Launching your branded mobile app is a collaborative process between you and VTS. Our Implementation team will work with you and gather your input for creating your branded app We will require your images, logos, color palettes and icons to help tailor your unique needs and designs into the experience. But the app design work cannot begin without a few key items first.
In accordance with Apple's release guidelines, there are other requirements that must be met before we can get the app in your customers' hands. In particular, your business must register as an Apple Developer, and then invite VTS to the account to manage the app.
To guide you through this process, we recommend progressing through each step in order. Once every requirement is met, and you've successfully added VTS to your Developer account, we'll take over the responsibility of launching, updating, and maintaining your branded app.
- If you already have an Apple Developer Account you may use your existing account and assign us as Admin.
Setting up your Apple Developer Account
Setting up your Apple Developer Account is very quick and easy when you have all the required information ready and available. Please review the Prerequisites and steps before beginning the set up.
Note: The enrolling person identified for your organization MUST have the legal authority to bind your organization to legal agreements. They MUST be the organization's owner/founder, executive team member, senior project lead, or an employee with legal authority granted to them by a senior employee.
We recommend setting up a new Apple ID routed through your IT team's email inbox. If you use a personal email, you or your organization might have to submit a support ticket to Apple in the future to have the ID transferred due to personnel or structural changes.
Prerequisites | What you will need:
- D-U-N-S Number: Verifies your organization's identity and legal entity status.
- This can take up to 30 business days if you do not have a D-U-N-S Number. You can choose to expedite for a fee with Dun & Bradstreet.
- Not sure what your DUNS number is? You can look it up for free here.
- Legal Entity Name: Apple does not accept DBA’s, fictitious businesses, trade names or branches. The legal entity name will appear as the “seller” for your app(s). IE: Seller: ABC Company, Inc.
- Signing Authority Confirmation: Confirm that you have the authority to bind your organization to legal agreements and provide the contact information of an employee who can verify your signature authority.
- An Apple product (iPhone / iPad with Touch ID, Face ID, or a passcode enabled, you may also use a Mac with TouchID or a password enabled.) You must use the same device for the entire enrollment.
- An updated and current Apple ID with two-factor authentication turned on.
- The most recent version of the Apple Developer App installed on your device.
- You must be signed into iCloud on your device
- Government-issued photo ID for the Account Holder
- Credit Card for payment
Section 1: Begin Enrollment
Launch the Apple Developer App on the device you will be using for enrollment and select the Account tab.
Sign in with your Apple ID
- This can be different than the Apple ID signed in to your device, but it MUST have two-factor authentication enabled.
Review the Apple Developer Agreement and select Agree.
Select Enroll Now and review requirements, then select Continue.
Enter your information as the Account Holder. When prompted, verify your identity using a government-issued photo ID by taking a photo of your photo ID and selecting Confirm.
- Do not enter an alias, nickname, or company name as your legal name. Doing so will cause a delay in the completion of your enrollment review.
Enter your organization’s information following the on screen prompts. The purpose is to show a hierarchy within your organization to prove there is a contractual relationship with the owner and who is using the app.
- Legal Name: Apple will not accept DBAs, fictitious businesses, trade names, or branches. This legal name will appear as the seller for your app(s).
- D-U-N-S Number: This provides verification of your organizations identity and legal status.
- Website: This must be a publicly available website and the domain name MUST be associated with your organization.
- Signing authority confirmation: Provide the contact information of an employee who can verify your signature authority.
Once you have successfully submitted your enrollment information, Apple will review and communicate next steps with you via email. This may take up to 72 business hours.
Section 2: Complete Enrollment and Purchase
Once your enrollment has been verified and approved, you will receive an email from Apple informing you of your approval and directing you to complete the enrollment process.
Using the same device as you used to initiate enrollment, open the Apple Developer App and select the Account tab.
Sign in to your Apple ID, using the same Apple ID you used to initiate the enrollment and select Continue.
Review the terms of the Apple Developer Program License Agreement and select Agree
Review your annual membership subscription details and select Subscribe.
- The Apple Developer Programs annual fee is $99 USD, in local currency where available. Prices may vary by region and are listed in local currency during the enrollment process.
- Apple membership is annual as an auto-renewable subscription that renews until canceled. Your subscription purchase will need to be made using one of your Apple ID payment methods. Learn more about Apple ID payment methods
Enabling App Store Connect API
After your account is created, you are able to configure your App Store Connect API. This important step will allow VTS to directly push the app upgrades and improvements, seamlessly.
Log into the App Store Connect.
On the App Store Connect Homepage, select the Users and Access icon.
Select the Keys tab at the top of the page.
This action opens the message, "Permission is required to access the App Store Connect API. You can request access on behalf of your organization," along with a Request Access button.
Select Request Access. An agreement will appear for you to read and accept. Review the terms, and if acceptable, select the checkbox and then Submit.
