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Creating website, question


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#1 AquaLungs   Members   -  Reputation: 104

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 12:52 PM

I'm creating a website like (insertnamehere)studios.com which will show off new projects I'm working on like games, etc. Would I need to register it as a business before I put a copyright (sitename) or something of that matter? Also, would I need to register it as a business and get a business license before I sell my products? Even if I'm the only "employee"?

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#2 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 21331

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 01:00 PM

Whatever you create is instantly and automatically protected by copyright. Adding a copyright notice is nice but not strictly necessary.


As for it belonging to a business, the business must actually exist before you can assign it any rights. The business cannot have an employee or worker before it exists.

You didn't mention your country. In the US you could contact your local Small Business Administration (SBA) office. They can help answer many questions related to starting a business, as well as the state and local laws that apply to your location. Other countries have similar resources.
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#3 AquaLungs   Members   -  Reputation: 104

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 01:34 PM

So would i need to register as a business and get a business license first before I'm able to sell my products from the website? I'm from the US, by the way.

#4 jms bc   Members   -  Reputation: 428

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 01:37 PM

You don't need a business license to sell. The only thing you really need to do is pay tax on your income.

Be careful before you contact someone like the SBA -- there are few people there who will understand what you are trying to do. They will treat you like someone who wants to open a local computer retail store (my experience) and push a bunch of business support people (accountants, lawyers, other white-collar losers) who want to be paid to do things you don't need.

If you're in the US, get online and sell your software. 

 

Edit: look at http://www.gamedev.net/topic/639165-can-a-game-make-money-distribute-the-funds-to-a-team-and-not-form-a-company/

 

specifically, bschmidt1962's comment, disregarding the team aspect


Edited by jms bc, 07 March 2013 - 02:01 PM.

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#5 GaldorPunk   Members   -  Reputation: 1028

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 03:59 PM

From what I understand, in the US you'll have to file a Doing Business As form if you plan on selling under a company name or alias rather than your actual name, as well as state and county/city fees depending on where you live.



#6 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9883

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 06:17 PM

So would i need to register as a business and get a business license first before I'm able to sell my products from the website? I'm from the US, by the way.

 

No. You need to register as a business if you're going to open a business account at a bank, get payments to the business rather than your own name, etc. 

It would not hurt to visit the SBA.  Yes, they might give you information not related to what you want to do, but you can ask questions about the stuff you actually want to do. You can also read their website (sba.gov) and you can ask to speak with someone from SCORE (if I recall correctly: service corps of retired executives) to get answers by phone.


-- Tom Sloper
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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.

#7 AquaLungs   Members   -  Reputation: 104

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 08:35 PM

I'm currently 17, turning 18 in a few days. So my first game should be done by the end of my fall semester in college. Once instartvselling it online to my own name all i need to do is report it for my taxes? But say i have a few trusted friends join me (3 or 4) and sell it under the company name, i'd then need to register as say an LLC?

#8 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9883

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 09:14 PM

I'm currently 17, turning 18 in a few days. So my first game should be done by the end of my fall semester in college. Once instartvselling it online to my own name all i need to do is report it for my taxes? But say i have a few trusted friends join me (3 or 4) and sell it under the company name, i'd then need to register as say an LLC?

 

If you and some friends are going to collaborate on a game that might possibly make money, you will all need to work out all the details of how any proceeds are to be split. Since minors cannot legally enter into binding contracts, though, it's complicated (assuming one or more of your friends isn't 18 by the time you start). If one of you has a businessman for a father, you should have that adult help you work out the collaboration agreement.  And no, you do not need an LLC.


Edited by Tom Sloper, 07 March 2013 - 09:32 PM.

-- 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 Jsmith72680   Members   -  Reputation: 194

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 04:32 AM

There is an organization that is affiated through the SBA that is called S.C.O.R.E this is a non profit group that help people who wish to create a bussines. From helping you write a business plan all the way up to helping you find a mentor. They have locations all across the US. You can find useful resources on their site www.score.org or you can contact your local chamber of commerce to find your local chapter. I would suggest before doing anything to write out a business plan. That way you can give yourself a better chance of success.



#10 Lailokken   Members   -  Reputation: 356

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 09:55 AM

If one of you has a businessman for a father, you should have that adult help you work out the collaboration agreement. And no, you do not need an LLC.

Tom is offering you great advice here.

 

Also, something else you might want to consider doing.. you and your friends all write down where you want to be and where you want your business to be in say 1 year.. 3 years.. 5 years from now. You may be surprised to find out that you are not all heading in the same direction. Many times it's the internal struggles for leadership and direction that cause a business to fail.

 

SCORE might be a good alternative for you if you don't have a father or adult friend who has been in business. They can help to explain how business works, and can offer some helpful insight. Don't waste your time with the SBA though.. they have no funds to loan, and at this stage in your business career no bank is going to loan you money to make a game.

 

You may be able to use PayPal as an alternative method to operate using a business name. I believe you would need an online presence (website or shopping cart). You should be able to google it or find the info on the PayPal site.

 

 

 


-- A man shows who he is, by what he does, with what he has.


#11 AquaLungs   Members   -  Reputation: 104

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 07:22 PM

So bottomline is i can have the site, and can sell things i develop on it without a license as long as i report it formtaxes, but if i create a team down the road itd be best to register a business? Also, does it cost anything to register a business in the US?

#12 tboxx   Members   -  Reputation: 159

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 12:29 PM

So bottomline is i can have the site, and can sell things i develop on it without a license as long as i report it formtaxes, but if i create a team down the road itd be best to register a business? Also, does it cost anything to register a business in the US?

 

Paying the correct taxes is definitely very important. 

 

I would suggest you fill out  a doing business as certificate with the city/town, county or state government (depends on the state as to which level of government handles doing business as certificates.   It costs money to incorporate which means creating/registering a type of business association, (LLC,  C-Corp, S-Corp, LP,LLP etc.)   I know in Massachusetts the fee to register/incorporate a corporation is $320.00 a year and a LLC is about $520.00 a year.  


Edited by tboxx, 12 March 2013 - 12:32 PM.





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