Monetizing side projects as an EU citizen. Accepting payments without worrying about taxes.
4 min read

Monetizing side projects as an EU citizen. Accepting payments without worrying about taxes.

You got a new idea for your side project. You spend few weeks on the implementation working in your free time after work. Right now you want to integrate a payment system but you realize about this mysterious topic: taxes. You start reading about it and you find out about VAT, GST, different rates depending on multiple conditions. What's more, you're a European Union citizen - VAT MOSS and your country's regulations don't make things simpler... But you wanted to focus on the product, not on taxes!

I've been in that place. That's why I abandoned one of the recent projects. If I had known about handling taxes in the EU a bit earlier, probably I would have chosen a different idea.

Defining a monetization strategy is a crucial step when you plan your next side business. Being able to earn money while not spending a ton of time on taxes and bureaucracy is invaluable. Dealing with all the paperwork can kill your inspiration.

That's why I wanted to list out the payment providers that can help you with taxes so you can focus on your product.

Merchants of Records

A merchant of record is an entity that sells goods or services on your behalf. It handles all the various taxes for you. You don't need to worry about different VAT taxes, rates, and so on. If you earn money, it pays you out on regular basis (i.e. once per week) and you only need to handle income tax on your own.

Here's a nice explanation https://paddle.com/blog/what-is-merchant-of-record/

⚠️ If you decide to use a Merchant of Records, remember to check if the type of your business is supported! For example, various human services (like consultations) are not welcomed.

Gumroad

Gumroad | Sell Digital Products & Memberships
Gumroad makes it easy for you to sell digital products, memberships and more. Join the creator economy and escape your 9-5 desk job.

Paddle

Paddle - Revenue Delivery Platform for SaaS
Helping B2B & B2C SaaS increase global conversions, reduce churn, stay compliant, and scale up fast

Lemon Squeezy

Lemon Squeezy: Sell digital products the easy-peasy way
Selling digital downloads, subscriptions, and software licenses has never been easier, faster, or more secure.

Payment Service Provider

Payment Service Provider offers services for accepting payments by various methods. In comparison to Merchant of Records, it handles only the whole transaction process.

Stripe

Stripe Tax
Calculate and collect sales tax, VAT, and GST with one line of code or the click of a button.
  • Released recently Stripe Tax https://stripe.com/docs/tax. Now it's possible to calculate and collect sales taxes, VAT, GST automatically. Previously as an EU citizen, you had to calculate it on your own which made Stripe not the best choice for EU-based indie hackers.
  • You still need an accountant to help with any tax payments.
  • Supports a lot more business types than Merchants of Records. A list of restricted businesses https://stripe.com/en-pl/restricted-businesses

Marketplaces

Apple App Store

App Store - Apple Developer
Attract and engage over a billion App Store customers from around the world. Our useful tools and strategies are designed to make your app business successful.

Google Play

Google Play Store | Android Developers
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Final words

I hope that helps a bit. If you know about any other solution, please let me know. You can find me on Twitter https://twitter.com/kwcodes.