Apple restores developer to Small Business Program following mixup

Sean Harding was previously told he was ineligible because he transferred his app, despite earning less than $1,000 in revenue.

What you need to know

  • Apple has resolved the case of a developer who became ineligible for its App Store Small Business Program.
  • Sean Harding was advised by Apple he could transfer his app and still join the program.
  • However, Apple’s rules say the opposite and Sean was quickly left wishing he hadn’t listened.

Apple has resolved the case of a developer left ineligible for its App Store Small Business Program after he was told he could transfer his app to his new developer account, only to be later told that made him ineligible for the reduced commission rate.

Earlier in March Harding said he had reached out to Apple about issue, having started an LLC as a developer and creating a new Developer account for the App Store in order to focus more seriously on building software for iOS. Harding, mindful of Apple’s rules about transferring apps (which makes you ineligible for the Small Business Program), reached out to Apple to confirm if this was the case, and says he was explicitly told “Since, you are not enrolled into the small business program yet, You are able to transfer the application and then submit your enrollment. However, we would not be able to guarantee your eligibility for the program if you do pursue the app transfer.”

Harding made the switch and was promptly told by Apple that because he had transferred the app he would no longer qualify for its reduced rate on the program. Apple announced the App Store Small Business Program last year, promising to halve commission rates from 30% to 15% for all app developers who earn less than $1 million in revenue in the prior calendar year.

On Friday, Harding confirmed Apple had solved the issue:

Harding said “My advice is that if you find yourself in a similar situation, just do the conversion from the beginning rather than making a new account and transferring. Thanks to everyone who helped me get help on this!”

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