Not a great EE question but nonetheless one I don't know the answer to and someone here probably does! Don't worry if you only know your countries system - we can Google the equivalent for the UK.
We are a forum that generates money via donation. We also have a separate system where a member pays money they can sell goods using a small portion of our site. We are very much not for profit but always have enough money to pay for our server hosting and domain name. We pay VAT for everything and our staff are volunteer unpaid. In short, all money goes back into the forum and we keep a spreadsheet of all incoming and outgoing.
Under these conditions, do we have to register as a business and what sort should we consider e.g. sole trader, private limited? We don't really want to be seen to pay a director.
If yes, then can I assume we have to do a tax return every year?
If we don't have to be a business, could you tell me briefly why?
I'd also welcome any comments with example websites shown - or people's experiences.