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Developer
raffi
Posts: 154
Registered: ‎06-23-2012
My Device: Z10 & Z30
My Carrier: Bell

Help for newcomer? Tax IDs, PayPal fees, vendor name, etc.

[ Edited ]

Hi there, I'm trying to read up on creating a vendor account and I have a few questions that I can't find a solid answer for...

 

  1. Will apps sold on the BB10 platform be sold via RIM E-Commerce or Digital River / Bango?
  2. PayPal charges 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. That's only charged periodically when the bulk of sales are transferred at $50.00 or $100.00 depending on the payment service, right? Or are these fees included in RIM's 30% cut?
  3. I'm based in Canada. If I go to the US PayPal site, they expect me to be a US citizen to open a USD account. How can I open a USD account from the Canadian website, and is that the best way to get the money? What kind of additional fees could I expect from foreign exchange rates?
  4. Being based in Canada, do I have to be registered for an HST Tax ID? I'm an independent developer.
  5. For the vendor name, can I put an alias or does the name have to be an incorporated company name?

Being an independent, it sure seems like I'm going to end up with next to nothing after all the fees are taken away from me. If I charge (for example) $1.99, I'll come out with roughly or less than $1 per sale. And if foreign exchange fees are applied on top of that, it's almost not even worth it!

 

Please help.

 

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Developer
mapleleafs90
Posts: 374
Registered: ‎02-12-2011
My Device: Bold 9780
My Carrier: Wind Mobile

Re: Help for newcomer? Tax IDs, PayPal fees, vendor name, etc.

[ Edited ]

Not all these may be 100% but I'll give it a go.

1. RIM E-Commerce & Bango (DRI should be phased out by then)
2. Honestly, haven't noticed any fees. The amounts I get on my monthly statements are the amounts I receive.
3. I'm in Canada as well. My account has USD and CAD. The money comes in as USD and until I decide to convert it to CAD, it sits there. Its pooling and I'm waiting until the CAD goes down before converting it.
4. I never registered for anything, and as far as I can tell there is no tax charged on checkout for Canadians or Americans.
5. You can pretty much put anything you want. At first I used my name like it asked for, then switched it to a business name (and no I don't have a registered business).

You should come out with more than $1. There might be a fee from paypal (not sure) for transfering from your paypal account to bank account though. I have not done it in a while though so I don't remember. My money is pooling right now in my paypal.

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Developer
raffi
Posts: 154
Registered: ‎06-23-2012
My Device: Z10 & Z30
My Carrier: Bell

Re: Help for newcomer? Tax IDs, PayPal fees, vendor name, etc.

[ Edited ]

Oh, nice. Thanks for the quick response. Some follow up questions, then...

1. Does RIM E-Commerce have the same $50 holding policy that DR had?
2. Interesting... So PayPal doesn't charge you commission on receiving payment? I was going to open a personal account.
3. I suppose that's on a Canadian PayPal account, then? That's good to hear.
4. This is great news.
5. This is great news, too!

I'm feeling a bit more relieved now. Did you ever have to fill out a tax form then?

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Developer
mapleleafs90
Posts: 374
Registered: ‎02-12-2011
My Device: Bold 9780
My Carrier: Wind Mobile

Re: Help for newcomer? Tax IDs, PayPal fees, vendor name, etc.

1. Not too sure on that one, someone else will have to confirm. I don't think so - BB Commerce once paid me $2.08 but this was when they were just starting to take payments in September. Then in October they paid me $51.09 (they actually just sent Octobers payment 2 weeks ago).

2. I have a business account, not sure if that effects anything with the charges related to receiving payments. I just checked my Bango statement for October, it read $208.83 and checked my paypal account for this payment that came yesterday from them.
Amount received:
$208.83 USD
Fee amount:
$0.00 USD
Net amount:
$208.83 USD

Again, this might be because I have a business account. Only thing with bango is these guys seem to take off more than 30% of your sales for overseas sales. Not sure why, theres a thread going in here related to that one.
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Developer
raffi
Posts: 154
Registered: ‎06-23-2012
My Device: Z10 & Z30
My Carrier: Bell

Re: Help for newcomer? Tax IDs, PayPal fees, vendor name, etc.

That's good to hear. I don't think there is any difference between personal and business accounts (neither have monthly fees and the commission is technically the same). Even RIM states in the FAQ that "Vendors can choose any type of account, including Personal, Premier or Business.".

So I guess there's no harm in just going with a business account since you're the second person that I've heard from who has said they haven't incurred any fees from PayPal via a business account.

Thanks again, now I just have to worry about the vendor name... I want to use a business name that's non-registered like you did, though I'm trying to figure out if I can just register with that name from the beginning or not.
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Developer
peter9477
Posts: 6,473
Registered: ‎12-08-2010
My Device: PlayBook, Z10
My Carrier: none

Re: Help for newcomer? Tax IDs, PayPal fees, vendor name, etc.

