Do you need a business license for affiliate marketing?

Today, affiliate marketing is quite a popular phenomenon in the market. Affiliate marketing enables brands to expand their audience without spending a lot of money. With this method of promotion, one of the partners – usually a well-known media personality or blogger – attracts traffic to their site and places links to the brand’s products there. About how affiliate marketing works, and a need to get a business license for it, we will tell in this article.

How Affiliate Marketing Works

According to independent research, the volume of affiliate marketing online business in the world will reach $12 billion in 2022. This is almost twice as much as in 2015. Now this way of promoting goods and services is one of the most effective options to increase sales and increase brand awareness.

Affiliate marketing delegates the responsibility of promoting its product to affiliates. At the same time, the business owner himself only needs to track statistics.

It’s important to be careful, as many unreliable affiliates create fraudulent sites and publish links using geotagging and timing ads so that they can’t be tracked.

However, there are reliable methods that allow brands to track conversions, such as Google Analytics, as well as dedicated tracking platforms.

How does the affiliate marketing scheme work?

The manufacturer invites partners to advertise a product or service and shares the profits with partners.

Partners, in turn, promote the product on their site and receive a commission for each sale.

For the customer, the cost remains the same because the commission is usually already included in the price of the product or service.

The main advantage of affiliate marketing is customer loyalty to the site where the product is advertised.

The exact opposite of such loyal customers are those who were attracted through mailing lists or discounts. The main task of such a buyer is to buy goods as cheaply as possible, so he is not loyal and, at the first opportunity, can go to competitors.

Quality content continues to bring interested buyers again and again. Thus, affiliate marketing has a positive effect on the number of repeat businesses.

Affiliate Marketing Parties

A partnership usually involves two main parties: the author or owner of the product and the marketing partner.

However, for successful cooperation, the participation of a third party is also required.

  1. The first side is always represented by the seller – affiliate marketing business owner.

The seller can be an advertiser, a brand, a product creator. In this case, the author of the product can be either one person or a company with a small business or a limited liability company.

Anyone can be a seller – with a seller it is not necessary to actively participate in the sales process itself. All he needs is a product or service that will be sold

  1. The other side is the partner.

An affiliate can also be either an ordinary person or a company. Affiliates can earn commissions per month from a few hundred to millions of dollars. Partners’ earnings depend on their popularity and on the number of sales of the product they advertise.

The main task of the partner is to promote and sell affiliate products provided by the seller. The partner must attract the audience and convince them to buy this product or service.

  1. The third party in this business is the buyer.

It is the buyers who ensure the operation of this entire affiliate system. If there are no buyers, there will be no sales. And if there are no sales, then the seller will have no income, respectively, he will have nothing to pay remuneration to the partner.

Affiliate Marketing Tools

Popular affiliate marketing tools include:

  • product reviews (for example, a popular channel can make a video review of iron and provide a link to the products of partner stores);
  • webinars;
  • YouTube (the most powerful tool: by 2022, 82% of traffic will come from video);
  • aggregator sites.

Does affiliate marketer need a business license?

The answer to this question is quite ambiguous and depends on what exactly affiliate marketers will be doing.

If you buy goods in bulk and then resell them, then you will need a business license for your affiliate marketing business.

If you’re running a simple affiliate website or selling information products, you don’t need a business license to get started.

If you are a marketing partner, then you are an individual owner. Therefore, before you get started, you will need to fill out the W9 form to pay commissions for your affiliate sales.

Also, if you use special affiliate programs, then, most likely, after registration you will also be asked to fill out special forms in which you will have to show your federal tax id number, and confirm that you agree to pay commissions to this platform, pay sales taxes according to local laws, and indicate their size. So you don’t need a business license either.

If you are doing business in the United States, you will need to provide some personal information, such as your name and social security number, to complete the W9 form. In other countries, this form may include other data.

If you work through an affiliate network – it will regularly track your income – and at the end of the year, you will receive the relevant documents, which will indicate the amount of the commission and your tax. More information about how to start affiliate marketing, how to get affiliate income and personal assets, you may find online.

When do you need a license?

The only time you might need a license is if you’re starting a full-fledged business from scratch. However, it also depends on the type of business and which country you are operating in. In some countries, it is sufficient to fill out tax forms.


Thus, from the above, it follows that affiliate business in marketing does not necessarily require a license. The presence or absence of a mandatory license depends on what kind of business you are engaged in. In addition, the existence of a license is also affected by the laws of the country in which you carry out your business. In addition, if you work with partner platforms like Amazon affiliate or others, then it is often enough to fill out only the form that the platform itself offers. There are no other licensing requirements and state permits.

But, in any case, no matter what scheme you work with, you should discuss the conditions and the size of the partner’s commission before starting work to avoid misunderstandings and unpleasant situations.