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

By | February 26, 2022

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 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 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.

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.

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