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BlendedRacer

Do I need to be a company to sell indie software?

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HI, I am starting out with games development after several years programming games/graphics mods. Do I have to be a registered company to sell software? I was planning to release some early work as donation-ware, to see it had a market (looking at downloads rather than expecting to raise money). I guess if I want to register with a credit-card handling service, I need to be a company, but what about initially using pay-pal? Any advice gratefully received!! Cheers Stephen Turn Left 100m.......... YES! That left back there!

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I have no idea what the specific laws are in Australia (you should look into them or ask someone who has), but assuming you where in the US or Canada, registering a company is good/required for two big reasons:

1. Taxes. I''m not sure how it works (In Canada IIRC you can make up to $16,000/year from odd sources [i.e. donation ware, or cash jobs, etc] without having to have a Provincial Sales Tax number).

2. Legal. If done correctly having a company front is a good way to prevent any accidents (like getting sued) from destroying you personally.

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Check out Garage Games (indie Publisher) and Dexterity Software (artiles).

Garage Games publishes games and Dexterity Software has a lot of great articles about startup and running game companies.

Dexterity

[edited by - natasdm on January 4, 2004 8:20:45 PM]

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Check out this starting a business guide from the Australian Tax Office.

http://www.ato.gov.au/businesses/default.asp?menu=824

[edited by - Taz on January 7, 2004 12:42:20 AM]

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Thanks for all the replies!

NSW has some good sites on starting a business (couldn''t find an equiv in VIC).

Didn''t think about the tax office - good idea. I guess I associate them with taking money rather than making money.

Thanks Stephen


Turn Left 100m..........
YES! That left back there!

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Guest Anonymous Poster
In the US, you are all set to go just by yourself. You''d be a "Sole Proprieter".

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This is discussed, as well as quite a few other topics, in my book: The Indie Game Development Survival Guide.

The short answer (in the US) is: No, you don''t have to be a legal corporate entity to sell your software. There are advantages to it, however. I recommend reading up on the various business structures, with their pros and cons, before making up your mind.

-David


DavidRM
Samu Games

The Indie Game Development Survival Guide

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In Canada, its legal to do business under your own name. However, you can''t do business under anything BUT your own name without a business liscence.

Example:

This game was made by Scott McCallum.

Thats fine, but...

This game was made by McCallum Games.

Thats not okay.

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