If you run a business, it’s essential that you know what a merchant account is. Merchant accounts are business bank accounts. They allow companies to accept payments in various ways, including credit or debit cards. To even get a merchant account, you need a business license as well as many other pieces of documentation that are standard for businesses to have.
After you’ve set up a merchant account through a payment processor, you can start conducting transactions with your customers. To do so, you may need some hardware—whether that’s a register or some other POS system. Obtaining and using a merchant account might seem complicated, but it’s necessary for the operation of any business. We have some more details on how to get started.
Do Your Research
If you’re reading this, you’re already on the path toward researching merchant accounts which is great. That said, you should do some more research into fees, capabilities, and what companies offer what solutions. There are specific payment processors that cater to certain industries, so doing something as simple as an online search for “[your industry] payment processor” can be a great way to start. Asking around and looking online are also good ways of doing some basic research to get a better idea of what’s out there and what’s right for you.
Organize Your Paperwork
When applying for a merchant account, make sure you have all the paperwork you’ll need. These include a variety of business documents like your organization’s name, DBA, contact info, how long you’ve been in business, your tax ID number, and more. Putting all of this information together makes it much easier when you actually begin the application process, as you won’t have to scramble at the last minute.
Apply For a Merchant Account
After you submit all the information your payment processor needs, they’ll likely check both your personal and credit history. Some providers are going to also ask you to pay an application fee. Cover letters can be a great way to show that you have a clear path for your business and why you need a merchant account. At that point, you just have to wait to hear back from your payment processor of choice as to whether or not they will give you a merchant account.
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