Going from individual to corp iPhone Developer
Like lots of people, I found it expeditious to start my iPhone development “career” as an individual developer. At the time, I did not have an active company so applying as a corporation wasn’t possible.
Now, looking to get my first app up on the App Store, I thought it wise to consider whether I want to continue as an individual developer or convert to a corporation. As I went thought some of the steps to getting on the App Store (as per the iPhone developer portal tools and information), I could see that some of the hoops a Canadian developer has to jump through would be easier as a corporation.
For the direct benefit of fellow Canadians, and I hope partial benefit for other nationalities, I’ll share the various steps and (I hope not too many) tribulations as I get through them.
Day 1 (Yesterday) Incorporation
Started process to incorporate TechConficio: Started with the Government of Alberta business service pages. Collected the necessary information about company name, directors, address, etc. for the 3 forms that had to be submitted. Articles of Incorporation
A NUANS report is also needed; I used an online service to perform the name search (NUANS, so-called). They were great. I submitted the name (after Googling to see what my chances were) and within 30 minutes got a phone call to saying the name looked good and how would I like to pay for the report. 30 minutes later the report was in my inbox. Drove to the nearest Level 2 registry, which is also an Alberta Motor Association branch, to complete the submission. As it was Monday at 3:10 pm, it was absolutely dead and in 10 minutes my company was formed. All the necessary legal docs were printed on the spot.
Done and Done!!!
Day 2 (Today) GST/HST number
To get an app on the App Store, you need to provide various financial info include a GST number.
Used the Government of Canada’s online system to get a GST/HST number. Following the steps at the Business Number (BN) registrationsite, I was able to get a Corporate account number and GST/HST account number in less than an hour.
Day 2 (Today) EIN for the US
As per the instructions and tips on the iTunes Connect site, I phoned the IRS phone number for international applicants: 215-516-6999. Despite my Canadian accent, I was able to easily convey the needed information to the nice lady and eventually get an EIN. She promised I’d get a notice from the IRS regarding it in about 2-3 weeks, maybe a bit longer, but all I needed to proceed is the EIN. The other stuff being sent is for my records.
I really recommend reading the W-8BEN instructions and tips from the iTunes Connect site, and downloading and reviewing the IRS’s SS4 form. Filling out the SS4 gives you all the info you need when you make the call.
Day 2 (Today) Converting from an individual developer to corporate developer
The best advice on the net seemed to indicate that phoning Apple’s Developer Programs support people would be the fastest approach (as opposed to using the form-driven email contact page). I called 800 633 2152 and after a short wait got a very helpful Australian-accented woman. Again, the Canadian accent was a bit of a challenge.
She first asked for my original Enrollment ID (for the individual developer application), which I didn’t have handy. So she used my Apple ID (@mac.com) to track me down.
She was very careful to outline what would happen if I chose to convert status, namely that my developer account would be disabled for about a week, maybe more. Since I have certificates that will continue to allow me to target my devices, I’m not too worried. Just means my app submission is on hold.
After explicitly asking if I wanted to proceed, she pulled the plug on my account and sent me an email with a link to follow for the next step in the process. She patiently waited until I had received the email (seconds) and then wished me well.
The email contained a link to the developer login page. As I have two ADC IDs, I had to be careful to use the one that I told her. As I learned by accident with the individual developer application, using the wrong email/ADC ID screws things up a lot.
Once through the login, I was asked to update my profile to include the correct corporate info. After double-checking my changes, I submitted them and was take to a page telling me to wait for an email...
After about 2 hours, I received and email asking me to fax one of three possible forms of corporate identification back to Apple. No problem since I had them handy from yesterday.
That’s where things stand right now. I’m hoping the rest of the process takes only a short time.