Applying to the Apple Developer Program

By Spencer Haws |

As I mentioned in a recent post, my iPhone app that I have been working on is nearly complete!  In fact, I have a working version of the application and am really enjoying using it myself. However, I’ve hit a bit of a snag in getting approved to the Apple developer program that I wasn’t expecting.  Let me share what’s going on.

So, I applied to the Apple Developer Program with my business entity about a month and a half ago.  Apple wanted some business documents to show that it was a legal entity and verify ownership, etc.  This makes sense.  So I faxed over the required documents and received a response from Apple that they had received them.  I figured this would take a week or 2 to get approval.  Apparently, I was wrong.  Its been about 6 weeks now and I have not heard anything back from them. Apparently getting a business entity approved for the developer program is very time consuming.

However, thanks to a comment on my last iPhone app update, a user who had been through a similar experience suggested just applying under my personal name.  So, I finally did that yesterday.  The approval was automated!  So, all I did was submit some electronic information, pay my fee, and I’m now approved!  Sweet!

So, now I can submit my iPhone App for approval whenever I want.

If you are out there trying to get your business entity approved to the Apple Developer Program, just be aware that its a long process.  Apparently it can take months.  From what I had read online previously, I was expecting about 2 weeks.  Nope, not the case at all!

However, I was happy with how quick the personal approval is.  All this means is that instead of displaying my business name as the creator of the App, it will have my personal name next to it.  This is really not a big deal.  Hopefully this app will be successful, and I will have many more in the future that I can put under my business entity once its finally approved.

Going forward, I still have a few things to do before I officially submit the app to be approved.  I need to get a basic website up for the app along with a support page (required by Apple). I also need to prepare some screenshots, write an enticing description, and research the optimal keywords to use in conjunction with the app (so people can find it when they search the app store).

Overall, I am getting very close to being able to submit it to the app store.  I expect to be ready to go by the end of this month.  I could do it much sooner, but since I have several other projects getting completed this month as well – that time frame works well for me.

Anyway, just wanted to give a quick update with what’s going on with my iPhone App “Niche Pursuit!”  If you want to catch up on what I’ve done with this project over the past few months, here are some posts:

iPhone App Update: Almost Done!

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iPhone App Update: Just Got the 1st Version from My Developer!

A Few Business Projects Im Working on Right Now

iPhone App Update #2

iPhone App Update – Video #1

Can I Really Develop an iPhone App?

Or if you would rather read about Niche Websites, you can check out the Niche Websites Hub.  Or you can read other old posts here.

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments below.

Update 5/28/2012 – My iPhone app Ad Alert is now available.  You can check it out in the App store.


Stories & Projects | 26 comments

By Spencer Haws

Spencer Haws is the founder of After getting a degree in Business Finance from BYU (2002) and an MBA from ASU (2007) he worked for 8 years in Business Banking and Finance at both Merril Lynch and Wells Fargo Bank.

While consulting with other small business owners as a business banker, Spencer finally had the desire to start his own business. He successfully built a portfolio of niche sites using SEO and online marketing that allowed him to quit his job in 2011. Since then he's been involved in dozens of online business ventures including: creating and exiting Long Tail Pro, running an Amazon FBA business for over 3 years and selling that business, founding, and co-founding You can learn more about Spencer here.

Want to learn step-by-step how I built my Niche Site Empire up to a full-time income?

Yes! I Love to Learn

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Thomas Strock

Unfortunately, now that my AdSense account was banned, I won’t be able to use it, but I’m still really excited about how well it will do once released! From what I’ve read, if you publish an app under your personal account, once your business account is approved, if you email Apple’s support team they will transfer the apps you have under your personal account to your business account if you want them to.

Also, you mentioned that you are doing keyword research for what keywords to target in your app description? How exactly do you do that since there are no keyword tools for the app store (at least that I know of)? Would definitely be a great thing to cover in a blog post!


Hey Thomas, sorry you won’t be able to use it 🙁

Thanks for the heads up about switching it from personal to business – I will likely do that.

Im not aware of any keyword tools in the app store, but I can only use tools that are targeted to what people are searching for on search engines as apply the same logic to the app store. It wont be perfect, but if I use a keyword research tool like I would for niche sites, I hope that’s better than nothing.

I think the most important thing is to at least try to be aware of what people might be searching for to find the app.

Steve Wyman

Hi Thomas

Im impressed by your achievement very cool for somebody of your age. Keep it up.

Im sorry to hear you lost your adsense account thats a pain. I hope you didnot have to much in there or suffer other penalties.


Evan has a great WP template for apps. We use it on our site and it’s super easy. I’m not an affiliate, just spreading the good word. You can see how mine turned out


Thanks for sharing Evan!


