I decided on Monday of this week that it was time to get serious about this App Store thing, so I decided to establish a corporation and move all my apps over to that corporation. Below is a description of the whole process I went through, step by step.
Step 1: Establish the corporation
In order to establish a corporation in Florida, you go to the sunbiz.org website. On the sunbiz.org site, go to the section to file for a new For Profit corporation. You can find it here. While there, you fill out some basic information, pay a $70.00 filing fee and an optional $8.75 for a Certificate of Status. The $70 gives you the Articles of Incorporation for your new corporation. You will receive both of these forms immediately as PDF files. Save them in a safe place, and print out a copy of them. You'll need them. You should receive an email shortly showing that your corporation was successfully filed. This email will also contain the document number for that filing of your corporation. Write down this number and don't lose it. It's important. Of course if you live in another state, you'll have to go to the appropriate website for your state in order to file the corporation, but the process should be similar.
Step 2: Be assigned a Tax ID Number
The next step is to go to the IRS web site here to apply for a new Employer Identification Number (EIN). This is essentially the 'social security number' of your corporation and will be needed in order to file taxes for the company and in order to open a bank account for the company. You will be issued an EIN immediately and they will provide you with a PDF letter confirming this. Save this in a safe place and print out a copy of this letter.
Step 3: Open a business checking account
Go to the bank of your choice to open a separate bank account for your business. NEVER run a corporation from your personal bank account. Make sure that whatever bank you go to, you confirm that the bank has a SWIFT number. This number is used for international wire transfers between banks. You need this because Apple uses this SWIFT number to make payments from international sales to your corporation. If the bank does not have a SWIFT number (credit unions often don't), find another bank. Bring with you the copy of the Articles of Incorporation and the EIN letter from the IRS that you printed out. You'll need these to prove your corporation exists and that you are rightful owner of it.
Step 4: Contact Apple to request a conversion of your account from Individual to Corporate Standard
Log into your current Apple Developer account and go to the contact site here to send an email to Apple requesting that your Individual Account be converted to a Corporate Standard. You can probably skip this step because all that's going to happen is they will send you the following email:
Thank you for contacting Apple Developer Support regarding the iOS Developer Program.
If you wish to enroll a company, you may do so by contacting our Apple Developer Support team 1-800-633-2152 and advise that you wish to migrate your Individual program to a Company Standard program.
I hope that this information is helpful to you. Please let us know if you have any questions regarding this information.
Step 5: Call Apple Developer Support
As the email suggested, call Apple at 1-800-633-2152 and tell them that you would like to convert your account from Individual to Company Standard. They'll ask for various information from you. They'll warn you that your account will be locked out while the conversion is taking place. This means you can't go in and submit any new apps or any app updates during this time. You can still log into your account and read documentation etc. At least when I did it, it seemed you could still log in and download any betas of Xcode, or iOS or whatever, so as long as you aren't planning to submit any apps for the next couple of days you should be fine. They'll start the process and let you know via email how it progresses.
Step 6: Fax corporate information to Apple
Not long after you hang up with Apple, they will send you the following email:
We are currently in the process of reviewing your Safari Developer Program, iOS Developer Program and Mac Developer Program enrollment information. In order to continue the enrollment process, please fax one of the following forms of identity for your business. Ensure your business documents match your enrollment information:
Articles of Incorporation
Certificate of Formation
Partnership papers (Must be Notarized)
Reseller or vendor license Operating Agreement (Must be Notarized)
File Articles of Incorporation (must be accompanied by a Certificate of Status)
Developers located in the US and Canada may fax their documents to 1-877-838-1382.
Developers located internationally may fax their documents to 1-408-974-7683.
This email is a bit confusing that it lists just the Articles of Incorporation on one line by itself as a requirement but then lists the Articles of Incorporation again along with a Certificate of Status. To be on the safe side, I chose to fax both, the Articles of Incorporation and Certificate of Status (you did print those out right?) A short time later you will receive an email from Apple confirming that they received your faxed documentation. If all goes well, a day or two later you get to the next step.
Step 7: Receive a call from Apple Developer Support
I received a call from Apple Developer Support earlier today. They called to let me know that they were ready to switch everything over to a corporate account. The lady on the phone started to tell me that I had to go and sign up and pay the $99 registration fee, but I told her I already had a membership and that this was converting an existing membership. Make sure when you talk to them that you let them know that you are converting an existing membership, so they don't make you pay this $99 fee. She said she would be sending me an email shortly that would send me back to the iOS Developer Site to re-agree to all the contracts etc. for the new corporate account.
Step 8: Re-agree to all the various contracts
The email link received takes you back to the iOS Development site. From here you have to go through and agree to all the contracts again. You also have to redo all the banking information to point them to your new corporate account. Also, don't forget to update all the copyright notices on your apps to list your company name instead of your personal name (might want to add '2012' to the year too if you haven't already!). You should probably update all the website links and support emails assigned to your apps to your corporate website and emails (assuming you've set those up).
From that point on you should be done. Two days to convert from individual to corporate account, start to finish.
Hope this helps all my fellow iOS devs out there!