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

02-06-2009, 03:16 PM
#1
Forking over my $99... Company or Individual?

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.

Morgan Adams (GameCenter: “Adams Immersive”)
My upcoming first game: Scree (Forum thread)
My upcoming VR horror experience: This is Not the Church of the Worm (Forum thread)
Stop making lists. Organize with shapes and colors instead: DotSpace (Forum thread)

Last edited by Adams Immersive; 02-06-2009 at 03:19 PM.
02-06-2009, 03:57 PM
#2
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 430
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.

I've made a lot of games. You've played them.

02-06-2009, 04:00 PM
#3
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!

Morgan Adams (GameCenter: “Adams Immersive”)
My upcoming first game: Scree (Forum thread)
My upcoming VR horror experience: This is Not the Church of the Worm (Forum thread)
Stop making lists. Organize with shapes and colors instead: DotSpace (Forum thread)
02-06-2009, 11:58 PM
#4
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.
02-06-2009, 11:59 PM
#5
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: App Tech Studios, USA
Posts: 1,363
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adams Immersive View Post
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!
I am making my first app and will soon be parting with $100. Just wondering, what is an LLC?

Thanks
02-07-2009, 12:12 AM
#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by WellSpentYouth View Post
I am making my first app and will soon be parting with $100. Just wondering, what is an LLC?

Thanks
Limited Liability Company.

Wikipedia article
02-07-2009, 10:20 AM
#7
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 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.

Morgan Adams (GameCenter: “Adams Immersive”)
My upcoming first game: Scree (Forum thread)
My upcoming VR horror experience: This is Not the Church of the Worm (Forum thread)
Stop making lists. Organize with shapes and colors instead: DotSpace (Forum thread)
02-07-2009, 01:15 PM
#8
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Indiana, USA
Posts: 4,041
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?

Eric Pankoke
Mobile Games Reviewer: Rusty Sabre, TouchMyApps
Blog: iPhone Life
Twitter: RustySabre
02-07-2009, 01:38 PM
#9
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.

Morgan Adams (GameCenter: “Adams Immersive”)
My upcoming first game: Scree (Forum thread)
My upcoming VR horror experience: This is Not the Church of the Worm (Forum thread)
Stop making lists. Organize with shapes and colors instead: DotSpace (Forum thread)
02-07-2009, 02:32 PM
#10
I registered as an individual to sell under my own name, I hear the process is faster to go through.