Shopify Partner Program FAQ

Here are some common questions we get asked about Shopify’s Partner Program.

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How does the Shopify Partner Program work?

The Shopify Partner program gives you multiple ways to generate revenue. For example, you can generate revenue by doing the following: * Refer clients to the Shopify Partner program by using development stores, and receive a recurring commission. * Write and publish Shopify apps or Shopify themes. * Sell your apps or themes on a subscription basis or for a one-time fee.

Refer to Shopify Partner earnings for more details.

How do I become a Shopify Partner?

Simply sign up for a Shopify Partner account. Once you’re a Partner, you can submit apps to the Shopify App Store and themes to the Shopify Theme store, and also start referring clients to sign up for Shopify stores in connection with your Partner Account. You can earn a portion of the revenue Shopify earns from each new client from the day they sign up for a Shopify store. Shopify will pay you for these referrals on a regular basis, provided you’ve achieved the minimum balance each payout period.

How will I get paid?

Earnings are accumulated and paid out on the following schedule:

  • For all earnings accrued between the 1st to and including the 15th of the month, payment will occur 5 business days after the 15th day of the month.
  • For all earnings accrued between the 16th to and including the last day of the month, payment will occur 5 business days after the last day of the month.

Payments earned by you are delivered to you in USD. Any money owed to you is paid out twice monthly as long as your balance for the activity type is above $25 USD. If your balance is below $25, it will be held until the next payout period. If you decide to close your Partner account and your balance is below $25 at the time the account is closed, then the balance won't be paid out.

Sales and referral activity earnings are calculated separately. This means that if you meet the threshold for referral earnings, but not sales earnings, then referral earnings are paid out and sales earnings continue to accrue until they meet the earnings threshold.

How do I hand over a development store to a client?

Follow this guide for handing off development stores to clients.

Why can’t I install an app on a development store?

Free apps can be installed on the development store. To install an app that has a fee, the development store needs to be on a plan with a credit card on the account.

How do I work on a live shop without affecting it?

Option 1: Work with a development store

Download the theme from the Themes page in the live shop, and then upload it to your existing development store. Now you can work on a copy of the live shop’s theme in a dev environment.

When you're ready to launch the updated theme, download the theme from your development store and then upload it to the live shop as the primary theme.

Option 2: Shopify Theme Kit

You can use the Shopify Theme Kit to modify a store's theme with a local text editor of your choice. When you're done making your changes locally, then you can push them to the store.

Shopify supports multiple themes, so you can make a copy of your theme on the Themes page in your Shopify admin, and edit that unpublished theme.

What is the best practice when you've built a store for a client using a third-party theme?

If you've built a store for a client and it includes a third-party theme, then you need to transfer the theme to the client. The best way to do this depends on whether the theme still needs code customization when you transfer the development store to your client:

  • If the theme still needs code customization, then buy the theme on behalf of the client, bill the client the cost of the theme, and handoff the development store so that your credit card is removed from its account.

  • If the theme doesn't need any code customization, then leave the theme as a free trial. Your client doesn't need to pay for the theme until they want to publish it (or if they want to customize its code). They can do this after you transfer the development store.

If you use a free trial of the theme, at what point does the client have to pay for the theme? Does it have to be when we transfer the store?

The merchant pays for the theme when they want to publish the theme or edit the code. This can be done after you handoff the dev store.

How does app billing work?

Application billing is explained in full in the Application Billing documentation.

If a client signs up for a trial account and upgrades, will I be paid for the upgraded plan?

Yes. The plan change will be reflected in your Partner Dashboard. For Plus upgrade details, refer to Shopify Partner earnings.

What information will I be able to track about my affiliated clients?

You can track who your affiliated clients are, the total revenue in that pay period generated by all your affiliated clients, and the total revenue to date from all your affiliated clients.

Why can’t I find out the revenue from each individual client?

We do not provide this statistic as it would be a violation of the client’s privacy.

Will I get any tools to help me promote Shopify to my clients?

Yes. Visit our Client Resources section of the website for brochures, flyers and information you can share with prospective and current customers. We also provide some creative Shopify banners and logos for you to use and suggestions for how to brand yourself as a Shopify Partner. We send out a monthly newsletter containing Shopify news, tips on how to promote Shopify, and any other important information. If there's anything in particular you think we could provide that would be valuable to help you sell, please contact Partner Support(/questions/partners).

Is the amount I can earn capped?

No. You can collect on as many clients earning as much income as you can possibly manage. The way we figure it, if you’re earning, we’re earning.

How much will I earn?

Everything you need to know about earning money as a Shopify Partner is outlined in Shopify Partner earnings.

Does Shopify apply tax to Partner earnings?

Shopify might charge you taxes on its fees or pay out taxes on your referral commissions in certain cases. These taxes vary based on your location, the type of Partner activity, and the tax information you provide in your Partner account settings. You might be responsible for remitting these taxes to the appropriate government authority. For more information, refer to Shopify Partner earnings.

If I referred a customer to Shopify before I signed up as a Partner, can I still add them to my Referrals?

No. If you referred a customer before you signed up as a Partner, then you can't add their account to your Referrals.

Can I earn revenue on my own store?

Unfortunately, no. Collecting Partner earnings on a store run by yourself in whole or in part is fraud and grounds for dismissal from the Partner program.

Can I use a development store to advertise my services?

Yes. You can't process any payments through a personal development store, but you are welcome to use one as a public-facing website to advertise your services and display your work.

I know that merchants I referred have had sales in the last few weeks. Why doesn't my revenue seem to be increasing accordingly?

As a Shopify Partner, you earn a commission based on the merchant's subscription fee. You'll continue to earn this commission for as long as the merchant is a Shopify customer.

We calculate your commission based on invoices paid by the merchant. After the invoice has been sent from Shopify to the merchant and the merchant has paid, your earnings will start to accumulate.

What happens if I want to dispute an amount of revenue I’ve been paid? It seems like the amount I received should be more/less.

For any payment disputes, contact Partner Support with the full details of the issue. We'll review your message and do our best to resolve it.

Will there be more features coming in the Partner system?

Yes. Just as with Shopify, we’re continuously developing all kinds of useful features for the Partner program. We usually keep you updated on these upgrades right before they go live. If there’s any feature or functionality that you want to see added to the Shopify Partner Program, then contact Partner Support.

What are the terms of service?

The terms of service are located here.

How do I cancel the program after signing up?

Please contact Partner Support.

When is a partner account considered inactive?

To remain an active partner, your partner organization must take an action such as creating an app, logging into the partner dashboard, using a public API endpoint, submitting a lead, paying an invoice, receiving a payout, creating a development store, logging into a store, or requesting collaborator access.

If you do not take any actions in your account for a 2-year period, then the account is deemed as inactive.

What happens to inactive partner accounts?

If no users in your partner organization take any action in your account for a 2-year period, it will be deemed inactive. After this period, we will notify you via your business email. If you do not respond by taking action within 60 days, we will proceed to close your account.

Once closed, you may reactivate your account at any time by contacting Partner Support.

How do I contact Partner Support?

You can contact Partner Support through Shopify Help Center. Partner Support can help you to navigate our Partner programs, your Partner Dashboard, and grow your Partner business.

Is the Partner Dashboard available in multiple languages?

Yes. To learn how to choose the language that you want to use, refer to Choose your preferred language.