How to charge acquaintances for domain name and social media help?
September 12, 2012 3:53 AM   Subscribe

I want to offer to handle a few acquaintances' domain management and some basic social media presence stuff, as they've offered to pay me to do it. Can I just do things in my name and have them pay me directly? I am a complete newbie to being paid for this, and I just want to see if I should look into anything.

For example, being a reseller I think would be too much. It's just a handful of domains for some acquaintances. Just making sure.
posted by dubadubowbow to Work & Money (4 answers total)
If handling it just involves interacting with the web interface of whichever company the domains are registered with, it's probably fine... to a point.

If you're thinking about having the domains registered in your name, or having registration costs billed to you, I'd advise against it. The billing/registration side of things is relatively simple, so help your acquaintances to set those things up by all means; taking payment from a card can normally be done automatically at renewal time, so once it's set up, you probably don't need to be involved there. Just act as support in setting things up, and with nameservers, DNS entries and the other technical stuff.
posted by pipeski at 4:37 AM on September 12, 2012

The term you are looking for is sole proprietor. You will, of course, be responsible for reporting the income on your taxes. If your going to be doing enough of this to make more than a couple of thousand bucks a year it might be worth the effort to set up an LLC. Either way, whip up an official looking invoice in Word when you bill them, and at a minimum keep track of payments in a spreadsheet.
posted by COD at 4:57 AM on September 12, 2012

For the domains themselves, I'd suggest having them register things. You might want to keep track of renewal dates, so you can e-mail them a couple weeks prior and remind them to renew.
posted by backwards guitar at 6:02 AM on September 12, 2012

You can definitely do it in your name as a sole propriety (technically you might need a local business license in your city). or with a DBA ("doing business as") if you don't want to use your own name. You won't be protected against personal liability, so if that's a potential concern, an LLC would indeed be the way to go. And yes you will need to be sure to report your income and pay your taxes.
posted by Dansaman at 12:01 PM on September 12, 2012

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