Purchasing theme licenses for my clients

I am new to Envato and ThemeForest. I have purchased theme licenses for myself, but now I need to purchase a them license on behalf of a client who knows nothing about navigating the digital world. Do I simply purchase the theme and hold it under my licensing or is their a way to transfer ownership to them at some point in time. Does it even matter who owns the license? I really want to nail down the intellectual ownership because I have to get started on my client website, today really.

What you’re planning is completely fine. Sometimes it’s good to have the client purchase the license so that they can have access to updates and support once you finish the site, but that’s up to you.

Do I understand this right? - That the only way for a client to get access to updates for the theme they paid me for is to purchase the theme again?

I’ve been using ThemeForest for years, and had no idea this was the case. If this is true, this is reason for me to not use TF any more. Please tell me there’s another way.

The FAQ page says something about linking the client to the license. What does that mean, and how is it done?

Yes this is the case.

I would imagine it’s to help avoid/minimise exploiting the licenses.

Have you been using TF for years for client work?

The best option has always been for clients to buy the item and since the introduction of guest checkout etc. there really isn’t any reason to not do it this way.

Out of curiosity (not aimed at anyone specifically) can anyone share an example of a marketplace that allows multiple people access to purchase downloads from anything other than the buyer account?

Just clarifying… I’m not expecting for both of us to have access to downloads on the same license. I want to transfer ownership. And the FAQ page implies that’s possible, but is murky (to me, anyway), on the details of how exactly to do that.

I sure would love to hear from someone at TF about this.

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That’s different and yes you can do it -

Basically a purchase/license gives you the permission to “use” a copy of the item.

This permission to use can be transferred to your client on the condition that all (test and finished) versions, copies of source code etc. are entirely removed from your environments or storage.

The reason for it only being the permission to use an item which is transferred and not file access is because:

  1. this avoid exploitation

  2. more importantly, because a buyer cannot resell/distribute an item in its original format, so what you are transferring has to be the single end product which has been created using the original item.

If you want official responses you can always email support but I wouldn’t worry about being able to use items for client work without them having to buy multiple copies. Envato Help & Support Center

(Not aimed st your business) generally speaking problems only ever occur when “developers” either try to use the same item multiple times or worse, they aren’t up front with clients about work using a template and they try to pass it off as custom.

I am looking at this same issue. I am creating a website for a client and they would like a theme from here. I want to know whether I get them to purchase it, or do I purchase it, create the website, then transfer the license to them? TIA

Did this work? I have a very similar issue

Hi Meg:

Since my clients don’t know the first thing about managing websites, WordPress themes, etc, I simply decided to purchase the Enfold theme under my account and keep track of the API Key in my records on behalf of my client, then I charge for my services accordingly, including the cost of the theme right in with my labor charges. I thought it would be best to keep this as clean and easy as possible, both for my clients and myself. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Thanks PrintMagic. I have a feeling that this might be the best way to proceed for my client too. If she wants to manage it after I have set it up, would I be able to transfer the license to her?

We see the “how do I transfer the license to my client” question quite often, and while I totally see why people buy on behalf of clients, the easiest answer is if they buy it themselves then this wouldn’t be a challenge at all.

@PrintMagic tracking APIs sounds like more than most people probably do but I don’t see how it overcomes the one big problem.

You can transfer the license i.e. the rights to use a purchase to the client BUT should you and them part company and they need a back up copy, update to the theme or plugin etc. then they will not ever be able to access the downloads.

Aside from the inconvenience of this, if you charge for the purchase of a theme which includes initial support and lifetime of updates, then you have to be able to deliver that.

Ultimately how it works is the best solution to protect as many people as possible and features like guest checkout etc. have gone further to simplifying this as far as is possible

Thanks Charlie

So basically it’s fine to purchase the theme on-behalf of the client in order to keep it clean and win win correct ?

You can but it’s not win win really -

If you buy it and then part company with the client then they won’t be able to access the updates or support that they should be entitled to.

Also if the purchase is in someone else’s account then they could deregister licenses or misuse licenses without the other party knowing.

There’s really very little reason not to have clients purchase items esp as they don’t even have to register anymore

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Thank you very much for the quick reply. Just was curious to know, let’s say someone found some issue and claimed for the licence, can my client show the licence which i (developer/agency) have and will that be valid ?

In theory but:

  • this is assuming that the license is not bent wit clay used in more than one place

  • that they have evidence that you transferred the license

It would be so so much easier if it was in their name.

Out of curiosity - why would you not have the client buy it?

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Thank you for quick reply again. Understood the point.

Because i have already purchased it on be half of client as i didn’t wanted to give more trouble and now after interacting with you, i think i will transfer it to client’s account.

is transferring possible ? If not, then i will go ahead and purchase a new one.

Transferring is unfortunately not possible.

Realistically you should be fine working with you buying it - it’s more about the best options for everyone in the future.

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Appreciate your guidance. :slight_smile: and clarifying all my queries. Will make a note next time to follow the same.

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