How To Form An LLC and Get your Amazon Associates Account Reinstated

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On June 29th I got the dreaded Amazon letter that told all California Associates they were canceled in the Amazon Associates Program. Many people were devastated and didn’t know what to do, some where scrambling to get a P.O. Box and try to get their accounts reinstated, but you can’t use a P.O. Boxes for some business needs such as getting a bank account.

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Amazon Associates Cancellation Letter

I used a company called InCorp to get my LLC set up so I could get my Amazon Associates account reinstated.

This is how you can form an LLC and get your Amazon Associates account reinstated and this is how I did it. It’s super easy, it takes just 1-2 days to set up. The best part about it is the money you should have made while your account was non-active, you will see it as soon as you are reinstated. That’s a nice bonus.

The company I used is InCorp and the cost to start an LLC through them was only $360. It took only 2 business days to get my LLC started and by the beginning of the 4th business day I had my Amazon Associates account reinstated. The money I should have made while my account was inactive was in the account when it was reinstated.

Some other reasons to form an LLC are to protect yourself from debt and being sued:

Like a corporation, a limited liability company or an LLC, is a separate and distinct legal entity. This means that an LLC can obtain a tax identification number, open a bank account and do business, all under its own name. The primary advantage of an LLC is that its owners, known as members, are not personally liable for the debts and liabilities of the LLC. For example, if an LLC is forced into bankruptcy, the members will not be required to make up the difference with their own money. If the assets of the LLC are not enough to cover the debts and liabilities, the creditors cannot look to the members, managers or officers for recovery.

So what happens when you start an LLC using InCorp is this:

  • You get a Registered Agent, which is a business address and entity that is authorized to receive mail for your company, and they forward any mail to you at an address you specify. A registered agent is also recommended when starting an LLC for legal purposes and the state may require it depending on which state you are doing business in. I chose Nevada and wanted all mail to be forwarded to me.
  • The next thing is they prepare and file your Articles of Organizations to the state, pay the fee and you are good to go. This and the previous step took about 2 hours, all I did was wait for emails to come in with the attached documents.
  • The next thing you do is have them prepare and file for my EIN or Employer Identification Number, which if you are a sole proprietor you would normally use your Social Security Number. This also distinguishes you as a company doing business and is better in the long run for legal purposes, such as if someone were to sue you. This will also give you the ability to open a  business banking account and it also opens up a lot of other doors for you such as corporate financing capabilities. Because I got started late on a Friday afternoon, this was completed Monday morning.
  • As soon as you have your LLC you are able to change the address in your Amazon Associates account. Once that is done send the associates help line an email and ask to have your account reinstated. Give then a couple days they are most likely bombarded with email right now.
  • The next thing they did was give me the contact info of a man who worked with Bank of America that works closely with them so I could open a Nevada bases bank account. Your business is in Nevada( or whatever state you live in) so you’ll need a bank account in that state. Just a simple basic one will do.
  • If you have a Godaddy or other registrar account with many hundreds of websites and domain names like I do, you can easily change the “Ownership” of the account and the domains by changing the account info and the domains contacts in the control panels of your Godaddy or other registrar account. I’m not a lawyer but this should help to put your sites under the LLC umbrella.

It took 2 days to have my Amazon Associates account reinstated because the email assistance is most likely overwhelmed right now. I was getting impatient and actually called them on the direct line and had the person look up my account. She stated that it looked like someone was just in there and reactivated my account just 5 minutes before I called her.

When I got off the phone I looked and to my pleasant surprise, there was money in there that I would have normally made had this not happen. I say Kudos to Amazon for keeping track of those purchases and giving me the commission for the money I made for them.

It’s a very simple process and you can do this all in one afternoon. The staff at InCorp is very helpful and knowledgeable and quelled any fears or concerns I had. I also used the expedited service to have the office prep all my stuff and send it through the system and get it all back in just a few hours of giving my credit card.

Once you have an account with InCorp you’ll have a dashboard with a few important tools, such as a calendar which is automatically populated with important dates, such as filing annual reports (or you can order their service that does it for you), contact info with direct contact to your manager, a virtual documents folder and many other items that will be of help to the newly established LLC in the state you do business in.

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InCorp LLC Management Dashboard

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InCorp LLC Management Dashboard

InCorp was very helpful, especially when I forgot to ask questions and called them back several times for just one or two questions. It was so painless and easy to form the LLC I couldn’t believe it. Many people will probably not even try because it may sound big and scary, but it’s super easy. With InCorp, they are like having a Virtual Assistant to take care of forming your LLC.

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Comments

7 Responses to “How To Form An LLC and Get your Amazon Associates Account Reinstated”
  1. JeffNo Gravatar says:

    very good to know and will be looking into this. My concerns are still the money trail. Do you have amazon DD to your Nevada account and then how and how often are you going to pay yourself. We’ll have to talk about what parts of your businesses you put into the LLC

  2. Larry,

    I would be extremely cautious here. It doesn’t sound like you consulted an attorney or a CPA before proceeding forward with the LLC. I’m an attorney (though admittedly not a tax attorney) and the way I read the new law I believe the California Board of Equalization (which collects sales & use taxes) is interpreting the new law very broadly.

    There is also a widely-held misunderstanding that forming a LLC somehow waves a magic wand and protects anything the LLC owner does. An LLC owner who ignores the formalities of the LLC (such as transfering assets like the blog and affiliate accounts) into the LLC’s name will not be considered as separate legal entity. In other words, it will be as if the LLC doesn’t exist. It doesn’t sound like you transferred your blogs into the name of the LLC, so they are still owned by you, not the LLC.

    BTW, here’s a post I wrote on the so-called “Amazon.com Tax” a few days ago, in response to Pat Flynn’s post on the same topic.

    Just my two cents. I would encourage you to go see an attorney and get their specific opinion.

    • Larry C.No Gravatar says:

      I guess I know what I am doing today then. Of course the LLC isn’t totally finished so I will be moving the sites under the LLC if what you say is true.
      I’ll be checking out your post today too, thanks John…

    • Larry C.No Gravatar says:

      Just wanted to say I’ve moved all my sites under the LLC. It took maybe 2 minutes when I changed the address and ownership of the account to the new business. Should be good now.

  3. CarlosNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks for sharing the info Larry. I will definitely look into incorp.

  4. ellaNo Gravatar says:

    You are so cool for resolving this so quickly instead of falling into despair the way many people did :)

  5. MichaelNo Gravatar says:

    Woo Thats a relief !! This can all get too sticky for me sometimes and yet, now you have made it clear and easy to get.

    Thanks allot.

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