Do you need a business licence to sell on Shopify

In a Nutshell

This blog will explain to you whether you need a business licence to sell on Shopify. It will also discuss the following points:

  • Introduction to the topic
  • The definition of a business licence.
  • Concluding remarks
Talk to Our Shopify Expert!
If you have any questions or need help with a project, please fill out the form below.

Table of Contents

There are several decisions you need to make before starting a small business. For instance, what will be your primary selling item/service? What will be your business name? Would you be better off operating online or “offline” as well? Sure, answering these questions could take a lot of your time and energy. Here, another very critical question that you need to answer is regarding licencing. The fact is that throughout the U.S., the majority of businesses require permits or licencing from a host of government agencies. This point should be especially noted by those who ask the “Do you need a business license to sell on Shopify?” query.

As you will find out, this blog will answer this question in general. Certainly, the core target of this entire blog is those interested in selling on Shopify. But you should read this article in its entirety, even if you are not interested in selling at Shopify. This is because you are likely to find many concepts that would assist you on many fronts. For instance, you could come across concepts that would make you better sell online in general or how to effortlessly make a licence for a business entity.

Defining Business Licence

In simple words, a business licence is actually a permit that is provided by a specific government agency. This permit authorizes any organization or perhaps a person to conduct business activities within the premises of the agency’s jurisdiction. Here, there are many ways you can define jurisdiction. This can be based on a geographic location, such as a city, state or country. It can also have a professional definition, such as the selling of a particular type of product/service or anything related to some business field.

Do You Need A Business Licence To Sell On Shopify

The fact stands that in most scenarios, you would not need a business licence to sell on Shopify. Still, this does not mean that you completely rule out its possibility. Additionally, there are a host of factors that you need to take note of when seeking a licence to sell on Shopify. Let’s have a good look at those factors, as this will allow you to better answer the “Do you need a business licence to sell on Shopify?” query:


A business licence regulation can vary by municipality, state, or country. There are a number of jurisdictions that demand every business operating inside its boundary to get a business licence. On the contrary, there are those jurisdictions that have specific exemptions or thresholds based on a host of things, such as business type or revenue. In some cases, the jurisdictions change as time passes by. Therefore, if you were familiar with them a few years back, you should try to update your knowledge according to the time.

The Nature of Products

There are a number of products that are subject to further licencing requirements or regulations. This can include items such as pharmaceuticals, alcohol, or firearms. This is why any potential business owner should take a very good look at the type of product that he intends to sell and at those sellers that are already selling that product within the same jurisdiction. A careful analysis of the existing product sellers within your vicinity can lead you to discover plenty of other information as well, which can assist you at a competitor’s level.


The potential sellers at Shopify need to do research regarding the regulation-related requirements in their area. Here, the potential seller can get assistance from small business associations or local government websites. Such sources commonly offer a great deal of data about the business licencing requirements.


There are several cases in which an entity does not require a business licence. Still, the entity is most likely to get registered for value-added tax (VAT) or sales tax purposes. Here, this depends upon a business’ overall sales volume as well as its location. A piece of good news here for those who ask the “Do you need a business licence to sell on Shopify?” query is that Shopify comes to their assistance. This is done as Shopify offers tools that would allow anyone to better manage sales tax compliance.

Here, automatic tax reporting and calculations are also part of such tools. This is why it is needless to say, it is in the best interest of a potential Shopify seller to take a very good look at all the required tax obligations on a priority note.

Legal Entity

Your business’s overall legal structure is also directly related to your licensing requirements. Here, the legal structure means whether your business is a partnership, sole proprietorship, corporation, and so on. Understand that different structures are associated with their specific licencing requirements. Therefore, if you have decided what structure to go for, you should urgently take a look at its associated licencing process.

A helpful thing here is that there are a great number of resources available on the internet alone, which would be of immense assistance to you. So, make sure that you go through them. If you have trouble understanding them then don’t hesitate to ask for the help of someone who better understands the licencing-related process.

Further Considerations

While you are going through business licencing, you should also try to take a look at a number of other regulations. This includes health & safety regulations, zoning laws, and permits related to managing a home-based business.


If you want to accurately answer the “Do you need a business licence to sell on Shopify” query, then you should do a lot of research aimed at knowing the requirements for their business circumstances and location. Feel free to speak to your business advisor or local attorney, as these individuals would be able to help you with licencing and other legal matters. Only after you are done gaining all this information should you move ahead with your efforts to establish yourself as a seller at Shopify.

Why should I consider selling at Shopify?

This is one question that is often asked by a great number of potential business operatives. Here, you need to understand that choosing Shopify is in your own best interest as it presents you with a host of benefits for your online business. Let’s have a look at some of these:

All-in-One Services: This is perhaps Shopify’s greatest strength. It comes as a reliable integrated platform where any business owner can customize his store. This includes managing orders, uploading product catalogues, and tracking inventory.

Customer Support: Shopify is proud of its extremely friendly and knowledgeable customer support team. They are always looking to assist their customers with everything that they have got.

The Products: You can be selling a digital item, edibles, bundled goods, or something else. The fact is that Shopify is the place that allows you to sell just that. It is their support for the selling of such versatile products that has made them enjoy immense fame across the world.

Security Features: Today’s online-based businesses should never compromise on their security. This point is well-noted by Shopify, which is why they have incorporated some of the finest online security measures that are available anywhere in the world. All of this gives a sense of peace and security to those who are already using Shopify for their business activities.

Payment Support: Many online customers shy away from making an online purchase because of payment-related issues. This is another place where Shopify shines, as it offers amazing payment-related support.

Can I use Shopify for free?

Yes, you have the option of trying out Shopify free for three days. This is their trial period, which specifically targets those customers who are new to online shopping or Shopify. Understand that when your trial period expires, then you have to select a pricing plan that is according to your particular requirements. If you want to know more about their pricing plan, then you will find a link to it on their website.

Currently, I am not situated in the United States. Can I use Shopify outside the United States?

The good news for the potential Shopify users is that you can access Shopify from almost every country. Furthermore, various trends suggest that Shopify’s users are increasing, especially in those countries that are witnessing a growing trend towards e-commerce activity.

Does Shopify demand you to be an expert developer or designer?

This is not the case. The fact is that there are a great number of Shopify users who do not have a designer or developer background or knowledge. Here, understand that Shopify allows you to customize your store’s overall look and feel. You can do so by using their offered themes or the store builder option. Moreover, you also have the option of adding functionalities as well as features to your specific store via apps.

Does Shopify allow me to use my personalized domain name?

Yes, this is possible with Shopify. Furthermore, if you already have a domain name then you have the option of connecting it to Shopify through your specific store’s admin. If you encounter any troubles in making use of your personal domain name then just contact Shopify’s customer support.

Looking for Shopify Development Solutions?

Connect with Expert Shopify Developers

See More Case Studies