Section 3: Turnover Management of your App to VTS
Once your developer account has been completed and approved by Apple, you will need to hand over management of your app to VTS.
While you will still be the Owner on your Developer Account, VTS must have Administrative Management of your app to ensure regular updates are pushed to your app. This includes feature updates and upgrades as well as bug fixes. Failure to provide VTS with this function will result in your app becoming out of date for your users.
In the the top navigation of your developer account, select Program Resources. Then select Users and Access, located under Additional Resources.
Select Users and Access, located under Additional Resources, then select the add + button.
Enter the information for the new user and be sure to assign them Admin permissions under the Roles section.
Select Invite. Anyone you invite to join your team will receive an email prompting them to accept the invitation.
- Please note: The invitation link will expire after three days. If they miss the acceptance period, you will need to invite them again.
Renewing your Annual Membership Subscription
Your membership will automatically renew using your default Apple ID payment method.
Canceling and re-subscribing
You can cancel your developer subscription at any time and retain access to membership benefits until your membership expiration date, which you can view in the Account tab in the Apple Developer App.
You can renew your subscription at any time for up to one year after your membership expiration date.
Why am I required to enroll as an Apple developer to launch a branded mobile app?
This is part of a larger effort by Apple to crack down on "white label" apps that are produced using a templated model.
In keeping with Apple's revised app guidelines, we can no longer directly publish to the App Store using our developer account. Instead, you'll need to establish and maintain your own account with Apple, and then invite us as a Manager user, thereby granting us permission to publish the app on your behalf.
- You can read Apple’s full list of terms here.
What is a “branded” or "white label" app?
This is a term applied to any app that is built from a standard design.
As you might imagine, building, designing, and maintaining an app from the ground up is a complicated and expensive process. By using a universal template, app developers like VTS can start with a configurable base design, then customize your app to meet your unique needs.
How do I know if I've completed this process?
You'll receive a confirmation email from Apple once you're done, and we’ll be able to publish your app on your behalf under your own business name. If you have not received that email please work with your dedicated VTS contact to help complete the process.
Why do I have to register as a legal entity?
This is an Apple requirement. To enroll in the Developer program and launch an app, your business must register with Dun & Bradstreet as a corporation, LLC, or other type of legal entity; you'll then need to mark yourself as a Company/Organization when registering with Apple.
Apple does not permit sole proprietors, sole traders, DBAs, fictitious business names, trade names, or branch names to register with their program.
Do I still have to complete these requirements if I find a different app developer?
Yes, these are universal rules issued directly by Apple that apply to all businesses and developers who wish to operate on the App Store.
Will there be any difference or lag in the app while I'm working on this? Will clients notice a change?
No, clients should not notice any changes at this time.
I have multiple apps. Do I need a developer account for each one?
No, you'll only need a single developer account—whether you’re planning on a single app across your portfolio or multiple unique apps. Each app can use your Apple developer account.
How long does it take to get a DUNS number?
If you've registered as a legal entity in the past, then it's possible a D-U-N-S number has already been assigned to you. The number is free to acquire and takes mere minutes to look up through the Dun & Bradstreet website.
If you couldn't find your D-U-N-S number, and you've completed all the prior steps in this article, then you'll need to register your business with Dun & Bradstreet. Click here to visit the D-U-N-S registration website and get started. This process typically takes 30 days, but you can expedite it to a week by paying an expedition fee.
Do I have to create a new Apple ID?
Not necessarily, but we recommend using one tied to your business rather than a personal account. Here is the link to learn how to create a new one
Who do I contact for help?
Our teams are here to guide you every step of the way. For questions specific to your D-U-N-S number, here’s a few resources.
- Dun & Bradstreet Customer Support: For questions concerning D-U-N-S lookup, registration, and related questions.
- Apple Customer Support: For questions concerning your Apple ID, account information, or registering with the Developer program. Click here to contact an Apple Developer.
What is the cost?
At the time of this article publication, Apple charges an annual $99 USD fee to maintain your developer account. For clients outside the United States, this fee will vary by location and local currency.
What if our building(s) change ownership after launch?
If your building is sold or changes ownership, VTS will take one of two actions.
- If the contract is being continued with VTS we will transfer the app to a new apple developer account that is owned by the new owners of the building(s).
- If you are leaving VTS contracted services we will remove your app from the app store.
What happens if I do not assign VTS Admin Privileges in the Developer Account?
If we do not have access to your Apple Developer Account we will be unable to publish your app. If we are removed from the Admin access to your Apple Developer Account, we would not being able to publish updates and your app will still on the last version we had admin privileges to.
Can the company that manages the property be the owner of the Apple Developer Account?
Yes, as long as there is a direct contractual relationship between the the two parties. (Property Management Team and Owner/Operator of the building)