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#1 Xaos  Icon User is offline

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Game Dev - When to become LLC

Posted 24 June 2014 - 07:48 AM

So me and some friends are starting to make games and plan to publish them. At what point should we formally file for, and become, a LLC? I'm hesitating to do it now because every dollar spent is a dollar that could be used on the game, so should we do it after we publish? Or will this lead to problems? I've looked on the internet but haven't found a suitable answer as to WHEN, just if/if not. Thanks for any advice.
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#2 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: Game Dev - When to become LLC

Posted 24 June 2014 - 07:49 AM

From the beginning.

** Typical 'I am not a Lawyer' Disclaimer **

You get an LLC to umbrella your own personal assets, so why risk anything ever? Also, you & your friend should get an agreement, in writing, notarized, lawyer-ed up, about who gets what, & who is responsible for what. Again, from the beginning. If you plan on putting more than $10 into this, or want any finical return for your time, now is when you need to lay that ground work.

Last thing I'll add, it cost list $100 to $150 (depending on your state, feel free to Google it, it's public information) to fill out the form to become an LLC. Don't be sucker & pay someone to do it for more.
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#3 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Game Dev - When to become LLC

Posted 24 June 2014 - 07:51 AM

Quote

I'm hesitating to do it now because every dollar spent is a dollar that could be used on the game, so should we do it after we publish?

Budgeting.. it's an amazing skill, right? If you are in a partnership, or plan on getting some of the swagg and/or dineros, then budget the LLC into it.

Plan on making a business -> budget business needs (including LLC founding).
Money involved in this business and you are not the sole proprietor -> budget business expense on lawyering up for a partnership agreement/contract/etc.
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#4 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: Game Dev - When to become LLC

Posted 24 June 2014 - 07:54 AM

View PostXaos, on 24 June 2014 - 10:48 AM, said:

should we do it after we publish? Or will this lead to problems?

What if your friend, or yourself die before the game is released? What if your friend, or yourself sell the project when it's near completion? What if someone sues you for likeness rights before your game is released?

You want all financial & legal responsibility to end at your game, not your personal possessions.
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#5 Xaos  Icon User is offline

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Re: Game Dev - When to become LLC

Posted 24 June 2014 - 07:56 AM

Gotcha guys. Thanks for the help. I'll look into filing the LLC and getting the agreement. It's $100 in Georgia, FYI.
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#6 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Game Dev - When to become LLC

Posted 24 June 2014 - 08:00 AM

Make sure to pick a pimp/boss LLC name. "pr0nz-sWAGG Game Studio, LLC".
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#7 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: Game Dev - When to become LLC

Posted 24 June 2014 - 08:09 AM

Balls, inc.
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#8 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Game Dev - When to become LLC

Posted 24 June 2014 - 08:10 AM

That would certainly be a welcomed sponsor of the testicle festival I was at a few weekends back.
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#9 Xaos  Icon User is offline

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Re: Game Dev - When to become LLC

Posted 24 June 2014 - 08:11 AM

Nahh. We were thinking something more along the lines of "Fuzzy Black Weiner."

Or, a Game of Thrones inspired name, something like "Hanging Manhood"
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#10 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: Game Dev - When to become LLC

Posted 24 June 2014 - 08:30 AM

View PostXaos, on 24 June 2014 - 10:48 AM, said:

So me and some friends ...

Hrm, my apologies for not catching this the first time. I first thought it was 'me & a friend'.

A bit of advice, not sure how many friends are going in on this. But I would recommend that you don't do a fair split. You will need someone to step forward as the leader to break tie decisions. If everyone is a fair 'share holder' so to speak, then disagreements can't be easily over-ruled.

This of course is not in relevance to the LLC, but if you are going to draft a contract (as you should!) prior to getting incorporated, these percentages will be written into the contract. & the percentages won't just be pay-outs, but also pay-ins, amount of work expected, & as previously mentioned decision making.
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#11 Xaos  Icon User is offline

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Re: Game Dev - When to become LLC

Posted 24 June 2014 - 08:55 AM

I'm thinking of (I'm the leader, if you haven't been able to tell) doing a 60-25-15 or a 55-30-15 split. I'll be doing most of the work, and I ultimately want to hold leadership and ownership of the company. The other two are also just beginning to learn programming but their skill levels are different than each other and mine, but this is likely how they'll contribute.
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#12 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: Game Dev - When to become LLC

Posted 24 June 2014 - 09:10 AM

You should seek out the entrepreneurial community in your area. They'll be able to guide you some more than we are about what you need to do. Also, check out your local small business center.

A word as well- most startups fail. It takes people usually 3-4 business tries before getting it right. Don't be afraid to fail, but fail fast so you can learn from it. Also, don't go into business with someone because they are your friend. If they aren't contributing much to the product, they need to step it up and contribute in other aspects like marketing or managing the books. There will be no shortage of work if you're serious about doing well.
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#13 rgfirefly24  Icon User is online

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Re: Game Dev - When to become LLC

Posted 05 July 2014 - 07:07 AM

Also look outside your state when looking to start your LLC as not all states have the same rules governing an LLC. I would recommend looking into Delaware. My experience has been that they have the most relaxed laws and the ones that would protect you the most.

This post has been edited by rgfirefly24: 08 July 2014 - 11:14 AM

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