Whether you need to register for HST or not depends entirely on things unrelated to RIM. Don't look for advice about it here: go read about HST registration and when you need to do it. If you're Canadian, and you'll be selling any paid apps, you basically must learn about this, to be safe. Go here for more: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/bsnss/tpcs/gst-tps/rgstrng/menu-eng.html

Peter Hansen -- (BB10 and dev-related blog posts at http://peterhansen.ca.)
Author of White Noise and Battery Guru for BB10 and for PlayBook | Get more from your battery!
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Developer
raffi
Posts: 154
Registered: ‎06-23-2012
My Device: Z10 & Z30
My Carrier: Bell

Re: Help for newcomer? Tax IDs, PayPal fees, vendor name, etc.

Thanks for the link, I will look into that. But you had previously mentioned that you hadn't registered. Do you have to pay HST from the income you receive from RIM? I also noticed that taxes are $0.00 when I buy apps from the App World, so I'm not sure if the tax is already included in the price or how these things work.
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Developer
peter9477
Posts: 6,473
Registered: ‎12-08-2010
My Device: PlayBook, Z10
My Carrier: none

Re: Help for newcomer? Tax IDs, PayPal fees, vendor name, etc.

raffi, I didn't say I hadn't registered, that was mapleleafs90. In my case, my vendor account is for my (incorporated) company, which is already registered for HST.

In any case, HST isn't an income tax, so it doesn't work like that, but I'm not going to speculate on how RIM (BB Commerce) is handling it and I haven't seen it described yet. If you're not the end purchaser, any HST you may pay out you later reclaim from the government anyway, so the "cost" is more in terms of added paperwork than anything.

Read the basic stuff. There's a threshold on revenue below which you don't need to register, but I don't know what it is lately. If you're confident your income from apps will be below that, you can ignore the whole thing if you want. Read and/or consulting with a professional about it.

Peter Hansen -- (BB10 and dev-related blog posts at http://peterhansen.ca.)
Author of White Noise and Battery Guru for BB10 and for PlayBook | Get more from your battery!
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Developer
raffi
Posts: 154
Registered: ‎06-23-2012
My Device: Z10 & Z30
My Carrier: Bell

Re: Help for newcomer? Tax IDs, PayPal fees, vendor name, etc.

My mistake, sorry. I guess my late night coding sessions are starting to get to me. :smileywink:

It looks like the revenue threshold is $30,000. At this point I'm fairly confident (unfortunately) that we will not be surpassing that threshold so we won't register for HST at this time.

I've registered for the vendor portal under the business name despite it not being registered yet. Instantly, I got an email asking for documentation. I've since replied asking for clarification since @BlackBerryDev stated that we don't need to be registered to use the name.

Basically, I'm confused.

One way or another, I'll probably end up registering the name this coming week to avoid any problems later, but I don't understand why this would be necessary since...

1. A Master Business License only registers the business name. It doesn't even reject the name if it is already in use, so I'm not sure what I am being protected against here.

2. The license only applies to the region I register in, but the app will be sold in more regions.

Seems to be a waste of time and money to register without a trademark or being incorporated.
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Developer
peter9477
Posts: 6,473
Registered: ‎12-08-2010
My Device: PlayBook, Z10
My Carrier: none

Re: Help for newcomer? Tax IDs, PayPal fees, vendor name, etc.

raffi, your carrier is "Bell" according to your profile, so I assume you're in Canada. Generally in Canada and the US, you can't actually carry on business under a name other than your own without registering the name as a company in some fashion. (Sometimes this can be just filing for a "DBA", or "Doing Business As", as some call it.)

Technically, if you're name is "John Smith", you can operate as a business named John Smith, but unless your name is "Fred's Apps" you're not supposed to do business in Canada using that name if you haven't registered it.

I'm sure there are dozens of devs who aren't following that rule, but I'm pointing it out (from knowledge gained while registering my own company 20 years ago) to save you possible future trouble. Look into the local laws on running a business and you'll find whatever the latest version of all this is.

I did a quick check at the Ontario gov't site (where I see the new term "Master Business License", which I see you used above) and found a link to the Business Names Act: http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_90b17_e.htm

Near the top of that it says "No individual shall carry on business or identify his or her business to the public under a name other than his or her own name unless the name is registered by that individual. R.S.O. 1990, c. B.17, s. 2 (2)."

I doubt it's RIM's job to police this, so don't take their word for whether it's legal to use an unregistered name or not...

Peter Hansen -- (BB10 and dev-related blog posts at http://peterhansen.ca.)
Author of White Noise and Battery Guru for BB10 and for PlayBook | Get more from your battery!
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