Is It Legal To Earn Money Online?

Nowadays all you ever hear is that everybody has some sort of online business that is making them money whether it’s to generate some extra cash or it is their full-time job.

Whatever the reasons, I’m sure at one point or another you have asked yourself the same question or at least I did when I started, is it legal to earn money online? 

The short answer is yes, but to know if you are operating it legally, you would need to do some research so keep reading as I explain what and why.

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and this is not and in no means any legal advice. I would recommend you seek legal counsel if there is anything you don’t understand. This article is for informational purposes only. 

What type of online work is deemed freelance in your country?

This is now where it gets a bit tricky.

Anyone, anywhere that has access to the internet and a computer can make money online. This by now is no secret. There are many different ways you can achieve this. 

It might be through blogging, selling your own product or service, or even becoming a social media influencer, etc. Depending on the field you choose to make your money online in, will depend on what is deemed freelance in your country.

It’s best not to use your knowledge of what a freelancer is to determine if your field falls under that. 

What exactly does freelance mean?

In short, a freelancer is a person who works a zero-hour contract by only getting paid for work done. In general terms, this could be someone who is a writer, performer, or even someone selling a product or providing a service within a time frame (per hour or per day).

Ask yourself, is the definition above, also your country’s explanation according to their laws of what a freelancer is. If you do not know, then this is where I would recommend you find the answer on your countries government website.

From my experience, I assumed becoming a blogger was considered freelancing because bloggers can be known as writers since you write long articles on specific topics.

Luckily for me, I did some research just as I recommended you do and found that in the country I’m currently living in, any activity you do that brings in money needs a business permit.

However, in many countries, this is not the case. Each country has its own rules and regulations when it comes to being self-employed. 

It would be in your best interest to check with your countries self-employed guidelines on what they consider to be freelance and if your field falls under that.

If it is considered freelance, starting your business will be a little easier. If it’s not then you will have to go through your country’s process of receiving some sort of legal permit that will allow you to operate that activity in your country.

Why don’t entrepreneurs discuss these legal matters?

Nobody on the internet ever talks about the risks involved when you start earning money online. 

For obvious reasons, I can understand because many if not all online entrepreneurs including myself have no legal background, therefore, feel uncomfortable talking about the legal aspect of making money online.

The other reason is that they want to promote and sell you an independent working life. The life many like you dream of. To be able to earn money online in the comfort of your own home.

All mentors want to encourage their readers to start a business online. By encouraging them and offering them courses, links, and information they in turn make money. That’s how they have set up their business. This is why they don’t discuss anything legal that might make you think twice about starting. 

I can assure you though, being self-employed online is 100% possible and achievable as long as you do the research properly and make sure you know what legal obligations you need to follow. 

Can you imagine if you have put so much work in building your online business, getting good targeted audience traffic, and making a steady income only to have the authorities in your country contact you telling you that you have been operating a business illegally. 

Whether you knew you were or not, there would be penalties that you could have avoided.

These penalties could be anything from a fine you would have to pay or even force you to close your business and register it legally. The paperwork, lawyers, and money are just not worth it.

This would be a nightmare all because you didn’t take a few moments to research your country’s legal obligations when working online as an entrepreneur.

We all know that famous saying, “prevention is better than cure”, in this case, I would agree, wouldn’t you?

That’s why I’ve always had a firm belief in covering all my bases. What I mean by this is that what might have worked for one person might not work for you. This is more to do with the legal obligations that would be different for anyone even if your mentor is in the same country as you or a different country. 

Many of the mentors online don’t talk about the legal obligations because it’s far too difficult and in my eyes practically impossible to know every country’s law.

This is why it’s so important for you to look after yourself and make sure you are following the law in your country just as you do when paying your taxes.

Nobody but you is responsible for the actions and decisions you make in life. 

If you decide to start a business online to make money, all the aspects of the business will and needs to be fulfilled by you. Just because nobody talks about it doesn’t mean you don’t have that responsibility. 


Be very careful when making decisions that you don’t have clear legal knowledge on when it comes to the law. 

Make sure the country you are operating your business in online falls under either freelance depending on their explanation or if you would need to go through the proper legal channels to comply with your country’s self-employed guidelines. 

One last note, if you are making money online as a student or someone under the age of 18, make sure you have your parent’s consent as well as ask them for their help to make sure you can legally operate that business online in your country.

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