I am a minor below the age of 18 and want to get a head start in the world of ecommerce. I told my parents about this ofc and they were happy to support me. That is, until they saw that we had to enter an SSN. My parents did not feel comfortable entering their SSN or mine (they are very scared of identity theft). In my state it is legal for minors to have an EIN should I apply for one for my business? I'm decently new to this ecommerce world and am still learning the everything along the way. Do you have any tips on trying to convince my parents or an alternative to the SSN?
Hi there, @JoshuaWu.
Firstly let me say congrats on taking the leap into e-commerce, especially at your age! Congrats! The account owner for the store will have to be a person who is at least 18 years old. I can absolutely understand your parents feeling apprehensive about sharing this kind of sensitive information - in fact I think they are correct to always be extremely careful before handing this kind of data over to anyone as this is what keeps you and your data safe.
There is no way around providing an SSN in order to use Shopify Payments, I do just want to provide some background information on this to hopefully help to alleviate the apprehension. As per the Shopify Payments Terms of Service in all regions, an individual person's details are required for every Shopify Payments account, even if the merchant has a registered business (LLC, corporation, non-profit etc.). This person will act as the Shopify Payments account representative and their details will be stored in addition to any business details. Due to compliance and underwriting practices, there are no exceptions to this rule.
US merchants (using US Shopify Payments) are required to provide all 9 digits of their SSN as verification. There is no way to bypass this step on sign-up. You can refer to the US Shopify Payment Terms of Service: Section B-3 for more information on this if you wish. I trust this helps!
Are you just at the point of setting up your store at the moment? If so, congrats! This blog post runs through a checklist for stores before launch. If you make your way through it and check off each point - you will be in a really strong position to have a super successful first 30 days.
Thank you so much for the response. Yes, I have finished all the steps excluding the SSN and personal information section. So just checking for understanding, if I wanted to do this under the age of 18, I would run everything but the ecommerce itself would be under my parents' name correct? Also, would the SSN be shared with anyone or exposed under any circumstance? Would there be any concerns associated with putting the SSN in shopify?
Thank you so much again, the information you have provided has helped my family and I out a lot!
Thanks for your reply!
Yes, the Shopify account would have to have an account owner who is over 18, that is correct.
I'd love to hear more about your business, what will you be selling? I found this cool blog post about some other young Shopify entrepreneurs, definitely worth checking out for some inspiration!
I do just want to assure you we do not share data like SSN ever, it is used solely for verification purposes and is fully protected. I have a store on Shopify myself, and have not had any kind of issue with my data. I trust this helps, if you need anything at all do let me know.
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