Second Life business basics
First of all, remember, that business always remains a business. The primary idea is the same: you have to do something useful which other people need in.
Your business can be profitable or unprofitable, or you can run it for your own fun (for example, if you earn money in RL and just have a hobby in SL). But it's not a business if you are the only person who interested in your product.
As well as in real line, you should advertise and promote your business.
While the similarities are mostly relate to general issues, the distinctions are more specific. The major distinctions are listed in this section, and them explained below.
- There are no banks in Second Life (while the business activity in RL is always connected with banks).
- There are no taxes in SL (except VAT for residents from Europe which applied when you withdraw money from SL).
- There's no "legal entity" in SL. In RL one can act as legal entity or as a natural person. In SL, you always have one or more avatars, who mostly similar to a RL natural person.
- There are no legal practices such as contracts, laws or professional virtual lawyers.
- People mostly looking for entertainment in Second Life, even those who do a business here.
Money and accounting
In RL your business finances are to be kept by bank. Your bank performs all the necessary operations for you: pays your contracting parties on your order, accepts payments, pays taxes.
In SL, there's no distinction between business or personal accounts. All you have is a Second Life account, or avatar. You may have a special account to keep the business funds, process and accept payments, but this "business" account remain 100% identical to your personal Second Life account.
You can buy hat, bikini or business suit for your business avatar (actually it's what you should do - read Tuning your business avatar).
Each avatar has Linden Dollars balance associated with. The transaction history is available so you can perform basic accounting and payment analysis.
Read more about avatars, account and balances in Creating business account article.
Linden Labs does not apply any fees when you transfer funds from one avatar to another, regardless of the owner of the avatars. This makes in-world business absolutely tax-free.
The only tax you may face is VAT for residents from Europe. It's applied when you withdraw money from your SL account to a bank card, or PayPal.
No contracts, no courts and jails
Yes, there's no way to guarantee any agreement execution in Second Life. If you have been cheated by someone in SL, you can post a Fraud report to Linden Labs. But be ready to spend weeks waiting and get nothing because Lindens usually doesn't interfere in the business affairs.
The fraudulent resident account may be suspended or blocked by Linden Labs, but you most likely won't get your money back.