Do I Need To Create An LLC Or Self Proprietership etc for even selling a small e-book?

13 replies
I am just lost here...please help

I am from Melbourne Australia.

I want to offer an e-book for download. I have that completed. There is a market for it, etc. I have the domain name. This e-book is a bait for the back-end which is a 97$ product.

I agree, there are huge gaps in my knowledge, but can someone please guide me about few things:

The biggest confusion is about this LLC, self proprietorship stuff.... I mean, seriously...do I need to register a whole business and all that comes with it like ABN, ACN etc if I want to sell something online? And is that a must no matter which route I go?

I have never been in business both online or offline. Meaning haven't run a business. Still in a dead-end job etc so is that the reason that all this LLC, or self proprietership stuff is so intimidating for me?

Any help, advice or pointing to the right resources will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
#create #ebook #llc #proprietership #selling #small
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Talk to a local accountant or attorney or your local government office.

    I'm in the US and so whatever I say may not be applicable: this is not legal advice.

    Choose the right business structure | Business Victoria

    Lots of goodies on that site.

    Looks to me like you can set up as a sole trader. You still need to register the name & get a tax ID number just as you would in the US.
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    • Profile picture of the author henryclifford
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      Talk to a local accountant or attorney or your local government office.

      I'm in the US and so whatever I say may not be applicable: this is not legal advice.

      Choose the right business structure | Business Victoria

      Lots of goodies on that site.

      Looks to me like you can set up as a sole trader. You still need to register the name & get a tax ID number just as you would in the US.
      Thanks Jason for replying and pointing to a resource. Much appreciated.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    Yeah, I, too, am U.S. based and have no knowledge of how things are done down under. Here, you definitely DO NOT need any type of formal business setup. The vast majority of startups of any kind are using their personal social security number (I don't know what that is called in Australia) and operating as sole proprietors in the U.S.

    I do know that we have had many, many Australians in our coaching program and none of them have ever even mentioned anything about needing a formal business entity. I'm sure one of the more than 100 Aussies we've had would have said something at some point during the last 10 years if they had run into a bureaucratic snag like that!

    There might be a requirement by the government to set up some sort of sales tax certificate (if you have such a thing there) but other than that, it's all that is really required stateside. And, of course, the income needs to be reported as taxable personal income.
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  • It is favorable to register as a business entity if you are able to generate consistent long term income. For beginning, you can just report it as a personal income if any.
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  • Profile picture of the author DripRevenue
    Originally Posted by henryclifford View Post

    I am just lost here...please help

    I am from Melbourne Australia.

    I want to offer an e-book for download. I have that completed. There is a market for it, etc. I have the domain name. This e-book is a bait for the back-end which is a 97$ product.

    I agree, there are huge gaps in my knowledge, but can someone please guide me about few things:

    The biggest confusion is about this LLC, self proprietorship stuff.... I mean, seriously...do I need to register a whole business and all that comes with it like ABN, ACN etc if I want to sell something online? And is that a must no matter which route I go?

    I have never been in business both online or offline. Meaning haven't run a business. Still in a dead-end job etc so is that the reason that all this LLC, or self proprietership stuff is so intimidating for me?

    Any help, advice or pointing to the right resources will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
    Don't get legal advice from an online forum. Regardless of what someone tells you, it's likely to be a costly mistake taking that advice from here. Speak to an attorney.
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    • Profile picture of the author shirley1953
      Originally Posted by DripRevenue View Post

      Don't get legal advice from an online forum. Regardless of what someone tells you, it's likely to be a costly mistake taking that advice from here. Speak to an attorney.
      Talk to an attorney, you may need a legal business entity to protect your personal assets if your business gets sued.
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  • Profile picture of the author SPF
    It really depends on how much you are making. Most people I have talked to say once you start making $1,000 a month, ever month is a good time to do this.

    I'm in the US.
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  • Profile picture of the author dsimms
    When running a business, then you should always protect your assets, personally, if I was selling ebooks, but was not making money, then I probably would not waste more money, and resources on LLC legal paperwork, unless you just want to take on another burden.

    However, if I started making 5-6 figure income consistently month after month, then the LLC would go to the top of my priority list, as you never know, someone may claim false claims over your ebook that caused someone to commit suicide. You may think that is silly, but keep in mind, you can sue anyone for just about any damn reason, then the cost of your costly litigation bills will start racking up....

