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Business startup


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#1 OOZEStudios   Members   -  Reputation: 118

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 07:36 PM

Hello, I've been needing some help to select the correct thing.

 

I'm most likely going to go with Sole Proprietorship.

I will run out of the spare room at my parents house. (pretty big)

 

Basically, what will I need to do to start a game business (no clients comming in to house ect), copyright/trademark our name. 

Any help is appreciated.

 

Thanks



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#2 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 30388

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 08:13 PM

It's pretty important to mention what country/state you're in when asking for business advice. We're not mind readers who know that you're in Pennsylvania or what have you tongue.png

 

There's probably a state or federal agency where you will have to register your business... but that depends on where you are.

Here in Australia, that agency is the taxation office -- you put in your details and they give you a business number straight away, and that's it.

 

To trademark a name, you need to be trading a product. If you're not putting that mark on a product, then you can't claim that you own the trademark. You can put a ™ on something if you wish to explicitly tell people that you're deliberately using it as a mark to identify your product, but it's not necessary. You can optionally register your trademark with the government (which lets you put an ® next to your mark), but this is incredibly expensive.

Copyright is automatic -- whenever you create anything, it's protected under copyright. You can put a © logo next to copyrighted material if you like to tell people that you'll sue them if they steal it, but it's not necessary. You can also register copyrights with the government, but it's also not necessary unless you're suing someone.


Edited by Hodgman, 03 November 2013 - 09:36 PM.


#3 OOZEStudios   Members   -  Reputation: 118

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 09:35 PM

It's pretty important to mention what country/state you're in when asking for business advice. We're not mind readers who know that you're in Pennsylvania or what have you tongue.png

 

There's probably a state or federal agency where you will have to register your business... but that depends on where you are.

Here in Australia, that agency is the taxation office -- you put in your details and they give you a business number straight away, and that's it.

 

To trademark a name, you need to be trading a product. If you're not putting that mark on a product, then you can't claim that you own the trademark. You can put a ™ on something if you wish to explicitly tell people that you're deliberately using it as a mark to identify your product, but it's not necessary. You can optionally register your trademark with the government (which lets you put an ® next to your mark), but this is incredibly expensive.

Copyright is automatic -- whenever you create anything, it's protected under copyright. You can put a © logo next to copyrighted material if you like to tell people that you'll sue them if they steal it, but it's not necessary.

 

Kentucky, USA, also would I need to copyright and trademark a game and company name? Such as if I were going to sell a game I created? 


Edited by OOZEStudios, 03 November 2013 - 09:35 PM.


#4 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9882

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 10:41 PM

also would I need to copyright and trademark a game and company name?


You can't copyright a game name or a company name. Titles and company names are trademarks.
You can't trademark a game's code or assets. Those are copyrighted.

Please read the forum FAQ on copyright and trademark.
-- 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.

#5 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 21331

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 11:59 PM

There are also many thousands of books on the subject of starting your own business. I strongly suggest you read as many as you are reasonably able.

Be aware up front that most small businesses fail. In games that number is much higher than in other fields. Business is tough, the games business is double-tough.

For brick and mortar businesses, let's take a restaurant for an example, you can build the place, have an awesome menu and staff, get some regular customers, advertise to all the necessary places, and do everything you are supposed to do... and then fail. The same is true in games; you can build a portfolio of quality games, have all the business requirements met, market to everybody, and do everything RIGHT, and still fail as a business.

With that in mind...

Basically, what will I need to do to start a game business (no clients comming in to house ect), copyright/trademark our name. 

There are two parts.

There is the general business stuff that everyone must do. You need to register with various government agencies, pay taxes, and operate as a business. You can visit SBA.gov and your local SBA office for tips on going through that red tape.

Then there is the game industry stuff you must do. Part of that includes making great games. In my experience making the game is the easy part. Developing and testing a game is about 1/3 of the effort and cost. Game businesses do not survive on a single game, you need to develop a portfolio. Advertising and marketing and promoting your games, actually getting customers to buy the things, generally requires more effort and more cost than development. If you think making a game is hard, enticing people to buy it is that much harder. It is often 1/2 of the cost, sometimes more. The remaining 1/6 goes to supporting your customers the various other costs of doing business.


Most game startups fail. If you don't want to fail you need to study the industry and learn how business works. Making games is fairly easy. Running a game business is hard.
Check out my personal indie blog at bryanwagstaff.com.




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