Transferring your business

The Shopify Accounts team will take care of transferring the ownership of your Shopify business once once the buyer accepts all milestones in the transaction. By allowing us to make the ownership change for you, we take care of removing your credit card and disabling your Shopify Payments account for the new owner to input their own financial information. Both you and your buyer will receive an email from us once store ownership has been transferred.

Transfer checklist

You've found a buyer, accepted their offer and started a transaction in Exchange. Now it's time to get your business ready for its new owner. Here's a list of some of the things you'll need to do before your buyer becomes the new business owner. Keep in mind that some of these things may not apply to your sale. These are just our recommendations for what will apply to most sales.

  • Transfer all custom domain names.
  • Transfer ownership of all social media accounts.
  • Transfer ownership and login information of all installed apps.
    • Remove all of your personal details, including contact information credit cards from apps before you transfer them.
  • If you’re transferring product photos, then you can use services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or WeTransfer to deliver them to the buyer.
  • If you're also transferring physical inventory, then make sure you give the buyer a tracking number once it’s in the mail.

The only thing that you do not need to transfer to the buyer is the Shopify account itself. Instead, just give staff permissions to your buyer and Exchange will make them the new owner at the end of the transaction.

Exchange will take care of removing your payment information and handing your Shopify account over to your buyer.

Fulfill all open orders

When you sell a business through Exchange, it's important that you finish handling your customers' orders before transferring the business to your buyer. You are responsible for all orders made while you were the business owner. This means that if a refund is issued for one of your orders, you are responsible for covering the cost. You are also responsible for any open chargebacks on orders that were processed under your ownership. It’s important to fulfill orders and keep customers as informed as possible about their orders. You may want to keep in touch with the buyer following the completion of the transaction in case you need to submit evidence for any chargebacks that occur. To protect yourself, make sure all your customers are satisfied before the new owner takes over. We recommend sharing tracking numbers with your buyer so that they can support these orders following the ownership transfer.

To check for open orders, click the Orders tab in your Shopify admin. Once there, you can then easily filter to show only open orders. Fulfill these orders and send the customers tracking information to help ensure the smoothest handover of the shop to your buyer. You should be monitoring orders up until ownership completely transfers to the buyer.

Shopify also has a thorough guide to fulfilling orders if you would like to learn more.

Transferring your domain

If you purchased your domain through Shopify and would like to transfer ownership of the domain name to your buyer, you can do so from your Shopify admin.

Follow these steps to transfer your Shopify domain to your buyer:

  1. Click Online Store > Domains.
  2. Click Manage next to the domain you'd like to transfer.
  3. Click Edit the Registrar information.
  4. Change the information to your buyer's name and contact information.

Once ownership is transferred to your buyer, all domain renewal fees will be charged to the buyer once they become the new store owner. If you purchased your domain through a third party host such as GoDaddy or Namecheap, please contact the domain host for information on how to transfer ownership of the domain name to your buyer.

Disconnect Sales Channels that are linked to your social accounts

If you have social sales channels such as Facebook or Pinterest, you'll want to remove them. This means that your buyer must agree to the Terms and Conditions of the sales channels should they decide to install them once they become the business owner.

To remove Sales Channels, click on the + icon next to Sales Channels in the main menu of your Shopify admin.

Then, click the Manage Sales Channels link at the bottom of the pop-up window. From there, you can delete any Sales Channels that are linked to your social accounts.

Export sales reports

You'll want to make sure that you have your sales data backed up as it might be needed for tax purposes.

You can do this from the Analytics tab of your Shopify admin. You should export anything you'd like stored because after the buyer is made the new owner you will no longer have access to these reports.

Export tax forms

If your business has been issued tax forms, then be sure to export them from the Payments page in your Shopify admin. After the transfer, you will no longer have access to these forms.

If you've met the requirements for a 1099K for the most recent tax year, then you'll want to stay in contact with the buyer so that they can send you the 1099K when it's available. You can also contact the Shopify Support, who can connect you with the right team at Shopify to arrange for the delivery of your 1099K.

Disconnect shipping account

If you have connected accounts with carriers such as FedEx or USPS, make sure to remove them. 

Give your buyer "staff access" to the business

Finally, give staff permissions to your buyer. Exchange will change the buyer's ownership from staff to store owner when your request to transfer ownership is received.

After you’ve prepared your business to be transferred, you can complete the transfer of assets stage in the Exchange Marketplace app. By marking that all assets have been transferred, the buyer will be notified to begin their inspection period.

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