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Self employed vs. incorporation and online credit card payments.

Discussion in 'General Forum' started by wheelybird, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. wheelybird

    wheelybird New Member

    Hi everyone. I'm new to this (extremely useful) forum, and I was wondering if anyone could help on a problem I've encountered.

    I'm just starting out as a freelancer and intend to take on Linux and web development jobs, so I've decided that being self-employed is the best route for that.

    However I also run a website which I'm about to upgrade and offer yearly member subscriptions for. The income from this site will be quite low, and it's just really a source of additional income; not a career in itself.
    However, the credit-card processing websites ask for company a incorporation number in order to register. I can't use PayPal because of their policies.
    I really don't want to incorporate (too much hassle), so I'm stumped as how to take payments.

    Does anyone have any experience in taking online credit/debit card payments whilst being self-employed?
  2. xlogic

    xlogic New Member

    Have you got a business bank account? Can your bank not provide a card machine?
  3. wheelybird

    wheelybird New Member

    Hi. I don't (yet) have a business account. However, the payments would be online payments, and would go through a internet payment provider. The problem is the payment providers need a business incorporation number, and don't seem to take into account self-employed people that haven't incorporated a business.
    I was wondering if other members had encounter a similar problem, and what the solution was.

    It would be possible for me to incorporate, but I'd really rather not and remain simply self-employed.
  4. xlogic

    xlogic New Member

    Not had experience in this myself unfortunatley.

    Just remember you must inform HMRC if you become self employed or you get a fine. IIRC you can register on their website.
  5. xlogic

    xlogic New Member

  6. MickeyFinn

    MickeyFinn Administrator

    I would have thought the likes of WorldPay would be fine and would not need you to be incorporated to take payments. Have you looked at these third party solutions rather than looking at the merchant account and payment provider (e.g. Protx) route?
  7. wheelybird

    wheelybird New Member

    Hi. Thank you for the links. Yes, I've tried most of those. Unfortunately the site falls foul of the acceptable content policy of those sites (it's an adult community website). :(
    I'll check out the ones I've not yet tried though.

  8. wheelybird

    wheelybird New Member

    Yes. I found ccbill, epoch and commercegate which, as far as I can tell, are the only sites that offer what I'm looking for, but require the incorporation number (which I think might be due to requirements for processing VISA).

    A lot of other 3rd party solutions would probably take my business, but they then require set-up fees and monthly fees. I'm guessing I might get £3/4000 per year from the site, but I can't be certain enough of that to risk spending £300 and then £50/month on those providers.
  9. hellosmithy

    hellosmithy New Member

    Haha herein lies the rub... maybe try looking at similar sites and see what payment services they use?
  10. Ardesco

    Ardesco New Member

    You could just set up a LTD Co. You can purchase pre-registered companies online (a quick google will provide you with lots of links) and then change the company name to one of your choice, or talk to your accountant. Many accountants will set up a LTD Co for free if you use them to do your accounts.

    If you don't get it for free it shouldn't cost more than £100 to get everything set up.
  11. emike

    emike New Member

    Am suprised this would be against paypal policies, its the same as people sending money to each other without buying goods, what's so bad about the service?
  12. merchant

    merchant New Member

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