Shopify is a commerce platform that allows users to set up an online shop and sell products. It streamlines and demystifies the process behind setting up an online payment platform. Even if you’ve had success using Shopify, your circumstances may change.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- How to Close Your Own Shopify Store
- How to Close a Deceased Loved One’s Shopify Store
- Closing a Shopify Store: Frequently Asked Questions
Maybe you’ve decided to make a career change and shut down an existing business. Or maybe you’re performing executor duties on behalf of a loved one who has passed away. Either way, you may end up having to permanently close a Shopify-driven store. Here's how to make it happen.
Tip: If you are the executor for a deceased loved one, closing accounts and other aspects of handling a loved one's unfinished business can be overwhelming without a way to organize your process. We have a post-loss checklist that will help you ensure that your loved one's family, estate, and other affairs are taken care of.
How to Close Your Own Shopify Store
Shopify offers many different options for account closure. If you want to temporarily pause your account, you can under certain circumstances. You can also sell your Shopify store to a new owner. But if you’re ready to permanently close down your Shopify store, you’ll need to follow these steps:
Step 1: Pay any outstanding charges against your account
Shopify emails a bill to shop owners every thirty days. This bill will include the cost of your subscription plan and any shipping charges you accrue each month. It might also include transaction fees you’re responsible for if you opted not to use the Shopify Payments feature.
Finally, if there are any app fees associated with your shop, you will be billed for those, too. You can technically close your store without paying outstanding fees, as Shopify will just bill you later. But doing this first can ultimately streamline the process.
Step 2: Cancel any apps associated with your Shopify account
Some Spotify shop owners will use third-party apps in conjunction with the Shopify payment platform. If you use any of those apps, make sure to cancel your service with them before shutting down your Shopify store. This is another way you can avoid getting hit with sporadic bills after your account is closed.
Step 3: Export any files you may need
It’s always a good idea to save any data affiliated with your store before closing it down. It may help you set up a different business in the future or could help with taxes and financial audits.
You can export CSV files, which are just plain text files containing lists of data. You can export your full billing history. And if you offered gift cards to your shop at any point, you can export the gift card file for your records. That can help you resolve any issues with people who haven’t used gift cards yet.
Step 4: Transfer any custom domains
Sometimes when people leave Shopify, they plan to move their store to a different platform. If you think you may want to do that, you’ll need to take steps to protect your custom domain or website name. If you purchased your domain name through Shopify, you can transfer it to another domain provider, even if you don’t plan to use it right away.
If you bought your domain from a third-party provider, use the Shopify admin settings to remove the domain from your store. Failing to take these steps could cause you to lose your unique domain forever.
Step 5: Cancel your account
Once you’ve laid the groundwork, closing your Shopify account is fairly simple. Just log in to Shopify under the store owner account and navigate to your Shopify admin section. In the admin function, click on the section called “Plan and Permissions.” Once you’ve reached the “Store Status” section in admin, you’ll be presented with choices to close or sell your store. Select the “Close Store” option.
At this point, you’ll be prompted to enter your password to continue the closure process. You’ll be given the opportunity to communicate any comments or concerns to Shopify. Finally, you’ll be presented with a drop-down menu with different reasons for your cancellation. Select the option that most closely aligns with your decision and click the final “Close Store” option.
Step 6: Check to confirm that your store is closed
Once you’ve gone through the closure process, your Shopify store’s URL will no longer work. Navigate to that URL to confirm that your store has been taken down.
How to Close a Deceased Loved One’s Shopify Store
Have you been tasked with helping handle the digital legacy of a deceased loved one? You may find yourself in the position of closing down their Shopify store. Here, we can break down those steps:
Step 1: Look for login info
In an ideal world, you’d be able to log in to your loved one’s password manager and access their Shopify username and password. From there, you would be able to sign into their Shopify account and simply follow the steps above. If you aren’t able to get login information, you’ll need to move on to step two.
Step 2: Make sure you’re authorized to act on the deceased’s behalf
If you are the executor, there are a few documents you’ll need to acquire. This includes the death certificate, which can be gotten from your county records office. You’ll also need to file a copy of the will with your local probate court and request the document called “Letters Testamentary” from the judge. This empowers you to act for the deceased.
Step 3: Contact Shopify directly
Visit the Shopify Support page to speak directly to a representative. They are available through both chat and email. While chat is more instantaneous, email might be the right way to go. That way it can be forwarded to someone who specifically handles these kinds of account closures. You’ll also have a record of all your communication.
You’ll likely need to submit copies of the letters testamentary and death certificate. You may also need personal information for the deceased, including name, their social security number, and store URL. Doing this via email can also give you time to gather any other information they request. A representative can guide you through the whole process.
Closing a Shopify Store: Frequently Asked Questions
Still have unanswered questions about the Shopify closure process? Here we’ll answer some other frequently asked questions:
What happens after you close a Shopify store?
Once you close your Shopify store, you will lose access to any information that you could once access in the Shopify admin. If you realize you missed a step or forgot something, you’ll have to reactivate your store and update your payment information on file to see it.
Can you choose to reopen your Shopify store after you close it?
You can reopen your Shopify store for a limited time. Currently, Shopify stores all the data and configuration information for a store for ninety days. If you reopen it during that time window, you should be able to restore everything immediately as long as any balance has paid in full.
Selling Online Can Be Easy, and So Can Canceling Your Merchant Account
Shopify makes it easy for anyone to sell products or services online. They also make it simple to close an account, whether it’s your own or one that belongs to a deceased loved one. It’s not always easy to cancel online accounts. But thanks to Shopify’s transparency, you’ll be able to close your account efficiently and without pushback.
- “Pausing or closing your store.” Shopify.com, Shopify, 2021, help.shopify.com/en/manual/your-account/pause-close-store.