If you’ve decided you’re going to proceed with having a mobile app developed by a 3rd party (e.g. a development company or agency), you’ll need to sign up for developer accounts. Most people want their apps to be published for both Apple and Android devices, so you’ll need to sign up for accounts for the Apple Developer Program and Google Play Console.

Your Account vs Using Development Company / Agency

A common question is whether you really need to sign up for your own account or if you can use the one your development company or agency already has. The answer is that you do need to sign up for your own account. It’s important for a number of reasons, in particular the ownership and legal side of things.

Mobile App Developer Account Costs

An Apple Individual or Organisation account (see below for the difference) currently costs $99 / £79 per year.

For Google, there is a one-off $25 (approx. £20) fee to sign-up for an account.

Apple (iOS) Developer Program Sign Up

Individual vs Organisation vs Enterprise

With Apple, you have the option to sign up as an individual or an organisation. As most companies are organisations, that is what they will sign up with. If you are an individual, it’s worth checking this is definitely the right company type for your needs (now and in the future), as signing up as an organisation has benefits. This includes the ability to give access to 3rd parties (e.g. developers), which isn’t possible with the individual account.

An Enterprise account offers more functionality, most of which would only be needed by very large companies.

Steps to Complete Before Sign Up

Before you sign-up for an Apple organisation account, if you don’t already have one, you need to register for a ‘D-U-N-S’ number. This will take a number of days (typically up to around 5 days), so if you’re in a hurry, do plan this in advance. Also, make sure your company is properly registered and that you have a company website and domain name.

Sign-Up Process (Apple Developer Program)

To sign up for an Apple Developer Account, it’s best to check you’ve done everything on Apple’s checklist at https://developer.apple.com/programs/enroll/ and then proceed to sign up. The sign up process includes:

  1. If you don’t already have one, create an Apple ID
  2. Complete the sign-up form, providing all the required information and reading and accepting agreements
  3. Make payment for the account
  4. Wait for confirmation (usually within 24 hours)

Google (Android) Developer Account Sign up

Sign-Up Process (Google Play Console)

The Google sign up process is simpler than Apple. To sign up for a Google Developer Account – known as Google Play Console, you will need to visit https://play.google.com/apps/publish/signup/. The sign up process includes:

  1. If you don’t already have one, create a Google Account
  2. Complete the sign-up form, providing all the required information and reading and accepting agreements
  3. Make payment for the account
  4. Wait for confirmation

Giving Access to Developer(s)

Once your accounts are active, you can give your developers access. This will allow them to configure various things (including certificates and profiles for Apple), upload tests versions of the app and help you with completing the store listings.

Security Considerations

Security is important and we recommend using strong passwords and activating 2FA for both your Apple and Google accounts. If you give access to developers(s), ensure they have the minimum level required. Remove access for developers who have left or no longer work on your app.