation, the corp. is the one buying the websites, not you.

Is it a good idea to put your websites into a corporation? The number of sites involved will have very little to do with that. What will have a lot to do with that is how much MONEY the sites generate. If it is a very small hobby site with small income, it probably isn't going to be worth your time/money to create a corporation. If the income is substantial, you may reap tax benefits (and also protect yourself from lawsuits) if you have a corporation.

Best advice I can give you? Find a local Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or just any tax/financial advisor and set up an appointment with them. Tell them how much money your site is currently generating and how much you think that is going to grow with your second site. Ask them if it would be in your best interest to incorporate.


11:20 pm on Apr 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hey guys:)

Thank you very much for replies:)
I appreciate your time in answering the questions. Alot of good information.

A few questions left:

You said:
>"If you don't incorporate, you can just use your SSN."

Q.1. Ok. So you mean i *do not need* to get an -EIN? All i need to do is create the website and use is my social number and report the income later at tax time like a regular job?

--->>>[I will *not* incorporate. I will just create a website and place links that are from other sites that i join as an affiliate. They will give me commisions on each sale.]

Q.2. Also JoshInTX: You said clickbank requires you to get an EIN?

*Do you mean for incorporating?

>I *do not* want to incorporate.<

(I Just want to create a website and *join* other sites affiliate programs and receive commisions on each sale.[place links])

Q.3. Can i just use my *social number* and report it as if it were a job?(No need for -EIN-?]

-I ask because i'm not sure whether i need the -EIN- or not.
*JoshInTX said clickbank says you need an [EIN].

>Do you mean only for incorportating?

You said:

Yes. Um, as April 15th is right around the corner, isn't this what you're doing now?"

*LifeinAsia: I just started out this year. Nothing to report yet.

You said:

"Do you mean join an affiliate program? (where you get commissions for selling their products)"

>Yes. I plan on possibly creating a few sites and reporting them as regular incomes. They would be additional income. Like jobs produce income. Not busineses since i would not be selling anything myself, only refering others to the sites that sell. And this would provide income through the commisions i receive for referals.

Well guys....

Simply put, i just want to create a website and join affiliate programs and receive commisions for each sale by refering others to the other sites.

>>This is what i plan on doing:<<

>Use my social number and report income of site or sites as a regular source of income. Like a job or jobs.

[*Not* get an -EIN-. Only use *social number* at tax time to report the incomes from the site or sites.]

>create a website or more.
>join affiliate programs.
>place links on the website and refer to other sites.
>receive commisions on each sale.

**Not incorporate anything.*

Q.4.-->>>>Are the above steps acceptable?

>Can i do it this way? Seems the easiest.

I thank you for your help again:)
Thanks for taking the time to read and post.
It is very much appreciated:)
I hope to hear from you guys soon:)

*Please answer each question. Thanks again guys you've been a great help!



12:01 am on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Q.1. Ok. So you mean i *do not need* to get an -EIN? All i need to do is create the website and use is my social number and report the income later at tax time like a regular job?

Well, not exactly like a regular job. You'll need to file a Schedule C (in addition to your regular Form 1040), where you list all your business income and expenses.

Also, be aware that in addition to your regular taxes paid on all your income, your self-employment profit is also subject to self-employment taxes. (When you work for an employer, the employer pays half of your Social Security/Medicare taxes. However, when when you don't have an employer (i.e. self-employed), you become your own employer so YOU must pay those taxes.)

Note the keyword there: *profit* If you generate $100/month in affiliate commissions and pay $50/month of rhosting (and other expenses), you will pay self-employment tax at the end of the year only on the $600 profit, not the $1,200 gross income. So you obviously want to claim as many expenses as you can to keep that profit number low.

Again, consult with a professional tax preparer for specifics for your situation.


2:54 am on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The only affiliate program I have joined that requires an EIN is Clickbank, and they only made it a requirement a few months ago. Everyone else (Linkshare, CJ, etc) will allow either an SSN or EIN.

There is nothing wrong with using your ssn and having companies make the checks out to you, but it won't be taxed like a "job" where taxes are taken out. At the end of the year, any company that has paid you over a certain amount (Used to be $600, but I think it might have been lowered) will send you a form 1099. When you file your taxes you will have to claim that income and then pay taxes on it by April 15th. Like LifeinAsia said, the amount you pay in taxes is based on your NET profit (profit after expenses). Again, I have know idea what your income is, but it is something to remember when you are making a shift to being self employed that taxes are NOT taken out and you will be responsible for paying taxes come April 15th, so you will have to have money saved up.


3:05 am on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

The only affiliate program I have joined that requires an EIN is Clickbank

I am not aware of any either, but I use an EIN, and so I might have not noticed.

You can make millions of dollars and don't need a corporation.

The reason most people do is for asset protection from litigation (I am talking one man/woman operations here). You can use an LLC (in some states) as well for this. I have corporations. If I had to do it all over again - I would do LLCs (less paperwork).

I would rather not have a corporation at all. I only have it for legal reasons.


5:17 am on Apr 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks guy for your helpful replies:)
I appreciate your valuable input!

Couple questions guys.
Hope you don't mind. I'd like your opinions/advice:)

Q.1. I was wondering, how many *links* to affiliate sites would you suggest to place on *one* page?

>>(I mean *different* links *not* to the same sites. different products.)

I have seen some sites the have way too many links on the page *next to each other*. There was just link after link and then more...

Like this:
First Link to site (A): blah...blah..blah..<link>
Second Link to site (B)Third to site (C)blah.....blah...<link> 4th to site (D)blah..blah...
...............(5th) link to site (E) blah<link>....
........................................<link> More links.....Etc....</p>

*Kind of like a link farm for links to affiliate sites. It's way to distracting.

Q2.>>How many is a good idea? Possibly a few and dedicate the site to just those?

Then good marketing of the site to drive traffic there. Good idea? I think it is? You opinion?

>I was thinking less than 10. Possibly less.

Way too many seems distracting. What do you guys think?

Well guys i'm off to look for affiliate sites that pay big commisions!

>>>I'd also appreciate any suggestions as to how to design/structure the site for maximum profit.<<

Ex. similar products on page or different products?

>If different product, what is the best way to seo the *page* since if your selling *blue widget (A)* and then have *purple woopies (B)* they conflict if you design the page for *widgets.* Also if more than those more conflict...different content...page is not seo'd for max profit if done this way.


>>>>Q.3. Suggestions if different products?

Hope to hear from you soon!

Thanks again! :)


Q.4.Can i have more than 1 site i report using my ssn number? I was thinking 10 sites or more and report them -ALL- as regular incomes... like a job/jobs.

Again thanks guys:)
Talk to you guys soon!
*please reply to each question. I'd like your opinions and advice:)

Thanks again fellas!



8:17 pm on Apr 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hey guys:)

Any advice to the last questions i posted?

Thanks for all your previous help!
I do appreciate your time:)

Thanks again fellas:)



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