United States Profile
SUMMARY OF US MARKET - Technological world
leaders in both software and hardware an excellent market.
Shareware is becoming much more popular and registration
rates appear to be increasing.
LANGUAGE - English is spoken by almost all Americans,
there is a strong preference for American English. The
second most popular language would be Spanish.
CURRENCY - US Dollars. No tolerance for other currencies,
almost all transactions are in USD.
HOLIDAYS - The following list of holidays affect
normal business operations- all other holidays are typically
observed on Sundays, or do not heavily impact business
January 1 - New Years Day
Last Monday of May - Memorial Day
July 4 - Independence Day
First Monday of September - Labor Day
Fourth Thursday of November - Thanksgiving
December 25 - Christmas
Partially Observed Holidays (observed in some
corporations - No US Mail and Banks are closed)
3rd Monday of February - Presidents Day
2nd Monday of October - Columbus Day
November 11 - Veterans Day
The friday after Thanksgiving is frequently a vacation
The week between Christmas and New Years is a very
popular vacation week
The week of the fourth of July is also popular for
COMMON FORMS OF ACCEPTED PAYMENT - The following
are common forms of payment accepted in the US.
Credit Cards - Visa, MasterCard, Discover
and American Express
- Each State's laws may vary; the following is a summary
of US tax laws. If your company has a physical precense
(location) in a state and you sell to an individual in
that state you are required to collect sales tax. In addition
you must file (and pay) taxes in that state. If you sell
to an individual in a state where you do not have an office,
you are not required to collect tax. The customer in that
case would be responsible for paying a use tax, this is
their responsibility not yours.
Checks - Corporate Checks, Bank Checks, Money
Purchase Orders -
Wire Transfers -
Taxes w/Registration Companies - If
you use a US registration company, you will see that
they will charge taxes in the states that they have
a location in. They will collect and submit taxes for
those states. They will not collect taxes from
customers in your state (unless they have a location
there). You are not required to charge them tax regardless,
because their is no charge when items are for resale
(assuming they have a resale certificate).
Other Exempt Sales - Non-profit organizations
including schools, government agencies, and hospitals
are all considered not for profit and are tax exempt.
If a company is tax exempt you should request a copy
of their tax exempt number.
Information on Companies requireing VAT collection
- VAT is a sales tax the rate of which varies
in each EEC country. Anyone registered for VAT
must charge this tax at the point of supply (note
that was supply, not point of sale). That is called
On the other hand that same vendor can claim back
his Input Tax on any invoices he has received for
goods or service she has purchased from other VAT
registered vendors (usually only within his own country
unless he buys a lot from the others).
If (the author) is an EEC resident he can elect to
be registered for VAT. At a certain point monetary
sales level (about 60,000 Euro I understand) he *must*
register for VAT. There can be advantages in
registering for VAT even
if sales levels do not make it compulsory.
If he is not registered for VAT he is not required
to collect VAT.
If he is registered for VAT he only needs collect
VAT where he is the supplier to another EEC resident.
The definition of supplier is that he actually makes
the supply in the form
of a product or a service.
If he sells to a non-EEC resident the sale falls
outside the scope of VAT. That would apply if
he "sells" to a US based registration service like
Soft Shop for instance. However if the arrangements
with Soft Shop require the author to make the actual
supply (keycode, CD, software by email, etc.) Then
that falls under the rules of Triangulation.
Under Triangulation the point of supply and receipt
are critical and if these are both within the EEC
then VAT must be accounted for (Soft Shop can automatically
calculate this and collect it).
There is an exception to these rules. Even
if the vendor is a VAT registered EEC resident, if
he is able to quote a valid customer VAT number on
his sales invoice or supply document, he need not
collect the VAT must declare the sale
in his EEC VAT monthly sales report.
US BUSINESS LINKS - Links that are business related
US Patent and Trademark Office http://www.uspto.gov/
US Copyright Office http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/
Small Business Administration (SBA) http://www.sba.gov/
Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) http://www.score.org/
Idea Cafe http://www.ideacafe.com/
US EXPORT RESTRICTIONS - Legally if your company
operates in the US you can not sell to entities
in the following countries Iran, Iraq, Libya, Serbia,
Sudan, North Korea, and Cuba.
The Bureau of Export Administration
SHAREWARE SITES - There are typically two kinds
of shareware sites Upload vs. Traditional, below are
examples and the pros and cons of each.
Upload Sites - You transfer the program
file to their server for access
- Below are the most common domain extensions
Pros - Hosts your file, typically
Cons - Can be selective on the type of software
that they choose to list, takes longer to update,
requires file to be in specific format, difficult
to monitor download stats.
Examples of upload sites:
http://www.simtel.com (Walnut Creek CD ROM)
Traditional Sites - Links to the program located
on your server.
Pros - popular
Cons - Tend to be smaller, submissions can
be time consuming
Specialty Sites - Typically a traditional site,
that is geared to a specific market or application type.
Examples of traditional sites:
Pros - Popular with niche markets
Cons - Tend to be much smaller, typically has
strict requirements to be listed
Examples of specialty sites:
(geared non-profits and academics)
.com (company) - by far the most popular
.net (networks) - supposed to be reserved for
ISP's but becoming more common as .com becomes saturated
.org (organizations) - non-profit connotation,
although anyone can register as .org
.edu (educational) - reserved for educational
DISTRIBUTION - Number of different distribution
methods available to authors.
Catalog Companies - A number of catalog companies
sell large volume. Typically you purchase ad space
in their catalog, and still discount your products.
Ad space can be pricey and you still need to establish
a branding and market demand in order to be successful
in selling through catalogs.
Resellers - Depending on program type, system
integrators or vertical added resellers (VARS) can
be an excellent sources for multiple sales. A discounted
from 20-40% off of list is usually expected. Developing
a strong reseller channel can be very time consuming.
Distribution - In order to be accepted into
distribution a market demand and reseller base must
already exist. Marketing is still the responsibility
of the author.
Tech Data - http://www.techdata.com
Merisel - http://www.merisel.com
Ingram Micro - http://www.ingram.com