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Is Dropshipping Legal In 2024? Read This Before Starting
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by
Martin -
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CO-founder at Dropshipping.com
Martin is an agency owner and SaaS projects maker. His work is featured in the leading ecommerce brands, magazines and podcasts. Talks about Marketing, Business Development, and Growth Hacking!
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CO-founder at Dropshipping.com
10 minutes

Whether you’re running your own dropshipping venture or eyeing platforms like Amazon, eBay, or AliExpress, each arena comes with its unique set of restrictions. This naturally leads to the burning question: Is dropshipping legal?

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll delve deep into the intricacies of dropshipping legitimacy, covering areas such as taxes, legal agreements, country-specific regulations, and much more. Let’s start!

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To clarify this question, yes, dropshipping is perfectly legal. However, there is always a risk attached to every given answer.

Nearly every retail giant worldwide uses dropshipping as a method to fulfill customer orders. Although, there are dropshipping rules we have to all follow.

If we don’t follow these rules, we can put our dropshipping business into serious trouble.

👉 Learn about Dropshipping: Is It A Real Business or a Get-Rich-Quick Scheme?

What Is Illegal in Dropshipping?

Here are a few dropshipping practices that you should avoid at all costs.

💡 Tip: Learn about LLC vs LLP: What’s The Big Difference?

Selling Unauthorized Products

The biggest mistake you can make while dropshipping is to sell unauthorized products. This is 100% illegal.

You need to initially get authorization from the supplier that possesses these products, and then, it is considered legal.

Here is an example of unauthorized selling:

You find car parts from a brand that sells them. You decide to sell these car parts in your dropshipping store, without finding a supplier to fulfill these orders. This is 100% illegal.

There are countless dropshipping businesses that do this. However, if you don’t have an agreement or build a partnership with suppliers or a brand, your dropshipping business will be down faster than you think.

Not only that but you may also get sued and have to pay very high fees.

It is not that difficult to become an authorized seller, all you have to do is to contact suppliers and ask them what they need from you for authorization.

Avoiding Taxes

You can avoid anything, but not taxes. Just like any other business, dropshipping requires you to pay taxes. So, if want to ensure your dropshipping business is legal, you must pay attention to this.

Taxes all depend on the amount of profit you make, so always consider writing down or calculating what revenue you will earn and how much will go to taxes.

Each state has a different tax law. Taxes might also change from year to year, so always be sure to contact an attorney who specializes in e-commerce tax law.

👉 Read about Dropshipping Taxes and Payments – Guide For Beginners.

Mis-Information

Failing to represent an item can be a complete failure for your dropshipping business. Misinformation can include anything from selling fake products to selling an item with a different description.

Selling fake products without a doubt is 100% illegal. However, even misrepresenting or misinforming about an item can lead to you getting sued.

It can result in you paying fines and closing down your dropshipping business.

Examples of misinformation:

Fake product – You sell a fake Gucci belt or bag. Instead of it being more expensive, you lie to your customers that it is cheaper but the product is actually fake. There are cases where some dropshippers will charge the same price a Gucci belt would cost but the product is actually fake.

Misinformation – You sell a laptop but include specifications that the laptop doesn’t possess. This is an example of misinformation.

Do You Need a License to Dropship?

No, you don’t need a license to dropship. Whether you dropship on eBay, Shopify, or any other platform, you don’t need any specific license.

Most dropshipping platforms like Shopify, eBay, etc, will only require you to create an account, and provide your social security number, and bank account information.

Although, even though you don’t need a business license to set up your dropshipping store, it’s a good idea to have one.

You need to take 3 things into consideration if you are thinking of obtaining a business license:

Liability

When you have a business license, your personal liability decreases. Registering your business as a Small Corporation or a Limited Liability Company (LLC) decreases your liability for any item sold on your dropshipping store. Thus, this is important in order to ensure your dropshipping business is legal.

A great way to manage your liabilities is to seek to work with suppliers that already have a legit product and have an established presence in your local country.

Many dropshippers will try and work with other dropshipping sites and get all the blame when a product is not what they expected. Like the case with AliExpress, the blame will go to you, not to a supplier they never heard of before.

Successful retail giants like Amazon, and Walmart, have developed good relationships with their suppliers. This is what keeps liabilities low.

👉 Read about Do I Need an LLC For Dropshipping? The Sellers Guide.

Legitimacy

If you want to work with great suppliers, you will also need to build a legitimate dropshipping business.

If suppliers see you as a small corporation or LLC, they will see your legitimacy and want to work with you. That is a step closer to achieving your business license.

Taxes

Once you become a dropshipping business owner and start earning revenue, the dropshipping taxes will be your biggest expense. When you acquire a business license, paying taxes is inevitable.

