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View Full Version : Can you develop and sell iPhone apps if you are already employed (UK) ?




hopefull
Apr 21, 2009, 06:10 PM
Hello, sorry if this is really obvious but can you become an iPhone developer if you are already employed.

I'm interested in iPhone development as a hobby, and hopefully as a means to get some extra pocket money, but I already work for an IT company. The iPhone apps won't conflict with my day jobs business but, I'm treading this rather cautiously - especially in this economic environment.

The reason I ask is because I know I cannot set up an extra company, due to terms of contract with my employer, and I have noticed people only refer to their own personal companies that they set up.

Unfortunately the Apple website is very vague on this but still insists on a Company / Organisation to be entered, when signing up as a developer.

Would be really helpful is anyone could help with this, this is specific to the United Kingdom.

Thanks :)



steve10172
Apr 21, 2009, 06:35 PM
You don`t have to be a company to enroll to be a developer.
You can check "apple developer website" and all the info is there.

mccannmarc
Apr 21, 2009, 06:47 PM
Its possible, even if you were to register as a company. You can have as many jobs as you like providing you pay your due NI and tax for each :) It sounds that if it is part of your contract that you can't form another company then your best bet is to register as an individual. Its the best way to go anyway unless you feel you need to be a company. Most of these companies you see people referring to are just aliases to make themselves look more professional and are harmless providing they aren't used on any legal documents etc

hopefull
Apr 21, 2009, 06:59 PM
That's great thanks :D, I'll sign up for membership then; I'll just keep the 'Company/Organisation' set as my employer.

mccannmarc
Apr 21, 2009, 07:01 PM
If you are registering as an individual there's no need to mention your company is there?

Niiro13
Apr 21, 2009, 11:29 PM
That's great thanks :D, I'll sign up for membership then; I'll just keep the 'Company/Organisation' set as my employer.

You actually can just either leave it blank or put your name (as some have done in the App Store). This is self-employment and so you're not user any company or organization unless of course you're only developing a company's applications or you set up your own iPhone app company.

firewood
Apr 22, 2009, 12:24 AM
I you have a contract with you current employer, you might want to discuss the implications of this contract with an attorney.

In some jurisdictions, the escape clause might be to register a corporation in your wife's/parent's/kid's name.

johnnyjibbs
Apr 22, 2009, 02:59 AM
It's ok. You don't have to tell your boss ;)

hopefull
Apr 22, 2009, 04:51 PM
You actually can just either leave it blank or put your name (as some have done in the App Store). This is self-employment and so you're not user any company or organization unless of course you're only developing a company's applications or you set up your own iPhone app company.

Even better :D I'll try leaving it blank, or just put a nickname.

Jeremy1026
Apr 22, 2009, 05:01 PM
That's great thanks :D, I'll sign up for membership then; I'll just keep the 'Company/Organisation' set as my employer.

Why, they aren't the ones releasing/selling the apps. You put your name there. Also, if there is any chance your employer might not like your endevours with Apple, you should contact someone in your company finding out what their policy is.

boyplunder
Apr 24, 2009, 12:36 PM
In the UK, it is normal for any employment contract to include a section that basically says: If you develop something while in the company employ, ownership of that 'whatever' is the companies.

As a director of a UK business, we have a contract of this type here. If you have a contract, read it. If it's there, go and discuss your intention with the MD. You might be able to arrange a separation letter with them for this purpose that excludes you iPhone SDK work from the clause.

Best of luck

mccannmarc
Apr 24, 2009, 12:43 PM
In the UK, it is normal for any employment contract to include a section that basically says: If you develop something while in the company employ, ownership of that 'whatever' is the companies.

As a director of a UK business, we have a contract of this type here. If you have a contract, read it. If it's there, go and discuss your intention with the MD. You might be able to arrange a separation letter with them for this purpose that excludes you iPhone SDK work from the clause.

Best of luck

Surely that depends on the nature of your employment? Anything done in your spare time that doesn't compete with or affect the business in any way and is not utilizing any of the companies resources really has NOTHING to do with your employer. The only place I've ever seen this sort of clause is for civil service work such as policing etc. If you have this type of contract could you please explain your logic behind it? It makes no sense to me whatsoever

Luke Redpath
Apr 25, 2009, 11:10 AM
Surely that depends on the nature of your employment? Anything done in your spare time that doesn't compete with or affect the business in any way and is not utilizing any of the companies resources really has NOTHING to do with your employer. The only place I've ever seen this sort of clause is for civil service work such as policing etc. If you have this type of contract could you please explain your logic behind it? It makes no sense to me whatsoever

WHS.

If you're developing something in your spare time its out of the scope of your employment contract.

firewood
Apr 25, 2009, 02:04 PM
Surely that depends on the nature of your employment? Anything done in your spare time that doesn't compete with or affect the business in any way and is not utilizing any of the companies resources really has NOTHING to do with your employer. The only place I've ever seen this sort of clause is for civil service work such as policing etc. If you have this type of contract could you please explain your logic behind it? It makes no sense to me whatsoever

What makes no sense in one legal jurisdiction, and what is perfectly legal in another are completely unrelated. There are places where your boss owns everything you create any time, any place; if you don't like it move to another state or country and find a job at a different company. And there are places where those contract clauses are likely not even legal. But IANAL. So consult a local attorney.

ianal

iphonerain
Apr 25, 2009, 07:16 PM
You don't need to be a company to sell apps in the app store :D Also, this is your HOBBY and in no way (I'm guessing) competes with the core nature of your employer's business. Sell away my friend! :)

boyplunder
Apr 27, 2009, 02:54 AM
WHS.

If you're developing something in your spare time its out of the scope of your employment contract.

This is not entirely true. The UK patents act 1977 and Copyright designs act 1988 are used in many modern employee contracts to refer to any 'inventions or discoveries' that may be used by the company. The contract is to cover commercial findings or inventions that the company itself is active in, but can include those considered as finding in your 'spare time', if you're lucky enough to have any these days.

Information technology is an odd one, as any app could be seen to fit within the scope of the IT companies remit. We are developing a number of apps at the moment and, logically, any employee you does the same now could fall into the 'inventions or discoveries' trap of their contract.

Again, check your contract. Discuss it with your MD. It's rarely a bit issue in my experience and you should be able to agree an exclusion if your company is not interested in apps. I like to think we run a fair business, but others are a little more heavy handed.

johnnyjibbs
Apr 27, 2009, 05:57 AM
Unless you use company time and/or resources on the project, it is out of scope. There is only case for concern if you work for a company with competing interests (i.e. they sell software, particularly if they sell iPhone software). This is especially the case if being in your job could have given you an advantage in some way, such as an idea or whatever.

My development hobbies have nothing to do with my full time job and I haven't mentioned it to them because it is irrelevant. It does not impact my job or have anything to do with it. So there's no reason to feel guilty. One of my other colleagues does some ticket touting on the side to increase his annual income - he doesn't declare that to his employment either. And why should he?

Luke Redpath
Apr 27, 2009, 04:48 PM
This is not entirely true. The UK patents act 1977 and Copyright designs act 1988 are used in many modern employee contracts to refer to any 'inventions or discoveries' that may be used by the company. The contract is to cover commercial findings or inventions that the company itself is active in, but can include those considered as finding in your 'spare time', if you're lucky enough to have any these days..

I'm not particularly convinced. There may be an argument if the company you work for also develops iPhone apps and they can argue that they have given you the knowledge required to create your own apps but its a stretch. Just because a contract contains something doesn't make it enforcable.