According to Mediakix.com there are more than 440 million blogs in the world. But are all these blogs registered as a business? And how did they know when it was time to get registered and get formal? Well, blogging can be a tricky area to define when it comes to tax but the first essential step when deciding if you need to register your blog as a business is to identify if your blog is a hobby or a business.
Hobby or Business?
Just to be clear anyone in business or earning income probably needs to let HMRC know what they are earning and pay tax on it. That’s just a fact of life.
However there are many bloggers out there who simply do it as a hobby. It may just be a creative outlet on the side of their full time job or they use it as a type of diary. It’s a hobby, just like how someone else may play golf or go cycling, so in this case there is no need to let HMRC know and there are no tax implications to worry about.
If you are struggling to identify whether your blog is a hobby or a business, then here are some questions you can ask yourself to decide:
What is Your Motivation?
Are you hoping to turn your blog into a full time job one day and as such are gearing up for your blog to to generate income?
Do You Have Ad Space?
Even if you haven’t sold any space, are you intending to sell ad space or have you already implemented something like Adsense, for example?
Have you accepted Products in return for your writing?
You may not have accepted any cash but have/would you accept products in return for writing a blog on your site?
Do you do Guest Blogging to raise awareness?
Are you guest blogging on other sites to raise your profile, increase traffic and promote your brand?
Do You have a Monetisation Strategy?
Blogs take time to create, manage and develop so naturally you need to expect to be paid for this. Have you got a strategy in place for monetising?
If you answered yes to any of these, then it is likely that you are in business and will have some tax obligations. However if you remain unsure then you should seek a professionals advice because there are penalties for businesses that fail to report to HMRC.
Registering Your Blog as a Business
Registering your blog as a business is a straightforward process which you can do yourself. Find out how to do this and learn about your tax and reporting responsibilities in my comprehensive blog ‘Tax Advice for Bloggers‘.