Unless you are not taking your business seriously, you will have to always calculate revenue after you pay taxes.

While considering a business license for your dropshipping venture, it’s also wise to explore legal templates, which can be found on Lawrina.

These templates can assist in formalizing your business structure and ensuring compliance with legal requirements, regardless of the platform you choose for dropshipping.

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If you want your dropshipping business to be legitimate and completely legal, here are a few tips we recommend:

🔸 Refund Policy

In case your product is defective, a refund policy is not mandatory by law. Although, it is good to have one because it increases customer trust.

You don’t need to worry about creating one from scratch, there are many refund policy generators. Shopify has a great well-written refund policy, which you can get here.

Or in other words, terms & conditions are legal documents that state the responsibilities and rights of your dropshipping business.

Even though just like a refund policy, it isn’t mandatory, it is good to have it. It may help you in case you face any legal issues.

You can generate a legal agreement policy by Shopify.

🔸 Privacy Policy

Another legal document shows you how a business uses your personal information and protects it. Every website that collects personal information from its online visitors should have a privacy policy.

You can generate one here.

Is Dropshipping an Opportunity?

For many dropshippers, it doesn’t make sense for them to take on shipping expenses. Especially when you are shipping big products. It doesn’t seem worth it, doesn’t it? Here you can find out if dropshipping is still worth it.

With dropshipping, online sellers actually can enjoy the benefit of making revenue without having to worry about shipping costs and storage.

Must-read: If you are on a budget, here’s our ultimate guide on starting a dropshipping business for free.

Suppliers on the other hand get to enjoy having an energetic flow of customers.

How Profitable Is Dropshipping in 2024?

Dropshipping without a doubt is still profitable in 2024. The rise of online purchases around the world keeps increasing year by year. So, based on dropshipping statistics, dropshipping is expected to develop further, reaching $301.11 billion in 2024 and $372.47 billion in 2025.

💡 Tip: Learn about Dropship Baby Products: A Step-By-Step Guide + Top 24 Products

Dropshipping in Specific Countries

Dropshipping in the USA is definitely legal. One of the highest e-commerce revenues is made through dropshipping in the US.

The only thing you should watch out for is the goods and services you are selling. Avoid selling illegally, and the other illegal practices we mentioned above.

Since there is a potential risk with dropshipping, Paypal doesn’t support the dropshipping business because of the risk control policy.

You can try other payment methods instead of Paypal. Google Wallet or Apple pay is a good alternative to avoid getting punished by Paypal.

💡Tip: Read about Dropshipping PayPal: How To Use It & Not Get Banned.

Dropshipping is 100% legal in Canada.

However, just like we mentioned with dropshipping in the USA, you want to make sure the products you are selling can be legally sold in Canada. Follow all policies that are linked to taxes, declarations, and import restrictions.

You may visit the Canada Border Services Agency website to read more about policies linked with dropshipping in Canada.

Absolutely, it is 100% legal. A business model that isn’t hurting anyone or anything.

Just like any other country, whether you sell internationally or locally, you will have to worry about taxes.

Taxes differ in every country, so you will have to consult with a tax professional or check your local tax law policies. The regular VAT charge for all EU countries is 19%.

Try to avoid selling products that contain offensive words, brand replicas, alcohol, etc.

Don’t forget to check if the items that you are selling are not subject to import duty in the country your customers are from. Even if they are, inform your customers about it.

Yes, it is! Just like in the USA and every other country, you want to check if the goods you are selling are against dropshipping rules.

Other than that, you need to agree with the UK’s competition and consumer laws, also, all online, distance-selling, and data protection rules required by the United Kingdom.

Check our ultimate list of 20+ Dropshipping Suppliers In the UK.

Yes, dropshipping is legal in Australia.

Other than checking if the product you are selling is legal, you need to comply with the Australian Consumer Law and Competition and Consumer Act.

Dropshiping is definitely legal in Spain. It follows rules like any other EU country.

Just like we mention in every country around the world, follow the legal guidelines.

EU countries, except France, all have the same VAT of 19%. Sell legally and don’t try to avoid taxes to dropshipping in Spain!

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Conclusion

These were our answers to see if dropshipping is legal or not. We covered what is mandatory to have, and what isn’t.

What makes your dropshipping business more legitimate, and if dropshipping is legal in the specific countries we mentioned.

If you are concerned about starting a dropshipping business in a specific country, you can visit our “Start Dropshipping In” section on our website, and read all articles that show you how to start a dropshipping business in different countries.

About the Author

Profile picture of Martin
Martin Stoimenov
Martin is an agency owner and SaaS projects maker. His work is featured in the leading ecommerce brands, magazines and podcasts. Talks about Marketing, Business Development, and Growth Hacking!