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I have a server in which I would like to provide a free blogging service. The general gist is that I lack experience and would like to provide a free service to learn more about server management and other things related to it.

My service provider has a partnership program. As far as I understand, I can trade those donations for extending/upgrading my server plan. My service provider even stated in their Wiki that they will take care of all the organizational and financial issues.

It seems like a good idea to give some sort of reward for donating users. By doing so, more users might donate. But at that point it would seem like I'd be selling some extra functionality and etc. for users depending on the sum they donated.

I do not have an organisation nor a business registered nor do I belong to one. Can this become a legal issue? I don't actually receive the money nor can I cash it out. My service provider deals with the taxes and all I can do with those donations is to invest them in my project's hosting and nothing else.

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Generally speaking, the purpose of a corporation is to shield its owners from liability resulting from the conduct of business or trade.

That said, I can not be certain yet that you need one in your case because it's not clear to me what legal liability you feel might accrue from your conduct of this business.

If you could briefly describe a hypothetical claim you think a plaintiff might make against you it might help you get a better answer from me or others on this site.

  • Apologies for my question being so vague. What I am afraid of is that a legal institution might start questioning this whole donate money for better services deal. While to me it seems that a person who donates should get a thank you, to the legal institution it might seem like I was selling services. While I might not be getting the money directly, I could be funding other shadow projects with said donations that would generate money. I don't think realisticly that would work (the server's upkeep would cost more than I'd get in donations) but I could still get in trouble and I'd like not to – Aistis Dec 11 '15 at 21:05

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