Are Online Surveys or Paid Opinion Surveys a Business?
You may be asking how much business experience do I need for being paid for Surveys. Well there are many opportunities which fall in that middle ground of being a business to some degree and being Paid for Surveys is one of these. Essentially you are a Contractor or Freelancer like a Photographer or Writer. So what does this mean for the individual?
Paid Surveys for Income is essentially being a Self Employed Contractor
For the greater part, paid survey online opportunities require the participant to be a self employed operator because they are generally not paid as an employee by the Survey Owner. This type of employment arrangement, which we will call working arrangement because it is not employment in the true sense, is no different to a multitude of others who work in a Contracting and Freelance capacity. You will be responsible for invoicing the payer, keeping your own accounting records and filing your own tax returns. The legalities of this arrangement do vary between countries so you will need to investigate your own specific requirements.
So for most, this working arrangement means you can claim related business expenses such as travel, phone, office rent etc which can all be benefits when compared to an employee arrangement which has little or no expenses that can be deducted.
How are you a business?
In the tax and legal sense you are however this Contracting lifestyle is very attractive for many because the risk and cost associate with developing your own product and service range and client base is eliminated. Many people run businesses from home and experience the associated risk of developing something from scratch before they are able produce a full time living. Others pay a princely sum to acquire an existing business which has an established cash flow however there are no guarantees and this can disappear if the right level of business acumen is not continually invested.
What risks are associated with Paid Surveys and similar?
Paid Surveys like many other freelance occupations are essentially a turnkey income which carries minimal risk with the main one being the lack of guaranteed flow of survey opportunities. As soon as you start participating in a survey then you start earning and this can happen in the space of a week. There is still some risk however and they relate to the lack of guaranteed income flow so like any business this aspect needs to be mitigated if your aim is to be earning a consistent and substantial income. The main answer here is to register with many reputable companies so you have access to consistent flow of surveys as one or two companies are most unlikely to provide to continual flow due to the nature of surveys. So doing your home work is vital
The other risks are still centred on your ability to keep the income flowing so your healthcare is a vital factor. If you are ill and unable to work for sickness or accident reasons then no-one will be paying for your lost time. You are self employed remember. It may be advisable to investigate the insurance option and cover yourself with an income protection policy. So if an unfortunate event arises then you can rest easy knowing that there will be some flow of income
So is this type of Self Employment for me?
This is for you to answer. It is going to be one of the least risky self employed options available hence the growing popularity in the general Contracting or Outsourced Worker lifestyle as an option. The big question however though is whether it suits your personal circumstances. As a second income, a part time income for say a home based mom or someone in between occupations then the opportunity can be exactly right. If it is being considered as a totally new career direction and the you really need a regular consistent income flow then you need to do your homework on the expected earnings while being conservative. The recommendation is that if Paid Surveys will very conservatively exceed your income target once you have done your homework on the likely flow of ork and the rate it pays at, then if probably is a very risk free opportunity.
As usual, you need to seek professional advice for questions relating to legal, accounting and risk matters. This article is purely written as a guide and correct and relevant professional advice should be sought.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Palmer is an advocate for Home Based Income lifestyles. Many options exist in todays world of technology. You should be exploring them. http://www.moneyforsurveys.sbten.com