Forking over my $99... Company or Individual?

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by Adams Immersive, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. Adams Immersive

    Adams Immersive Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2008
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    Freelance interactive design and programming
    Ohio
    #1 Adams Immersive, Feb 6, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009
    I'm getting ready to resurrect an orphaned Mac game I made ages ago and never released. Let the porting commence!

    I signed up with Apple as a Company, but I think that's probably an error and I'll have to cancel and start fresh.

    I'm a freelancer (sole proprietor, not incorporated) so maybe I HAVE to sign up as an Individual. If so, I assume I can still have my freelance business name show up in bold at the top of my App Store page(s)?

    I see some that list a bold "company" name at the top, but the "Seller:" line underneath is different--a person. Is that how it works for an Individual? I'll use my own name as Seller but then later I can pick a "company" name to appear on top?

    Or if I DO have the choice to sign up as Company even though I'm one guy and not incorporated (at least not for now) how should I choose? Individual or Company?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Hippieman

    Hippieman Well-Known Member

    Nov 6, 2008
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    San Francisco
    Go in as a company as an LLC. That'll also protect you incase somehow you go bankrupt due to this.

    Also, I think it just looks a bit cleaner and more professional.
     
  3. Adams Immersive

    Adams Immersive Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2008
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    Good thought. Becoming an LLC is something I've had on my list to look into anyway, just for my freelance work. Maybe now is the time!
     
  4. Acceleroto

    Acceleroto Well-Known Member

    COMPANY! If you don't want to for an LLC, S-Corp, etc, file a DBA with your local courthouse/registrar with the company name you'd like to use. That should cost $20-30. If you file with Apple as an individual, your only option is to sell under your own name (even if you declare something different as your seller name).

    When I signed up last April, I signed up as an individual & it's been a pain to get things changed over to a company. Start with company from the start & save yourself the pain.
     
  5. WellSpentYouth

    WellSpentYouth Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2009
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    App Tech Studios, USA
    I am making my first app and will soon be parting with $100. Just wondering, what is an LLC?

    Thanks
     
  6. ravenvii

    ravenvii Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2008
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    Limited Liability Company.

    Wikipedia article
     
  7. Adams Immersive

    Adams Immersive Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2008
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    Thanks for the advice. I've applied as a company, and now I'll decide between LLC and DBA unless some other options turn up.

    As near as I can tell, LLC/Ltd. (Limited Liability Company) is like a corporation in some ways, and protects you from SOME of the company's liabilities--only it's much simpler and easier to deal with, especially if you're just one person (sole proprietor). You can potentially avoid double-taxation, the need for officers and board meetings, etc.

    I understand there are hefty fines if you don't do the process (and the taxes) right, so I'm talking to an accountant and lawyer soon hopefully. If I decide it's not worth the bother, then DBA may be all I need.

    (I anticipate a problem since Ohio already told me I don't need a DBA: my last name is part of my company name, and they say that's good enough. But is it good enough for Apple? Maybe I'll file a DBA that the state says is unnecessary--I supposed they won't stop me.)

    A vendor's license is a whole other question :eek: Some day I don't need one, some say I do, and some say I need one in every single state and country. The truth is hiding in there somewhere!

    If I hear anything useful from my accountant/lawyer I'll post back.
     
  8. PointOfLight

    PointOfLight Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2008
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    Indiana, USA
    I'm hoping that in the next few months I'll be able to take the plunge and become an iDevice developer as well. When you guys talk about "signing up", do you mean at apple.com/developer, or are you talking about something else?
     
  9. Adams Immersive

    Adams Immersive Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2008
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    When we're talking about $99, we mean the "iPhone Developer Program."

    The first (and free) step is to become a "Registered iPhone Developer." That's quick and easy and lets you download the iPhone dev tools. I'm not 100% certain if this step lets you test your apps right on your iPhone/iPod. If not, there's an iPhone Simulator at least.

    But to SELL your creation you need to join the "iPhone Developer Program" for $99/year. That's where you can "sign up" as either a Company or an Individual. (And you may be able to skip the $99 if you plan to only give apps away for free. That's not clear to me.) You can definitely put your software onto devices for testing at this level.

    The naming of those two phases is confusing :) They should call it "Registered Developer" and "App Store Partner" or something more clear.
     
  10. mehware

    mehware Well-Known Member

    Nov 22, 2008
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    I registered as an individual to sell under my own name, I hear the process is faster to go through.
     
  11. Adams Immersive

    Adams Immersive Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2008
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    Freelance interactive design and programming
    Ohio
    That's what I've heard, too. I'm months away from having an app to sell, though, so time is not critical in my case.

    (Someone also told me that approval to "sell" free apps came quickly, while approval to charge for apps came later. I think they were a Company.)
     
  12. PointOfLight

    PointOfLight Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2008
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    Indiana, USA
    I'm already a registered iPhone developer. I did that before I even had an iPod. I guess I'll worry about the other part when I'm closer to actually having something :) Thanks for all the info.
     
  13. Acceleroto

    Acceleroto Well-Known Member

    Apple asked for the DBA paperwork in my case, so if you go the DBA route you may need the piece of paper even if your state doesn't require it. LLC does offer more protection to you. Taxes are different in each case, so make sure you learn what you need to save to pay the man every quarter.
     

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