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Underaged for Affiliate Programs

Evil Elder Brother on the loose!

     
8:12 am on Jul 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Hello everyone,
I will be turning seventeen this year and am still considered too young to join Affiliate Networks such as CJ, Linkshare etc. My elder brother wants 10% for 3 years from my affiliate sites if I use his name for signing up for these networks and depositing my checks. I think he is trying to scalp me as he feels I have no other options left.

I'm currently considering other options such as asking one of my parents to set up a LLC and transferring the ownership to me when I'm 18. I would just like to know if anyone operating an affiliate site has been sued before by a disgruntled consumer who was unhappy with the merchant site and will a LLC protect my parent's other assets in the event the site does get sued. I'll not be using any blackhat techniques, but I want to cover all the corners.

I would also like to know if there are any members from Hong Kong operating affiliate sites. Firstly, would you have to even apply for a business license and secondly, is there a need to pay taxes on the income made? Thanks a lot for everyone's help.

12:10 pm on July 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Your brother is a parasite >;->

Ask your parents or one of your parents' friends or something.

12:59 pm on July 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Last time I checked, none of the networks ran a photo id. Lie about your age. What's the worse that can happen? They pull your account and you have to sign up for a new one.

Boy, worried about suing? You've put more thought into this than you should. It's not something you need to worry about.

5:39 pm on July 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Last time I checked, none of the networks ran a photo id. Lie about your age. What's the worse that can happen? They pull your account and you have to sign up for a new one.

Boy, worried about suing? You've put more thought into this than you should. It's not something you need to worry about.

Now now now...you are not supposed to condone this behavior. This advice needs to come from a peer. ;-)

Sure, it's the right answer and the easiest way to avoid the grifter brother, but we should all lead by example.

(meanwhile, this is the best .... and correct answer .... for most things, age isn't anything but a number. You've already demonstrated that you have more than most your age ... don't let the fact that you are 17 hold you back)

6:53 pm on July 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Man you should give your elder brother a kicking, what a turd.

No aff program Ive ever joined whated to see my Id.... Get my drfit.

10:36 pm on July 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Don't lie. Even, or especially, in small matters. Use your intelligence and resourcefulness. Always and only. Your credibility can, at times, prove to be your most valuable asset and once damaged is often very hard to repair.
11:08 pm on July 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Last time I checked, none of the networks ran a photo id. Lie about your age. What's the worse that can happen? They pull your account and you have to sign up for a new one.

That would be called "fraud" and it's quite illegal.

11:09 pm on July 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

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10% is nothing. Why screw around with an LLC when you can get started with affiliate stuff tomorrow with your brother's help?
11:30 pm on July 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Hey,

Seriously, it is nothing to worry about. People lie about their age on the Internet all the time... I am not saying it is right, but plow through this obsticle and move forward...

All the Best,

C.K.

12:17 am on July 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Even if it is fraud, I don't think a minor can be bound to a contract?

I cannot pathom an already over-taxed DA bringing charges against a 17 year old for falsifying their age by a few months when there are bigger fish in the sea to fry!

Of course, if I were in their shoes, I'd probably be sitting before a judge -- but it has been proven that my luck is not the best.

A valid argument is to be made about the 10% likely being easier and cheaper than setting up an LLC. But (there is always a but), you also have to rely on your brother to make timely payments to you ... plus that he properly calculates his personal tax liability. All you need is him coming back to you at the end of a year saying "oh, by the way little bro, you owe me $1500."

I have also learned that it is usually never a good to mix business and pleasure, unless it's a long standing family tradition.

1:56 am on July 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Any other family members that can help out?
4:24 am on July 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I started working with advertising companies in 2001 when I was 16. Like everyone has said, no one asks for a photo id.
5:14 am on July 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I believe my mother would be willing to help out if there is no/very slim chance of being sued. This is one of the main reasons why I want to set up a LLC. My brother believes himself to be a "monopoly" and he is the only one I can turn to. Currently, has anyone here been sued before by disgruntled customers due to your affiliate site?

Although I believe I will not be caught even if I just lie about my age, I dont believe its the ethical thing to do and will try to search for other trustworthy family members.

7:08 am on July 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

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If you're just starting out, it may take time to build up the traffic. Do you have that long to go before turning 18? Never heard of an affiliate getting sued by a consumer, maybe by a merchant for email spam or something else that would be construed as illegal or causing great harm to a company. Overall I'd think the risk is very minimal. May be higher risk with pills, gambling, p0rn, and the usual suspects.

If ya want to form an LLC, I've got a link for ya;)

7:20 am on July 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

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There are other affiliate networks that you can join that are just as good that don't require you to be 18 years of age....Sure, CJ and Linkshare are among the bigger networks, but don't let that stop you from getting off the ground...

Dave.

8:35 am on July 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer.

If I understand correctly, you live in Hong Kong and the affiliate programs you want to join are either based in the US or the UK? What incident do you anticipate happening, that someone would go through with the expense and trouble of international channels to sue you?

11:08 am on July 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Well, its a long story. I actually live in this tiny dot on the map called Singapore. But the dear government here which is encouraging entrepreneurship does not allow businesses to be set up by those below 21. There are a lot of documents to file etc. as I'm not a citizen of Singapore. Thus, I want the business to be registered in Hong Kong where I'm a citizen as I believe Online affiliate income does not get taxed if the source of the income is not from Hong Kong( I need to verify this first).

Basically, I guess I'm just paranoid when it comes to all the legal jargon. My site has already been up for 4 months and it has around 100 unique visitors a day now. I'm going to do a massive revamp and add in all the affiliate links once I get everything settled. Based on everyone's opinions and answers, it now seems a bit farfetched that consumers would go through all the hassle just to sue me through international channels.

Now if everyone does not mind, I would like to direct the discussion into another direction. I was wondering if there were others who are also based in HK could advise me on the amount of taxes they pay and the legal structure they use for their business.

1:16 pm on July 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Start a new thread to address a new issue.
3:25 pm on July 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Penguin,

Forgot to give you the warm "Welcome to WebmasterWorld" from my other post. Good luck.

NNY

 

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