Enforcement of Shopify’s Partner Program Policies

When Shopify merchants use apps from the Shopify ecosystem, they are entrusting developers with critical tasks to run their businesses. Because of this, maintaining a reliable and trustworthy app marketplace is a top priority.

We need to make sure that every app and developer meets our high standards. Wherever possible, we provide education and a clear path to compliance for Partners and apps. However, sometimes our team must take action to mitigate present risk in our ecosystem. If a Partner or app cannot meet these standards, then we sometimes need to make the difficult decision to remove a Partner's app from the Shopify App Store. In some cases, we might also need to remove a Partner from our platform.

Below are some frequently asked questions to help inform our Partners about what happens when a developer fails to adhere to our terms and conditions.

What are the terms that developers must adhere to?

Developers must adhere to the terms of our Partner Program Agreement and Shopify API License and Terms of Use, as well as the terms that are incorporated by reference within these agreements.

Every app in the Shopify App Store has to meet a list of requirements before it can be made available to merchants, and developers must continuously maintain their app to meet any new requirements.

As a developer, you are expected to be familiar with these standards and meet them at every step of building and maintaining your app. Failure to maintain these requirements is considered a violation against our terms and has the potential to result in restriction of services.

What happens when apps don’t adhere to our terms?

When a developer fails to meet our terms and can’t take the actions required to resolve the issue, our Partner Governance team will remove the app from the Shopify App Store. In the case of repeated issues or more serious violations, our Partner Governance team might terminate the Partner account.

Whenever possible, we give developers an opportunity to fix the issue. However, in the case of more severe infractions, a resolution might not be possible.

When a decision has been made to remove an app or Partner account from our platform, the decision is final.

How does Shopify communicate violations?

When a developer fails to meet our terms, Shopify will notify the developer by sending a message to the business email associated with their Partner account. These emails can be sent from various teams within Shopify.

To communicate notices relating to account review and potential account removal, the email will be from legal@legal-mailer.shopify.com. The subject line might look like "Important - Regarding the status of your Shopify Partner account" or "Important - Your account is under review".

legal@legal-mailer.shopify.com is a mailer, and is therefore not monitored. To respond to any requests, please reply directly to the email sent to you by Shopify containing a ticket number.

To make sure that you don't miss important notices from Shopify, you must always ensure that the business email attached to your Partner account is up-to-date. Learn how to update your business email in your Partner settings.

Why can’t Partner Governance share specific details about investigations?

Unfortunately, we often can’t share specific details of an infraction without compromising an investigation. We understand that this can be frustrating, but we can’t risk the safety and security of merchants or our marketplaces.

If my app is removed, will current users be able to access my app?

All Merchants who currently have the app installed are able use the app until its removal date. If they haven't uninstalled the app by the removal date, then Shopify will uninstall the app on that date.

Shopify provides ample notice to merchants to uninstall an app that is being slated for removal. Typically, Shopify provides at least 60 days notice to all merchants who have the app installed on live stores. However, depending on the severity of the infraction, some app removals might have a shorter notice period.

What happens after I receive a termination notice?

Partner Governance will advise you when the removal ("termination") date is effective. After you receive a notification that your app or Partner account is being removed from the platform, and until the removal date, you’re still required to support users of your affected app, or, in the case of a Partner account removal, all of your apps and themes. This includes providing technical support as outlined in the Partner Program Agreement.

As of the removal date, your Partner account will be disabled and you'll no longer have access. If you received a notice of termination as a result of fraudulent or other unacceptable behavior, you might, among other penalties, be prohibited from creating any new Partner accounts, apps or services on the Shopify platform.