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Ask HN: How do you take money for side project without forming a company
7 points by winkv 100 days ago | hide | past | web | 8 comments | favorite
Non US developers how do you charge money for your side project (saas/app/web) without creating a company.

UK you can be a sole trader, basically a person acting as a business. I believe there are some rules about how you legally present yourself (like in your contracts your name has to be "Bob Smith trading as Acme Widgets").


However, as the page says, you're personally liable if something went seriously wrong.

The alternative is to pay £50 to register as a ltd company, though there are costs in running one (£12.50 per year + doing your own accounts vs paying an accountant £200-£300).

In the US you can use a fictitious name dba "doing business as" name. You can also open up a bank account using a dba name. You may need to file taxes as a sole proprietor.


I think this is called a "trade name" in other countries. Wikipedia has some examples for other countries.


In the Netherlands, there is a threshold, and you do not have to incorporate if you stay under that, and you'll still have to report it. But this obviously depends on the country you're in.

Paypal could be a good way to take money from people privately, and it's probably entirely legal, up to a certain point.

> In the Netherlands, there is a threshold, and you do not have to incorporate

But you still have to register some form of sole-proprietorship company?

Nope, you take it as a private person, and when you submit your income taxes you state it as extra income.

Even when you are selling SaaS (so it's a "service")?

I think you can have problems with payment processing companies as they might not want to make business with a private person.

True, but if you're going to SaaS, why would you not incorporate?

Of course there are downsides, you will look a lot less professional without a KvK or Chambers of Commerce number.

But if you want to look professional, you need to incorporate

Not sure how general this is, but in Poland if you have SaaS you need to have a company (because it's a "service"). But when you are selling just source code to someone else, it can be counted as personal income (no company needed).

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