Like Tree4Likes
  • 2 Post By shri
  • 2 Post By SpeakCantonese

Sole Proprietorship for Online Income?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    3

    Sole Proprietorship for Online Income?

    Hi,

    I'm starting to receive online affiliate income (on a regular basis) from US-based businesses. Should I be looking to register myself as a sole proprietor? I view my websites as more of a hobby so not 100% sure what I'm obligated to do.

    I looked into LLCs but don't think I'm making enough to consider that.

    Thanks


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    ???
    Posts
    26,030

    Hobby or not, if you're conducting business, you're technically supposed to be registered as a business - either a sole prop or Ltd (expensive). You also need a BR certificate to go along with the company registration and are expected to maintain accounts.

    Also, it is very strongly advised that you maintain a separate account for your business transactions and don't mingle transactions with your personal one. The forums are littered with stories of people who had their personal account suspended at the wrong times... days before school fees or rent or whatever is due.

    SpeakCantonese and jrkob like this.
    Have a GeoExpat related problem - please create a support ticket.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by shri
    Hobby or not, if you're conducting business, you're technically supposed to be registered as a business - either a sole prop or Ltd (expensive). You also need a BR certificate to go along with the company registration and are expected to maintain accounts.

    Also, it is very strongly advised that you maintain a separate account for your business transactions and don't mingle transactions with your personal one. The forums are littered with stories of people who had their personal account suspended at the wrong times... days before school fees or rent or whatever is due.
    Thanks. That's good to know. I'll look into create a separate business banking account and registering a BR certificate.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    New Territories West
    Posts
    1,362
    Quote Originally Posted by eastisred
    Thanks. That's good to know. I'll look into create a separate business banking account and registering a BR certificate.
    Start here:

    https://www.gov.hk/en/residents/taxe...gistration.htm

    I'm a huge fan of the sole proprietorship model for small businesses...

    It can be difficult to get business accounts in Hong Kong but for sole props. you can do as @shri. suggests and just keep your bus. and personal separate... a personal account is fine for that. An Excel spreadsheet updated monthly and a box for receipts/invoices/cheques/etc is good enough to get started... the annual tax forms are easy and the allowances for being married and having kids are the same as for individuals so, bloody great!

    I've been a sole proprietor for 8 years and have been very happy with the model and simplicity/cost. Obviously, there are specific business models where an LLC may be more appropriate...

    The only time a 'proper' company account might be required is if you're dealing with a large (inflexible) co. in HK who don't understand what a sole proprietorship is and demand an account with a company name on... if this happens, I recommend using one of the smaller banks for this function; Fubon or such... the small banks come with their own problems but you usually get to sit down with someone who doesn't think you're shit on their heel for not wanting to deposit 50k with them on day one...
    shri and eastisred like this.