What Should I Prepare Before I Apply For a Merchant Account?

Opening a merchant account can be a time of confusion for many individuals who have questions regarding merchant services. Today, we want to answer the question “What should I prepare before making the call and going through the application process?”

To help, we created a checklist of items you will likely need when applying.



The following BASIC documents are mandatory when applying for ANY merchant account– low or high risk:

  • Photo ID – This will need to be a government issued form of identification (Driver’s License, State ID, Passport, etc.)
  • Proof of Business – Business License or Articles of Incorporation
  • Voided Check  – From your business bank account (or personal if you’re filing as sole proprietor)
  • Proof of EIN/TIN: This will need to be a W9 (only if you’re applying as a sole proprietor), SS4, or IRS Letter validating your Federal Tax ID Number.


If you are running a higher risk business or plan to process more than $100k each month, the following ADDITIONAL documents may be required:

  • 3-6 Months Bank Statements – Underwriting will look at bank statements to make sure your business bank account has enough liquidity to back up your requested monthly volume. We suggest having 20%+ of your requested monthly volume in your bank account. For example, if you are looking to process $100k each month, it’s ideal to have $20k or more in your account.
  • 3-6 Months Prior Processing Statements – Underwriting will review processing statements to understand how you’ve processed in the past as well as make sure they understand level of chargebacks  and refunds.
  • Proof of Inventory – This can be shown in the form of photos of your fulfillment center or warehouse as well as in the form of an inventory report from your CRM system.
  • Additional Financials – While the above will more than likely be plenty for underwriting to review, there are times that underwriting wants more. Examples of additional financials are profit and loss statements, balance sheets, tax returns, and other audited yearly financials.


By having these documents ready to go before applying, you will ensure that the application process goes as smoothly as possible without the delay that comes from gathering additional documents. The more you can provide up front, the quicker the entire process will be.

We encourage you to use this as a checklist for when you decide to apply for a merchant account.