If you’re a new comer to the marketing industry and want to have your business established, one of the initial steps is to have a merchant account to process all your payments. You might wonder, how do I find a merchant account provider that would perfectly cater to all my business needs? What do I need in order to apply for a merchant account? Are there specific requirements or documents that I need to request or acquire in advance?

As for a starter, requirements are pretty simple. Scroll down and read through our list, in case you may have missed out on something.

– Your business website must be up and running. Make sure that it is published to the internet and can function how it is expected to do so.
– Your business name must be published on the live website. Aside from marketability, placing your business name on the website also invokes credibility for those that will process and inspect your merchant account application.
– The list of products as well as the prices must also be on the website
– Make sure you provide the address of your office or physical store on the website along with your contact details including your customer service contact number.
–  Always provide your return/refund policy on your website. Be sure to make every point clear-cut so as to avoid confusion between the seller and the potential customer.
– Place all possible shipping methods on your website. Make sure to provide more than just one method in order to cater to every customer from every part of the world. Again, this increases your credibility.
– Compose your privacy policy well and post it on your website. Who reads privacy policies anyway? Merchant account underwriters, that’s who. So make sure you make it comprehensive and concise.
– Ensure that your shopping cart is fully functioning and secure. Any glitch found in your shopping cart is a candidate for online fraud.

Provided that you have met all the requirements, there are additional prerequisites that one must comply with. Several documents must be acquired in order to successfully apply for a merchant account.

Here are some of the basic documents you need to acquire when applying for a merchant account:

1. Application Form – your application form will provide your processor the necessary information they need to know about you and your business. Make sure to include accurate information only.
2. Business License – if your business sells taxable goods, you better have a business license to comply with existing rules and laws . This license informs the authorities that your business is safe and functioning, making your business a hundred plus credible.
3. Cover Letter – some processors would require you to submit a cover letter, some don’t. But to better ensure your application, just create a compelling one. How? Read how you can create a cover letter for merchant account application here.
4. Business Policies – these policies include your shipping, refund/return, and privacy policies. Inspection of policies is needed to ensure that you are complying with industry regulations. A piece of advice, make sure that all these policies are very well applied. A representative from your processing bank may even place and return an order as an additional step in inspecting your business.

These are just some of the documents you need to have to better process your application. Wait for our second installment regarding the needed documents for merchant account application. So before applying for a merchant account, make sure to have your website functioning and all the needed documents to avoid the hassle of acquiring them at the last minute.