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How to make a studio?


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#1 glhf   Banned   -  Reputation: -585

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 02:32 PM

I want to be boss of a studio that I make.
What are responsibilties of a studio boss?

And how do i make it legal?
I mean I cant just say my studio name is AWESOM STUDIO and then think I own this studio I just made up..
Do I have to register it somewhere? Is there any fees?

edit:
and when is a good time to start the studio when you are making a game?
Should I make it before i recruit someone onto a team?

Edited by glhf, 06 July 2012 - 02:35 PM.


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#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9450

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 02:43 PM

This is not a Breaking In question. Moving to Business.
-- 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.

#3 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9450

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 02:54 PM

1. I want to be boss of a studio that I make.
What are responsibilties of a studio boss?

2. And how do i make it legal?
I mean I cant just say my studio name is AWESOM STUDIO and then think I own this studio I just made up..
Do I have to register it somewhere? Is there any fees?

edit:
3. and when is a good time to start the studio when you are making a game?
4. Should I make it before i recruit someone onto a team?


1. If you are the only person in the company, you do everything. If you are not the only person, you do everything your employees do not do.

2. If you live in the USA, you have to register your business with your local municipality, and you might need to incorporate or form an LLC. If you don't live in the USA, you should check your nation's laws.

3. The best (ideal) time to start a game company is after several years' experience in the game industry and after you get a business degree. But I don't suppose either of those things are going to happen in your case, anytime soon.

4. Yes, unless you are willing to take on a partner.

Read these:
http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson16.htm
http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson29.htm
http://sloperama.com/advice/article58.htm
-- 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 glhf   Banned   -  Reputation: -585

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 03:24 PM


1. I want to be boss of a studio that I make.
What are responsibilties of a studio boss?

2. And how do i make it legal?
I mean I cant just say my studio name is AWESOM STUDIO and then think I own this studio I just made up..
Do I have to register it somewhere? Is there any fees?

edit:
3. and when is a good time to start the studio when you are making a game?
4. Should I make it before i recruit someone onto a team?


1. If you are the only person in the company, you do everything. If you are not the only person, you do everything your employees do not do.

2. If you live in the USA, you have to register your business with your local municipality, and you might need to incorporate or form an LLC. If you don't live in the USA, you should check your nation's laws.

3. The best (ideal) time to start a game company is after several years' experience in the game industry and after you get a business degree. But I don't suppose either of those things are going to happen in your case, anytime soon.

4. Yes, unless you are willing to take on a partner.

Read these:
http://sloperama.com...ce/lesson16.htm
http://sloperama.com...ce/lesson29.htm
http://sloperama.com...e/article58.htm


Thank you for the information..

So what do you suggest if I have a GDD.. and I hire a programmer into my team... maybe he works for money or a percentage of future revenue.
But I dont have a studio yet.. Can you make games without beigna studio? what are disadvantage of that? and advantage to having a studio?
One person would have to be owner of the game (and studio?) (me) and have the programmer and other team members sign contracts that says I will pay them this and that.

#5 SimonForsman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6040

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 03:25 PM

I want to be boss of a studio that I make.
What are responsibilties of a studio boss?

And how do i make it legal?
I mean I cant just say my studio name is AWESOM STUDIO and then think I own this studio I just made up..
Do I have to register it somewhere? Is there any fees?

edit:
and when is a good time to start the studio when you are making a game?
Should I make it before i recruit someone onto a team?


IIRC you were from sweden so...

http://www.verksamt....eb/guest/starta
http://www.skattever...9800048009.html

Those two links should help you, for a single owner business you don't have to register your business, you must however report to skatteverket that you have a business since you will have to pay taxes.

Other businessforms you have to register with bolagsverket and in the case of aktiebolag you have to push in 50.000 SEK in own capital aswell. (aktiebolag has some pretty big tax advantages though as money payed out to shareholders are taxed far less than salary payed out to employees)

a game studio is no different from other businesses, you run it the same way and pay salaries to your employees the same way. (If you plan on not paying people you're far better off making them co-owners of the business)

Edited by SimonForsman, 06 July 2012 - 03:31 PM.

I don't suffer from insanity, I'm enjoying every minute of it.
The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

#6 glhf   Banned   -  Reputation: -585

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 06:37 PM


I want to be boss of a studio that I make.
What are responsibilties of a studio boss?

And how do i make it legal?
I mean I cant just say my studio name is AWESOM STUDIO and then think I own this studio I just made up..
Do I have to register it somewhere? Is there any fees?

edit:
and when is a good time to start the studio when you are making a game?
Should I make it before i recruit someone onto a team?


