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New Indie Developers - Starting up a business


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#1 spinydelta   Members   -  Reputation: 103

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 02:33 AM

Hello there! Just wanted to ask a few business questions. I was told this is a pretty good place to go if you're in need of help!

So before I get on to the questions, I just wanted to layout what I want to do Posted Image
I've started up an indie studio with a friend. We're wanting to sell games internationally, Via the internet. We are based in Melbourne, Australia. But our servers are hosted in the United States ( Amazon Web Services! ). We want to be able to sell our games both through our site, and through something like Steam.

So my first question is - Registering as a business.( As in, Business structure. ) There is myself, and a friend who have both co-founded the business together. I've thought about registering as a partnership, but there are some very confusing laws here in Australia. Like having to register in different states. So I'm confused if I can register in Victoria, and still be able to use the Business name internationally. Or whether I'm going to have to register as a company or something of the sort.

Another is taxing. The only thing I'm confused about here is where we'll have to pay tax. We're based here in Melbourne, Victoria. But all of the content is hosted in the US. So I'm not sure if I have to pay tax in the US as well as in Australia, or just in Australia or maybe something else ?

Finally, trademarks. I've read some threads on here about people shouldn't really need to worry about Trademarks when they first start off. And I know they're not cheap to do. But is that something I should look into doing because we're wanting to sell to an international market?

Thank you so much in advance to any replies!

Josh
CEO & Co-Founder
3D Modelling and Animation

Pixel 8 Interactive

Sponsor:

#2 Stormynature   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3391

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 08:56 AM

So my first question is - Registering as a business.( As in, Business structure. ) There is myself, and a friend who have both co-founded the business together. ... Like having to register in different states. So I'm confused if I can register in Victoria, and still be able to use the Business name internationally. Or whether I'm going to have to register as a company or something of the sort.


New rules which will make your life easier

http://www.business.gov.au/businesstopics/registrationandlicences/registeryourbusinessorcompany/pages/registeryourbusinessname.aspx


Another is taxing. The only thing I'm confused about here is where we'll have to pay tax. We're based here in Melbourne, Victoria. But all of the content is hosted in the US. So I'm not sure if I have to pay tax in the US as well as in Australia, or just in Australia or maybe something else ?


See an accountant regarding this which you will need to do if you are setting up a business registered with A.S.I.C. due to the tax reporting requirements that makes them a basic necessity.

Finally, trademarks. I've read some threads on here about people shouldn't really need to worry about Trademarks when they first start off. And I know they're not cheap to do. But is that something I should look into doing because we're wanting to sell to an international market?


http://www.business.gov.au/BusinessTopics/Intellectualproperty/Formallyregisteredrights/Pages/Trademarks.aspx


In addition I would very much recommend you step back into the business forum menu and read the F.A.Q.'s there as well head over to Tom Sloper's website. http://www.sloperama.com/

#3 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10079

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 08:56 AM

Hi Josh,
Since I am not Australian, I can't tell you what Australian laws and regulations apply to your business. Here in the USA there is a government entity dedicated to helping small businesses, it's called the Small Business Administration. You could check and see whether Australia has something similar. I would think it probably does. You could then go to your local office and ask them your questions.

You can certainly use your business name internationally. While you may not need to register your trademark at this stage, you should work as hard as you can to make sure nobody else is using the name you choose. But it is conceivable for companies in different countries to use the same business name. You will want to retain a lawyer, no matter what (it's important). You should check the list of game attorneys at obscure.co.uk, and also see thegameattorney and underdevelopmentlaw and charnelaw.com.

As for taxes, if you do not have an office or a full-time person in the US, you don't have to pay US taxes. You can also read up on US taxes at irs.gov.
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#4 Stormynature   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3391

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 09:30 AM

Here in the USA there is a government entity dedicated to helping small businesses, it's called the Small Business Administration. You could check and see whether Australia has something similar. I would think it probably does. You could then go to your local office and ask them your questions.


Good point had got their link but forgot to put it in - The Australian Competition and Consumer Commision (ACCC) as well the Business Enterprise Centre (BEC)

http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/815214
http://www.becaustralia.org.au/

#5 kdog77   Members   -  Reputation: 229

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 11:58 PM

Income earned in the US by foreign companies is more than likely subject to US tax laws.

FYI - do a search for "Australia Tax Treaty" on the IRS website (www.irs.gov) and ask your accountant to confirm how it should apply to monies received from the US. Some US companies will withhold a percentage of royalties and report it to the IRS, unless you sign a Form W8BEN to get a reduced rate.
Kevin Reilly
Email: kevin.reilly.law@gmail.com
Twitter: kreilly77




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