I'm going to collaborare with several customers to develop iOS apps, and I was wondering how should I deal with app store subscriptions ?

Should I subscribe by myself and pay 99$ per year (and have the apps with my development username) or should I ask to each of my customer to subscribe ?

Also, how many apps can I submit per year ? Is there a limit ?



There's no limit to the number of apps you can submit.

I've found that it's better to have your clients sign up for their own developer accounts and to add you as an administrator of the account. That allows you to create certificates, etc., but the app shows up under their name.

It also means that they can easily do whatever they want with it down the road. You can't transfer an app from one company to another, but you can effectively hand over your entire developer account, allowing them to sell the app to someone else if desired. If you keep it under your company/name then it'll always be there.

Lastly, it allows them to view their own iTunes Connect sales/download information without having access to your other clients. Without it you'll have to provide portions of the reports yourself, or summarize for them, or whatever. Probably seems reasonable now but two years from now, say, there's a good chance you'd rather be out of the loop, especially if the app isn't selling well but they still need to know.

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  • (1) What kind of certificates can I create ? (2) What about my visibility as developer? If they subscribe with their name, I don't appear in the results right ? – aneuryzm May 18 '11 at 7:23
  • (3) Is easy to transfer apps from one account to another ? Do they need to be deleted and re-submitted (and all comments, ratings lost..) ? (4) yeah iTunes Connect sales/download information is a good reason to make them subscribe – aneuryzm May 18 '11 at 7:25
  • (1) Certificates are used for the development process. You have to have an active developer certificate installed in order to test on a device (as opposed to just the iOS Simulator). (2) The only details searchable (as far as I know) are App name and Company name. (3) You cannot transfer apps between accounts. You would have to delete yours and re-list them under your customers' name, or vice versa. (4) Absolutely. – Jason Salaz May 18 '11 at 7:28
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    @Patrick Developer certificates for digitally signing the apps. You're correct that if someone searches for your name/company name in the store then those apps won't show up as yours, but that's appropriate for apps that aren't actually yours. Doesn't mean you couldn't link to them from your website app portfolio or what have you, especially if your clients agree in advance. I do see that you're using the word "collaborate" instead of "contract" -- if these really are co-creations then do whatever you want. If it's work for hire, though, in my opinion the apps should be under their names. – Matthew Frederick May 18 '11 at 7:29
  • @Patrick As I noted in my answer, it's basically impossible to transfer apps from one account to another intact. Yes, you'd have to delete them and resubmit, and you can't even use the same name, so basically they're non-transferrable. – Matthew Frederick May 18 '11 at 7:31

I think the answer to this lies in the legal claims that your customers have in your work. If they own the intellectual property, then signing yourself up and taking in all the sales (I'm assuming these apps will be paid, not free) may make for a bad situation.

Not knowing all the details, and I suspect also you may not be able to elaborate, this is as much as I could really comment on.

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  • (1) Ok. If they create their accounts can I easily submit the apps for them without having to deal with their private information such as passwords - credit card info (they don't have technical knowledge. (2) If they add the apps with their subscription do I have some visibility ? let's say if someone search for my name on the app store, can he still see my apps ? – aneuryzm May 18 '11 at 7:28
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    (1) After they pay for the account, they should be able to designate you as an "Agent". You should then be able to generate certificates, access iTunes connect, and really do anything except manage billing or delete the entire account (though you will be able to delete apps). (2) See my comment on Matthew Frederick's answer. An app will only show the company (or individual) name on the ADC account itself. Not individual developer names inside of that. – Jason Salaz May 18 '11 at 7:34

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