Thursday, December 3, 2020

Enrolling in the App Store Small Business Program

Apple (MacRumors):

To ensure that all participants are fully eligible as small businesses, you’ll need to list all of your Associated Developer Accounts when you sign up for this program. An Associated Developer Account is an Apple Developer Program account that you own or control or an Apple Developer Program account that owns or controls your account.


App transfers are not allowed while participating in the program.


The vast majority of developers on the App Store who sell digital goods and services are eligible — simply complete a few steps to enroll.

Andreas Kambanis:

If you transfer apps to/from your account you can’t participate in the program 🙃 I can see why they did this but I can also see why many small developers may legitimately need to do this.


Update (2020-12-04): See also: Hacker News.

David Barnard:

This is a huge mistake from Apple. Part of being a small business on the App Store is building an asset that can be sold (I’ve sold 3 apps now, and reinvested most of the money). Instead of making a blanket rule against it, the new account should be able to re-apply immediately.

I’m not sure how much of a problem this is because transferring apps is already impossible if you use iCloud, Sign in with Apple, or a number of other entitlements. I suppose the best practice is to set up a separate LLC and developer account for each app. That way, if you need to sell the app, you can sell the entire LLC while keeping the app in the same Apple developer account.

Unfortunately, having separate LLCs requires more paperwork, which is already a burden for small businesses. It also adds extra steps in App Store Connect and Xcode, is confusing for customers, and may restrict data sharing between your own apps.

Update (2020-12-24): Hartley Charlton:

Apple has started contacting eligible developers to inform them that they have been accepted into the Small Business Program, which allows developers to benefit from significantly reduced App Store fees.

I was accepted yesterday.

Update (2021-01-05): Paul Haddad:

Did anyone end up or getting rejected from the Apple small business program?

1 Comment RSS · Twitter

Apple could have solved this problem by tying the sales threshold to each app rather than the account. So odd.

I've been meaning to transfer my apps off my personal Apple ID to a specific business account. I guess I better do that today.

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