Shopify states that I need to be over 18 in order to set up my own store, but I’d like to know if there is a way to legally manage my own Shopify store.
I’m a 16 year old from the UK and I’d like to get into e-commerce; however I’m unfamiliar with the laws and regulations in Britain with Shopify and I don’t wan’t to give up managing a business solely because of my age.
Additionally, if it turns out that I can’t manage a shopify store, are there other platforms that are fairly similar to Shopify where minors can legally organise an online store?
I hope, this answer would help you: https://community.shopify.com/c/Shopify-Discussion/How-can-I-start-a-Shopify-store-if-I-am-under-18/...
All the best!
Thank you for reaching out with your questions about managing a store as a legal minor. I can appreciate your concern about this and also the desire to be able to run your business autonomously.
The forum thread that @SagarikaDas linked for you does include all the information you need in regards to starting a business on Shopify as a minor. I wanted to clarify a few things on starting an ecommerce business as a minor that might not be included in that forum thread. Specifically, the reasons behind why you will require a legal guardian's assistance for some things.
Creating a store on Shopify and setting up a payment gateway or using the one we provide constitutes a legal and binding agreement to our Terms of Service. Using our payment gateway also sets up an merchant account for your business with the banks that power our payment gateway. In many countries a minor is not able to legally agree to contracts or services like these. If you were to find a platform that didn't require a legal adult as the account owner, it is most likely because most of the services you need to agree to are coming from third parties and there is a good chance you would still run into an issue of contracts not being legally binding if you are a minor.
To summarize the thread linked by Sagarika, until you reach age of majority (18 years old) the business account owner information needs to be that of your legal guardian. This will make them our official point of contact if something happens to your account and the registered business owner in our system. Once age of majority is reached, you can transfer ownership to yourself and update the information on file about the business with our account team.
Please don't hesitate to let me know if you have additional questions around this topic that I can assist with.
For the payout bank account and the billing card on file, you should be able to use your own without issue. These decisions are handled by a team separate from my own (Business Risk Operations) and they make the final call in these situations. But generally speaking, if using Shopify Payments as your payment gateway you can use your own bank account and your own credit card, even if it is different from the "account owner" name.
You would still be able to manage and access the store as the account owner, just on paper the account is under the name of a legal guardian. I would recommend when you start a trial store with us to reach out to our live support and let them know that you are a minor and that you need to be connected to our Business Risk Operations team to ensure that you have everything you need in place before going live. Our support can then escalate your ticket and an analyst will be assigned your case to ensure that you are meeting our TOS (in a good way!).
Please let me know if I can help clarify anything else for you.