Publishing an electronic magazine is a business.
At it’s simplest, an electronic publisher needs a bank account, to process subscriptions and pay writers. A more ambitious operation can also provide (and pay for) content such as images, podcasts, or video.
To publish, its is also a necessity to own a website, if only to point potential audiences to an app, though usually the website would contain more than that.
And to do all of that, a publisher needs a company.
So the first cost isn’t the cost of a domain name, or a bank account, or app development, but company formation.
Based on several quotes, company formation costs range around €350-400. They also raise an interesting side question, whether to opt for a standard company limited by shares, or a company limited by guarantee.
Companies limited by guarantee are rarer than share companies, and usually – though not always – not for profit enterprises. They also require a minimum of seven members to get going, compared to two shareholders.
Poring over the Companies Acts small print is not for the faint of heart, but offering subscriptions to a company limited by guarantee could be an intriguing method of crowdfunding a startup publication.
[Meanwhile, this is encouraging news of a sort: Not-for-profit news site openDemocracy is to remain open after reaching its fundraising target. At the end of February Journalism.co.uk reported that the site was £26,000 short of the £250,000 it needed, and would close unless the money could be raised.]