Transferring your business

The Shopify Accounts team takes care of transferring the ownership of your Shopify business after the buyer accepts all the milestones in the Escrow.com 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 so that the new owner can enter their own financial information. Both you and your buyer receive an email from us after store ownership has been transferred. While the Shopify Accounts team transfers ownership, you are still responsible for transferring all agreed-upon assets to the buyer.

Transfer checklist

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

  • Transfer all custom domain names.
  • Transfer ownership of all social media accounts.
  • Transfer ownership and login information of all installed apps.
    • Before you transfer the apps, remove all of your personal details, including contact information and 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 the Shopify Accounts team will make them the new owner within three business days of the Escrow transaction being finalized.

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 fulfilling your customers' orders before you transfer the business to your buyer. You're responsible for all the orders that were placed while you were the business owner. This means that you are responsible for any open chargebacks on orders that were processed during your ownership. It’s important to fulfill orders and keep customers as informed as possible about their orders. You might 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, verify that all your customers are satisfied before the new owner takes over. We recommend that you share 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.

Transfer social media accounts

Social media accounts that are associated with a business are often listed as assets. You can transfer Facebook and Instagram to your buyer.

Facebook

Before you can transfer ownership of your Facebook business page, your buyer needs to have a Facebook account and needs to either like the business page or be your Facebook friend. You can then make your buyer an admin of the Facebook page.

Steps:

  1. Visit the Facebook page from your Facebook account.
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Click Page Roles.
  4. In Assign a new page role section, add your buyer's name and add them as an Admin.

After your buyer is an admin of the page, you can choose to remove yourself as an admin from the Existing Page Roles section.

Instagram

If you have agreed to include your business's Instagram account in your sale, then you're responsible for handing ownership of the account over to them during the transfer process.

Steps:

  1. Open the Instagram app on your mobile device, and then go to Settings.
  2. If two-factor authentication is enabled, disable it. You can do this by tapping the Two-factor Authentication link under Settings > Privacy and security.
  3. In Settings, tap Linked Accounts. Make sure that your buyer has access to any accounts that you plan to transfer that are listed here (like a Facebook Business Page or Twitter account). If there are any linked accounts that you're not transferring to your buyer, then you need to remove the linked accounts from here.
  4. In Settings, tap Payments, and then remove any credit cards or PINs on file.
  5. Go to Edit Profile > Private information to see the contact information on file.
  6. Remove the phone number and edit the email address to match the buyer's email address.
  7. Tap Done.  If Instagram sends an email asking you to confirm the profile information change, then you need to forward this email to the buyer so that they can confirm this themselves.

Most other social media accounts will require to you change the login information for 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. The Shopify Accounts team turns the buyer’s staff account into the new account owner within 3 business days of the Escrow transaction being finalized.

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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