Selling on Amazon is nothing short of exciting! Planning sales for the year ahead and launching a new business can mean different kinds of opportunity for each of us. But – setting up a seller account is very different than opening a buying account.
Opening an Amazon seller account is the first step in selling on Amazon. But, before starting, a common problem that we see with sellers is being denied a seller account due to careless errors or a rushed process. Cutting corners such as blurry images, uploading pictures with only a piece of the documentation, or other blunders will get an account request denied. Once this happens, it is very hard to get your account approved.
That’s why we put together our top tips and tricks based on the opening of dozens of Amazon seller accounts in the US and Europe, so you can be prepared for the application process and gain approval, worry free.
Documentation needed to open an Amazon Seller account:
Gaining approval to sell on Amazon is all in the details. Before diving into regional differences, there are a few key documents that should be prepared before to save time and headache.
Business and primary contact addresses
These can be different or the same, depending on how you have registered your business. What is crucial is to use the same address that you have registered with your local government.
For your business, this will be on the documentation you originally registered your business under. If you have changed your address with the local offices, then use the latest information given.
Tip: For your personal address, use the address listed on government-issued identification.
Mobile or telephone number
This one is pretty straightforward. Make sure it is a phone number that is active and can be answered, should Amazon call. No long-forgotten landlines that no one answers.
Active credit card
At times, you will spend more than you make. This can be due to various fees, advertising campaigns, and so on. For this reason, Amazon needs to have an active credit card on file to charge, should you have more expenses than revenue.
Just as mentioned under ‘business contact and address’ above, documentation must be ready to photograph and upload.
Enter your bank account information to receive payments for your sales. This needs to be the account officially registered for your business.
Here are the criteria directly from Amazon:
- The full document must appear in the image, no cut corners.
- Documents must be a high quality color image, either a scan or photo but not a screenshot.
- Document must show all four corners and the photograph must be clearly visible.
- Document must not be blurry. Text should be legible.
- Document must be signed if required.
- Supported file formats: png, jpg, jpeg or pdf and not larger than 10 MB.
- Include full passport or ID cover [if there is one].
All uploaded documentation must be valid and match the information you entered for the seller account. After uploading documentation to Seller Central ensure to click on the ‘Submit for Verification’ button at the bottom of the page.
Tip: Always photograph the full document. Make sure the relevant document is centered on the image, not cutting out or cropping any corners.
Opening a US Amazon Seller account
If you are opening a US-based Amazon Seller account, congratulations! Your process is slightly easier than your European counterparts – although details are just as important.
To begin, you will need:
- Government-issued ID
- Bank account statement with an address that matches the one entered for the business earlier.
When entering your business information, use the same information as on the documentation. This includes address, legal entity– publicly-listed business, privately-owned business, Individual etc.– and anything else they request. Do not use your current mailing address or other information if not registered as such.
Example: Enter the registered office of your business. Do not enter your personal address or the address of your warehouse/brick & mortar store if your business is not legally registered at that address. The same goes for bank and credit card information.
Finally, for contacts, include information of all beneficial owners or legal representatives.
Once all information has been sent to Amazon, sometimes Amazon chooses to verify your account. This can be done in two ways, which Amazon will decide. It will be done either via postcard with a verification code that is sent to your business address or by a video call.
At the end of the process Amazon can send a postcard to your business address with a code. The mailing address must be the address the business is registered under and be the same as provided throughout the registration process. You will need to enter the provided code in order to complete your account registration.
Video Call Verification:
If Amazon requests a video call, you will be assigned a time for the video meeting. To be ready make sure you have:
- The accurate time that was assigned – Join on time!
- Address verification
- The government issued ID that was used during registration- Driver’s license, passport, etc.
- Bank or credit card statement that was issued within the last 6 months
- Any other documentation that was provided during the registration process
The call will be conducted in English. If needed, you are allowed to have an interpreter join the call. Check that both you and the interpreter are comfortable with being recorded, as Amazon records all calls.
Opening a European Amazon Seller account
European Amazon Seller accounts require more information in order to meet local regulations.
To begin, prepare:
- Business information
- Legal information
- Representative information
- Credit card number
- EU owners will include all beneficial owners.
These are individuals who own or control the business through direct or indirect ownership of 25% or more of the shares or voting rights of the business. This also includes anyone who otherwise exercises control over the management of the business.
Tips to know:
- Information about each Beneficial Owner is similar to that in the primary business contact information section.
Tip: Enter beneficial owners’ personal address, not a business or warehouse address.
- The Primary Contact Person can also be a Beneficial Owner. If so, select the option ‘I am a legal representative of the business’ when entering the Primary Contact Person information.
- Must include all shareholders and how many shares they own. This will appear as “Submitted Statutes should contain Articles of Association and share allotment document (statement of Capital/ Annual return/ share register).”
All documentation for European sellers must be valid and dated within 180 days.
Amazon Seller Central is all about the details
Preparation is key when opening an Amazon Seller account. We at Wise Commerce have seen Amazon enforce stringent practices to avoid any suspicious behavior. This helps them not only comply with the local regulations where they operate but also ensure that only legitimate sellers make it onto their platform.
Ultimately, if your account is not accepted, there is a strong chance that the decision will not be reversed due to the difficulty in contacting an Amazon representative who can help.
We work with companies to help prepare relevant details and ensure all documentation is properly prepared. Ultimately, streamlining registration will help you remain organized from submission to selling. If you’d like help in opening an account for your business, you can contact us here to chat or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org