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lukies97

Startup with international members

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I am currently building a team to begin developing games. We are first trying to see if our team is successful with development as a hobby, however if it goes well, we are considering becoming a company and making it serious. My question deals with team members that are international. Since the majority of the team is international what implications would this have on partnerships, trademarks, copyrights, taxes, anything else you can think of if we do create a company. Would it have to be an international company or can it still be a U. S. Company? any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

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As a first step it would be prudent to have every team member sign a collaboration agreement assigning rights in their work to the team or the project. Otherwise ownership in the intellectual property rights of the game will remain with the individual contributors under the applicable laws of their jurisdiction.

Welecting a jurisdiction for incorporation and the proper corporate structure will depend on a number of factors including your team members' preference and more likely the costs of incorporation. There is ample information about common US entities such as partnership, C corps, S coprs and LLC's online to give you the background on the typical formalities, but it is tough to give you a comparative analysis of other nation's laws without knowing more about the team's goals. It would be better to consult an attorney when you get to that point than to take advice from anonymous posters. Taxes are also too complicated for anyone to really give you proper advice. So when the time comes to set up a company, check with a CPA about the applicable federal and state taxes that might apply to the corporation's income.

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You should contact your local SBA office too (Small Business Administration) -- their whole reason for being is to help startups start up.

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