Does the logic check out?
No, it does not check out. It fails some obvious tests. First of all, why would your friend not do this themselves? They claim it's "easier" for you to do it, but having you involved means moving the money across international borders one extra time, and presumably paying you something. At any rate, if your friend really needed this service, there are well established vendors that provide it. Again: why would they want you to do it?
If the friend is insinuating that you should use your personal account to distribute the funds - or even create a new account in your name - then this reeks of money laundering. Your friend may be hiding their end of the transactions well, and by relying on you to move the money to the ultimate recipients, you are the one the police will come looking for if or when those recipients are ever caught for whatever illegal activity they are involved in. Even if you are never personally "scammed" in a manner that causes you financial loss, you may still be setting yourself up for significant problems.
This reeks of other classic scams, too. Your friend may use a funding method that is reversible - they send you money, you send money to the third parties, and then your friend reverses the original transaction, and you are left with an account that is overdrawn by $40k.
Generally, someone you meet on the internet who tries to talk you into handling money for them is a scammer, not a friend.
If this person is a real friend - someone you have known your whole life, and someone you trust deeply - then tell them to use an escrow service. Or Tell them to establish an account in the name of the business, and then give you access as an agent of the business. And, tell them that you need to be paid above the table, with a W2 or 1099 as appropriate. Then, you won't have problems or tax implications to think about, because you'll be a normal employee or contractor like every other legitimate tax payer.