Protect yourself. Register your business and be sure to select the right structure. There are plenty of sites out there online that can help you.
I hope I`m posting in the right category.
I have a blog and a few directories where I`ve made about 5k with Google adsense in 2006. Now, I`ve never owned a business and I want to know if I should register this as a business.
In my views I don't think that registering is that important because it says about one blog and few directories. If it would have been in the larger scale then it would be important, what about the earnings from the blog, because that might be the only case.
KJC the CPA that responded nailed it. You are generating income from your business so yes, you need to register the business and pay taxes. Registering is business is NOT the same as choosing a business structure (sole proprietor, partnership, LLC, etc).
And to set things straight here, just because you set up your business as an LLC or otherwise incoporate, you are not automatically "protected". If you request a loan, or if you need to rent a space, or if you need to purchase inventory, everyone you do business with will require that you sign a personal guarantee. That little personal guarantee renders the "protection" void.
Speak with an a business start up attorney to get the facts straight. The first visit is usually free and you can get a lot of useful information.