Do I need a legal structure for my small blog?
Are you hoping one day to get some profit from the blog? Then YES!
Anytime we are involved in making some money from something it is a good idea for a legal structure. If you are determined to turn your blog into a business, and that is what I will be doing for this class, I need to get legal to properly file taxes and not get in trouble with IRS. From my research, I found that there are 3 main legal structures that bloggers use the most: Sole Proprietor, LLC, and S. Corporation. Today we going to talk about the first two, since forming S. Corporation is not recommended for beginner bloggers due to complex structure and tailored more for the bigger company blogs that have multiple employees and shareholders.
When just starting it is a good way to go. The blog is small and you are the sole owner and you do not have any employees and partners. You will be the one responsible for all profits and losses or debts.
When it comes to filing taxes as a sole proprietor you will need to use Schedule C form on top of the standard Form 1040. It may be filed as self-employment and in some cases, you would not even need a business license. (It depends on the county laws so you might need to research that on your own.) In my state it is not required from the Sole Proprietor to register legally, but if you want you can. You can learn more about what you need to register in your state on Incfile.com website.
Another great option for a bigger blog. And If you are planning on growing your blog it is a way to go. It offers you liability protection than a sole proprietorship does not. When you register as LLC you protect your personal assets. This allows you to separate your personal and business assets, profits, and debts. So, you get into some trouble the business will be responsible and not you personally. If you go with LLC registering your business is a must. That will require you to choose a distinct name and to file articles of organization. For that, you will need your business name, address, and the names of its members. In the case where you will be a single owner, taxes are filed just like a sole proprietor. When registering a name, you might want to think about trademark laws. Go to uspto.gov webpage to do a quick search, and to make sure that you are not creating a business name that is close to an exciting trademark.
Here is a great link on how to start a blog. Check it out.