IIRC you were from sweden so...

http://www.verksamt....eb/guest/starta
http://www.skattever...9800048009.html

Those two links should help you, for a single owner business you don't have to register your business, you must however report to skatteverket that you have a business since you will have to pay taxes.

Other businessforms you have to register with bolagsverket and in the case of aktiebolag you have to push in 50.000 SEK in own capital aswell. (aktiebolag has some pretty big tax advantages though as money payed out to shareholders are taxed far less than salary payed out to employees)

a game studio is no different from other businesses, you run it the same way and pay salaries to your employees the same way. (If you plan on not paying people you're far better off making them co-owners of the business)


Can I own a game, be boss of it and it belongs to me without owning a studio? So the team members sign a contract that i own it and they are working for money only? I think it would be best to create the studio shortly before game is getting releasable. Or maybe don't need to create studio at all? but would look a bit unprofessionable maybe? What are adv to having a studio?

#7 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 7574

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 07:36 PM

I don't know much about Sweden law, but here, having a 'studio' is no different than making your own company alone except it takes a bit more papers to fill in.
The botom line is that the government doesn't really care if you're going solo or employ a dozen other people. They don't mind if it is a studio or just you making your own money for yourself as a company.
Our local teaching comittee in this area recommend people to try and start their own business if they can. We do get substancial financial support from organisms and the government. While most fail, this is a very rewarding work experience that generally shows employers that you are an entrepreneur, and its still better than an empty resume.

If you intend to get people trully interested in helping you out, an actual company registered under your name might give you some credibility. Don't play the legal card too strongly, but I'd go with contracts and NDAs regardless.

#8 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9450

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 08:15 PM

Can I own a game, be boss of it and it belongs to me without owning a studio? So the team members sign a contract that i own it and they are working for money only? I think it would be best to create the studio shortly before game is getting releasable. Or maybe don't need to create studio at all? but would look a bit unprofessionable maybe? What are adv to having a studio?

If you intend to get people trully interested in helping you out, an actual company registered under your name might give you some credibility. Don't play the legal card too strongly, but I'd go with contracts and NDAs regardless.


What Orymus said.
You are going into business, whether or not you "create a studio." If you don't create a business entity, then you are doing this business as yourself.
You do need contracts, you will have to obey contract law, and if your people are your employees, you have to obey employment law.
And you will have to pay taxes on money you make.
-- 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.

#9 SimonForsman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6040

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 08:33 PM

Can I own a game, be boss of it and it belongs to me without owning a studio? So the team members sign a contract that i own it and they are working for money only? I think it would be best to create the studio shortly before game is getting releasable. Or maybe don't need to create studio at all? but would look a bit unprofessionable maybe? What are adv to having a studio?


Yes you can, you still have to register with skatteverket though (Atleast once you start making money)

If you don't register a proper business (and only register with skatteverket) then anyone working for you will have to do the same (they'll effectivly be contractors, not employees) and it really gets kinda messy.

If you plan on having people work for you then you really should register a business to simplify things for your employees. (and get an office, they're pretty darn cheap unless you want to have it in stockholm and it is far easier to work effectivly when everyone is at the same location)
I don't suffer from insanity, I'm enjoying every minute of it.
The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

#10 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 17937

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 10:04 PM

Anywhere you see or would use the term "studio", simply replace it in your mind with the term "legally registered business". A development studio is not special, nor is it even a universally applied term; it's just a name that some (perhaps many) games development businesses call their organisation.

As such, all of the same things that apply to the registration and operation of a business apply to your intended endeavour as a video-game developer.


Can you operate without registering a business?
That depends on your local laws, but yes, it's very likely that you can. You would still have to pay any appropriate taxes, and may or may not have to file certain paperwork. SimonForsman seems to have a reasonable handle on the laws that apply in your area, so you will probably want to begin with the links and information he provided. Ideally, you should also consult with a lawyer to ensure you are following the proper laws and have filed the proper paperwork.

Why should you register a business?
A properly registered business is a legal entity, and as such helps to protect you from some of the legal and financial risks that are involved in doing business. It can potentially also ease the difficulty of assigning ownership of the property you create, and can potentially make the relationship between yourself and any potential employees more straight forward.

If you're unsure whether or not to register a business you should get advice from a professional familiar with the laws and regulations in your area. Again, consulting a lawyer would be advisable. It may also be beneficial to speak to an accountant.

#11 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 7574

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 03:02 PM

Why should you register a business?


I guess you could say why not, because honestly, once you've gone through the actual paperwork of being self employed, adding these couple few (at least in Canada) isn't that much more hassle, and it comes with its advantages as jbadams pointed out.




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