Do I Need a Business License to Apply?

Total-Apps is often asked if a merchant needs to have a business license to open an account. The short answer to this is “no.” To avoid registering as a business and obtaining a business license, you can apply for a merchant account as a sole proprietor.

The next question we typically get is:

“So, how does this look in the merchant account application process?”

When you apply for a merchant account, we only need your Legal Business Name, DBA, and Federal Tax ID Number. When you decide to apply as a sole proprietor, you would simply provide your name as the Legal Business Name and your Social Security Number would be used as the Federal Tax ID#. You would have to fill out and sign a W-9 form when submitting the application.

Let’s pretend your name is John Smith and you are a sole proprietor of a website that sells boutique music gear. The name of your site is John’s Best Music Gear. You would simply fill out a W-9 with legal name John Smith and your Social Security Number listed. For DBA, or Doing Business As, you would put John’s Best Music Gear. It’s that easy!

This method is great for new businesses that want to get their feet wet. The best part? If you decide to grow the business and register the business officially, making the switch is extremely simple. Updating your account is as simple as calling your account engineer and giving them an update. We’ll take care of the rest!

Now that you know the process, go out there and take credit card payments! We told you! The process is a lot easier than most people realize!