Hey Spencer,

I’ve been following your blog for quite a while, enjoying the content and obviously downloaded your e-book. It’s a decent little thing, but that’s not what my concern is about.

I constantly get shown your splash screen, which oddly is exactly the same as Chris Guthrie recently installed on his website too?

I feel like you are alienating your frequent visitors in a cheap attempt to increase your list conversion percentage. I mean how would you like it if you went into walmart, and before you could enter the doors you got slapped with a huge ad and having to click a button to be able to go in and do what you came to the site for originally.

Since I don’t own an iPhone i couldn’t care less about your iPhone app, but good luck with the launch!


I have to agree.

I think its a very negative thing to do to th ebrand Spencer. If i didnot know what genuis content was on the inside I’d click away for sure.

I thought you were above information marketing thrust it down your throat marketing?

When i hit Chris’s it ethe other day I though he’d been hacked.

Im against these popup type things as well as the one on Adsenseflippers. Its like hard sales.

Anyway thats off my chest


I understand guys. Its always good to test new things out though. Not all website visitors act the way you do, my opt in as up quite a bit. You should only see the pop up once, ever – (unless you of course clear your cache). Anyway, testing new things…thanks for the feedback guys!


No problem. I understand that it brings your optin up as it literally smacks people in the face with the form, but it really annoys the regulars. Particularly those like me who like to use different computers on different networks to check out your site and regularly clear cache and cookies.

Again, only trying to help you in return for all the valuable information you have provided.


You have to be clearing cache and cookies at least every day surely!!

Thats just good practice. You dont want sites to knwo that you were searching for flights elsewhere for example. You’ll never see the best prices twice !!

Also hosting companies wont offer you the best deals unless your a “new” visitor”

Still its your site so if optins are more important taht existing customer satisfaction index thatyour measureing(!) then sure follow the pop up mentality.

Its been shown tthat people hate being force sold to.


Steve Wyman

Hi Spencer.

Are you aware of the issue were apps need a high IOS than the iphone has? Some of the adsene apps wont load on to my old Iphone3 which is now upgrade to 4. something.

They want ios 5.0 !

Good luck with getting the app out once Ive tested it ill help to spred the word.



Hi Spencer – best of luck with the Apple developer program. I’ve been fortunate enough to see a lot of success in the app store which has taken my blog further than I what I ever could have originally imagined. I believe there’s a couple of key things to get right for successful app launches and if you ever fancy having a chat with someone who’s done it all before, got the t-shirt and done the Mixergy interview then I’d be happy to BS with you.


Andreas – Thanks for the offer…just sent you an email. The overview of the course looks pretty nice!


Hi Spencer,

I’m working on my first iPhone App too. Hope you can write more about your progress, from start till your earnings. I believe this is another area we can explore.

So currently you are just working on 1 app? How much do you spend in total?


Marc B

Hi Spencer!

I’m a regular to your blog…but I wanted to wish you much success with your launch. Though I’m an Android (don’t judge me LOL) user, It would be cool to still read updates about how you operate this side of your business.

Thanks For All You Do!

Marc B.


Thanks Marc!

Sunil l Internet Marketing

good luck Spencer.

any thoughts whether it is easier to transition from a personal account to a business account later on?

does Apple even allow transitioning an app from a personal account to a business account?

I am also developing some apps and it’d be good to know.



I’m not sure if they will allow me to transition it. However, when setting up the personal account, they actually allowed me to enter my business bank account and payment details – so the funds will actually be paid to my business.

Steve Eason

I went down this road about a year ago, however, I didn’t get past the development part. I was trying to learn development myself. But your lessons learned are something I can put in the back of my mind when I pick my project back up in the future. Thanks for sharing!


Just outsource your idea, be the marketibg brains not the brawn!

Lewis LaLanne

Hey Spencer,

I recently took notes on Yanik Silver’s Underground 7 seminar and he had two guys present on how they went about getting apps made.

If you look them up, I imagine they can give you even more ninja insights into getting your apps approved.

Just Google Quoc Bui & Michael Moon and I imagine you’ll be able to find their site as they wrote an ebook based on their extensive experience with getting apps up and chugging along.

Amir Najmi

Really looking forward to how this works out. Especially with the marketing side of it. 🙂


Ralph | Niche Websites

Another thing learned today!

Can’t wait to see it Spencer.. the suspense is getting to a very high level 🙂


Youre welcome Spencer!

BTW when you submit your first app it will ask you for an entity name. That is the name that will be shown in the app store.

Naveen Kulkarni

Hi Spener,
Keep up the great work 🙂

Just a question, is your app for displaying adsense earnings?

I guess we have something to it like iSense in app store.

Have you taken a look ?


Yes, that is a big part of the app; and yes I have checked out the iSense app as well.

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