App Store developers can now transfer apps and still be part of the Small Business Program

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App Store icon (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Developers can now transfer apps and still be part pf the App Store Small Business Program.
  • Transferring apps was previously enough to prevent anyone from being part of the program.
  • The Small Business Program allows developers to benefit by paying a smaller App Store commission.

Apple has emailed developers to tell them that being part of the Small Business Program no longer prevents them from transferring or receiving apps.

Apple's Small Business Program (opens in new tab) allows developers earning less than $1 million per year to benefit from a reduced 15% App Store commission, down from the usual 30%. However, developers quickly found out after the program's 2021 launch that they were not allowed to transfer apps between accounts otherwise they would be kicked out of the Small Business Program and prevented from applying.

Apple's documentation (opens in new tab) made the point pretty clearly:

App transfers are not allowed while participating in the program. If you initiate an app transfer after December 31, 2020, or accept a transfer of an app that was initiated after December 31, 2020, you will no longer be eligible to participate in the program.

However, Apple is now emailing developers to tell them of a change of heart — apps can now be transferred between accounts without penalty.

We're reaching out to let you know that the Paid Applications Agreement (Schedules 2 and 3 of the Apple Developer Program License Agreement) has been updated with the following changes:

  • Updated section 3.4 to remove app transfer prohibition for participation in the App Store Small Business Program.

That's excellent news for developers who want to sell or buy apps who would otherwise have been prevented from being part of the App Store Small Business Program no matter their income.

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Apple was presumably concerned that developers would more apps between accounts to try and game the system, making it appear as thought they were earning less money. For whatever reason, that concern now appears to be gone.

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.