    The root reason for your LLC is to protect your assets in the event your Business LLC does not survive the lawsuit, and beyond that, then your home, and personal assets may be protected.

    Take note that I said "may" protect you, in any case, if you are found to be liable of committing fraud or some scheme, then your LLC may be worth nothing more then a piece of junk paper, and you may not be protected when it is all said and done, so LLC is not always a sure thing.

    So unless you have some deep complex business that would require an attorney at this point, then you do not really need one, as there are several online companies that will start your LLC process, do all the paperwork, make sure it is all correct; for a filing fee, and other costs.

    At this point, it is a personal decision, do you want to go LLC and protect yourself, or go without LLC, and take the risk someone never sues your business, and you lose all your personal assets.

    and if you are this troubled, then starting a business may not be for you, then again, you take the same risk getting into your car every day, if you kill someone, and it is your fault, then you may go to prison, and the family of the victim may sue you for millions....

    I do not think you need an attorney to answer your own risk assessment that only you have the answer too. How much risk vs reward is acceptable to you?

    good luck
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    • Profile picture of the author henryclifford
      Originally Posted by dsimms View Post

      When running a business, then you should always protect your assets, personally, if I was selling ebooks, but was not making money, then I probably would not waste more money, and resources on LLC legal paperwork, unless you just want to take on another burden.

      However, if I started making 5-6 figure income consistently month after month, then the LLC would go to the top of my priority list, as you never know, someone may claim false claims over your ebook that caused someone to commit suicide. You may think that is silly, but keep in mind, you can sue anyone for just about any damn reason, then the cost of your costly litigation bills will start racking up....

      The root reason for your LLC is to protect your assets in the event your Business LLC does not survive the lawsuit, and beyond that, then your home, and personal assets may be protected.

      Take note that I said "may" protect you, in any case, if you are found to be liable of committing fraud or some scheme, then your LLC may be worth nothing more then a piece of junk paper, and you may not be protected when it is all said and done, so LLC is not always a sure thing.

      So unless you have some deep complex business that would require an attorney at this point, then you do not really need one, as there are several online companies that will start your LLC process, do all the paperwork, make sure it is all correct; for a filing fee, and other costs.

      At this point, it is a personal decision, do you want to go LLC and protect yourself, or go without LLC, and take the risk someone never sues your business, and you lose all your personal assets.

      and if you are this troubled, then starting a business may not be for you, then again, you take the same risk getting into your car every day, if you kill someone, and it is your fault, then you may go to prison, and the family of the victim may sue you for millions....

      I do not think you need an attorney to answer your own risk assessment that only you have the answer too. How much risk vs reward is acceptable to you?

      good luck
      Hey, Thanks for this detailed reply, for your time, and insights.

      It has really cleared up many things for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    It has really cleared up many things for me.
    Answer is from US legal perspective - so not sure how much is cleared up for you. LLC is US - but a quick search on google shows Australia has a similar business entity. Smart thing to do is research the country specific laws for yourself...if in doubt after that, pay for one hour with an attorney.


    It's probably not as complex as you think - but if there are future legal problems, it won't help to say "the forum said it was ok".... Arm yourself with facts rather than opinions.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    Originally Posted by henryclifford View Post

    I am just lost here...please help

    I am from Melbourne Australia.

    I want to offer an e-book for download. I have that completed. There is a market for it, etc. I have the domain name. This e-book is a bait for the back-end which is a 97$ product.

    I agree, there are huge gaps in my knowledge, but can someone please guide me about few things:

    The biggest confusion is about this LLC, self proprietorship stuff.... I mean, seriously...do I need to register a whole business and all that comes with it like ABN, ACN etc if I want to sell something online? And is that a must no matter which route I go?

    I have never been in business both online or offline. Meaning haven't run a business. Still in a dead-end job etc so is that the reason that all this LLC, or self proprietership stuff is so intimidating for me?

    Any help, advice or pointing to the right resources will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
    Speaking to an accountant would be your best bet. For most, you can sell stuff as an individual, you still need to claim the income. Think of registering your business the first step to take yourself serious and hold yourself accountable. Often, this will lead to better success and force you to treat what you do as a business opposed to a hobby.
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  • Profile picture of the author Obermair
    Speak with an accountant in Australia - however I have set up businesses in 3 countries and in each the benefits are the same: limited liability and tax savings. Certain similar in Oz.
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