iOS App Development as a Highschool Student

by brm   Last Updated July 18, 2019 15:05 PM

I want to preface this by apologizing for the length of the question, but it is a complicated situation, and I thought more specific details would get me more specific answers.

I am a 16 year old from Tennessee who has developed a social media/activity sharing app for iOS. I have finished developing to app and would like to begin beta testing it. Depending on how the testing goes and the interest level of my users, I may or may not post it on the Apple App Store. In order to use Appleā€™s beta testing software and make an app available on the app store, I have to be enrolled in the Apple Developer Program, which requires you to be either an adult or some other legal entity such as an organization or business. I am not old enough to enroll as an individual and I do not want the app to be connected to my parents' personal identities, so I decided I should enroll as a company of some sort. I cannot fake being a company because Apple requires a DUNS number which is a way of uniquely identifying legitimate businesses around the world. I researched different types of companies and decided that an LLC is probably my best option because it provides liability protection. In Tennessee the filing fee for an LLC is $300 with a yearly fee of also $300. As I am not sure if I will even ever launch the app, much less make any money off of it, I do not want to spend this much. I realize that some other states have cheaper filing and renewal fees, but if I were to file my LLC in another state I would have to hire a registered agent and pay them a fee. After learning how expensive forming an LLC would be, I started thinking that maybe I shouldn't launch the app; maybe I should just test it with my close friends and put it on my resume.

I am currently in high school and this is far from the only thing on my plate. I am not willing to spend an exorbitant amount of time or money on this because of that. However, I have spent over 200 hours on this project over the last year writing more than 7000 lines of code, so I don't want to completely throw it away. I have also thought about making my github page publically available so that I can have something to show for my work even though it is not a finished product, but I am not sure how this would affect my app if I ever do decide to launch it.

Now that all the background is out of the way, here are my questions:
Is there any other, more cost effective way to launch an iOS app for a 16 year old? If not, what is the best way outside of apple to beta-test an iOS app? Is it a bad idea to have my github page publically available? If I were to abandon the project now, how can I get the most benefit for my work? I am aware that this is multiple questions, not all pertaining to Software Engineering, but they are all interrelated. Any answers/advise that can be offered will be much appreciated.

Tags : ios


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