Do I need an Apple license to distribute a DMG installer?

I’ve written an application that I wrote for Windows but will also work on Mac OS.
The software is an audio application, not a plugin for a DAW.

I think with Windows I have to pay Microsoft to get my installer “signed” I think.
In terms of Mac distribution, do I have to get a license from Apple and get my DMG installer signed or something similar ?

Yes, you need an Apple developer account to sign and notarize your software. There are ways around it, but it won’t look good to your customers if they can’t just download and run your software.

For Windows you need a code signing certificate. They are a pain to get since you need to validate your identity. Sectigo Code Signing Certificate | Sectigo Store

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Thanks… I gather that an Apple dev account is free and it checks the binary you submit to it and notarizes it if it passes the malware scan.

In terms of Windows, I’ve used NSIS installer before. I am not sure if I can get away with an “unsigned” installer. My install procedure for this app will not touch the registry, but simply unzip my app to Program Files\ and put an icon on the desktop(?)

The account might be free, but to notarize you need to register in the developer programme with an annuall fee of 99 USD:

scroll all the way down in the fine print…

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@daniel , thanks thats helpful.