What is required to create an AdSense account

Youtube law: This is important to note when it comes to monetization

If you have found your niche on YouTube as a so-called "creator" and have reached enough people with your videos, the video platform quickly recommends creating an AdSense account to monetize your videos. But making money on YouTube is not that easy. If you want to be legally on the safe side, you have to avoid a few pitfalls. This is especially true if the creator is still a minor.

Youtube is an integral part of the media mix among young people. Her big stars are influencers like Julien Bam and Bibi. But the young audience not only likes to watch. Many are also building their own channels. In the Youtube-U18, for example, Tina Neumann (~ 70,000 followers), Melina Celine (~ 178,000 followers) or NonaKanal (208,000 followers) already have considerable subscriber numbers. Legally, you have to pay attention to a few things if you want to earn money with your channel.

Earning money - nothing works without adults

A look at the terms of use of YouTube reveals: In order to be active on the video platform with a channel, a minimum age of 13 years is required. Money can also be earned at this age. However, not without the cooperation of an adult.

German law regards young people under the age of 18 as having limited legal capacity. With parental permission, it would be possible to earn money with product placements. If you want to monetize your channel with advertising clips directly on Youtube, you need an AdSense account. For this, however, Google requires the account holder to be of legal age.

Minors themselves cannot be contract partners of AdSense and are therefore dependent on an adult who opens an AdSense account for them - for example, parents, siblings or friends.

(Martin Schirmbacher, specialist lawyer for IT law at Härting lawyers in Berlin)

Strictly speaking, the management of the AdSense account is also in the hands of the adult. Anyone who shares their account details with their children is violating the obligation to keep their details under lock and key.

Should the young Youtubers themselves come up with the idea of ​​creating an AdSense account and pretending to be of legal age, this can have financial and legal consequences. Money that has already been paid can be reclaimed from Google or legal action can be taken against the young person.

Once the channel has been monetized, the next step is legal protection. According to current law, pages and accounts that serve a commercial purpose must also have an imprint. Otherwise warning attorneys have an easy job. The most common warning reason for YouTube channels is a missing or inadequate imprint. It is important that the imprint must contain the data of the AdSense account holder or a company that manages the channel.

However, it is not enough to indicate that the data will be released upon request. If Youtubers conduct their business under their private address, they have to bite the bullet and indicate this in the imprint.

If you look at popular channels, Bibi from BibisBeautyPalace has, for example, registered her own company and named the company in the imprint instead of the private data. Let'sPlayer Gronkh does a similar thing. He, too, has specified a company in order to secure himself legally and at the same time protect his privacy.

In addition, the imprint must be accessible within a maximum of two clicks. The information in the video description or a link to the imprint is therefore mandatory.

Failure to comply with the imprint obligation can be expensive under certain circumstances. The fines range up to 50,000 euros. Most of the time, however, they are lower. Then it is the legal fees that are most expensive in the case of warnings.

Minors can be prosecuted

However, maintaining an AdSense account for a minor does not make the owner liable in all cases. In the event of a breach of the imprint obligation, the minor himself may be liable.

And young people can also be prosecuted in other ways. “In principle, a claim under tort law against the minor due to copyright infringement is possible if the minor uploads copyrighted files himself. The Bielefeld Regional Court has decided that a 12-year-old can already have the necessary insight if his parents have pointed out the dangers of the Internet beforehand, ”reports Martin Schirmbacher.

Taxes are also payable

Only two things in the world are certain, death and taxes. Taxes to the state can also be levied on advertising income from a YouTube channel - and not only for big influencers like Bibi and Co. The Telemedia Act applies to the channels. As soon as there is a commercial offer, i.e. money is being made with the channel, a trade must be registered. At least as long as the channel owner or manager of the AdSense account does not count as a journalist or one of the liberal professions. "Since the parents are basically the owner of the AdSense account, the tax liability will usually fall on them," says Schirmbacher.

However, registering the business does not mean that taxes have to be paid. The income from YouTube advertising only has to be taxed from around 9,000 euros. This applies to income tax. The trade tax has an allowance of 24,500 euros.
In the case of employees, the income is added to the advertising income from YouTube. The Youtube channel is the sideline here. Therefore, the exemption limit is exceeded quickly here. It is 410 euros for employed persons.

Once these steps are done, nothing stands in the way of monetizing the YouTube channel. Then the next Google check just has to come on time.

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