Josh Shogren of Passion into Paychecks defines an Amazon Seller Account as what “…enables you to sell products on the Amazon marketplace.“ What’s more, this Amazon Seller account gives you the option of letting Amazon take care of product storage, all the orders, shipping, and even customer service for you and your business. To top it all off, Amazon also does the marketing for you so that you don’t have to do the legwork yourself. Isn’t it just dandy? In order to enjoy all of these services, you need to first set up your Amazon Seller account.
Preparation for Setting up an Amazon Seller Account
Before you actually sign up for an Amazon Seller account, there are a few things Julia Hess suggests that you prepare and in order for your setup process to go smoothly:
Figure out what you’re selling and how you’re sourcing your product.
These are the most time-consuming parts of setting up your FBA business. Make sure you’ve already done these tasks before you go through the effort of setting up your Amazon account. If you haven’t taken these steps yet, make sure you do your research on what products will help you excel as an Amazon Seller so you can start selling right away. Make sure that you also have all your Amazon-friendly images prepared and have done the necessary research to create attractive listings.
Decide whether you are operating as a business entity or an individual.
Amazon has two different account options for sellers depending on their situation. You need to know if you’re going to be creating the account as a business or as an individual so you can set up the correct account and fill out the correct tax forms while setting up your account. If you don’t have that side of things worked out, you need to get that done pronto.
Decide on the name of your store.
Besides knowing what product you’re selling, you should have some branding details down before you create your Amazon Seller account. Do you have a business or brand name already? Are you going to use this for your Amazon store? If not, you should do your research and decide on what your store will be called. In any case, you should have at least five variations prepared in case the name you want is already taken. This is so that this small yet significant detail doesn’t get in your way of launching when your products are on their way.
Buy Box Experts has the following important details to add:
1. Have the name, address, and contact information of your legal business handy.
2. Create an email address that can be used for your company account, separate from your personal email. Get it set up – preferably on your business domain if you have a store outside of Amazon – since you will start receiving important emails from Amazon almost immediately after you sign up.
3. Get an internationally-chargeable credit card with a valid billing address – preferably your business address. You will need this during the sign-up process, and Amazon will cancel your registration straight away if the credit card doesn’t check out.
4. Make sure you have a phone number where you can be reached during this registration process. There is a process of verification and probably a few calls, so have it phone nearby during the registration period to help move things along.
5. Keep your tax identity information handy. This includes your Social Security number for a sole proprietorship or your company’s Federal Tax ID number for a business entity. Account registration process includes a stop for a 1099-K Tax Document Interview so you can submit your tax identity information and get it verified.
Amazon is required by the IRS to collect your tax ID information so the IRS can be notified of any possible taxable earnings you will get through your Amazon Seller account. The actual responsibility of paying your taxes is strictly yours, but Amazon is required to report if you have been a revenue-collecting Amazon seller during each tax year.
Now let’s move on to the actual Amazon Seller account details.
Individual Account vs. Professional Account
Another decision you have to make is whether to sign up for the individual Amazon Seller account or the professional one. Below is a table that shows some of the key differences between the two, side by side.
$.99 per item on each sale (plus other fees like FBA fees and storage fees)
Number of products to sell per month
Limited to 40 items per month
Setting of shipping rates
Can set shipping fees to charge their Amazon customers (Amazon, however, charges you with referral fees on the combined product price and shipping cost. Still you can add that referral fee to the shipping rate)
Categories you can sell in
Limited to 20 categories.
An extra 15 categories on top of the 20 on individual accounts. .
Listing new products
Can only add their offers only to existing product listings in Amazon.
Can create new listings for products never before offered on Amazon .
One or the other will be the best option for you, depending basically on the size of your business on launching and how big you plan to get within the next year or so. If you have about 50 products and expect to get lots of sales right away, a professional account will make more sense when you consider the fees.
Granting that you have chosen which path to take, you are now ready to start the application process.
Steps to Set-up your Amazon Seller Account
1. To get to the account creation page, you can navigate to the bottom of Amazon’s Homepage and locate the list in the footer entitled “Make Money with Us”, and click on Sell on Amazon. This will take you to a page that looks like this:
2. Click on the start selling button, which will redirect you to sellercentral.amazon.com, where you’ll be asked to either create an account if you still haven’t got one or to log in your existing account. Click “Create your Amazon account” and fill in the details that you have prepared. Wait for the phone verification message and enter the code, then click “Sign In”.
3. Once you have logged into your Amazon Seller account, you’ll be asked to enter your legal name and agree to the Amazon Seller terms and conditions. You will then be asked for your business address and the unique business display name you have chosen for your store. This is the name that everybody on Amazon will see. To make things simple, Amazon will let you know if the name you enter has already been taken.
Next, Amazon will ask for a billing method. This is where you will be using your internationally recognized credit card and banking information. This screen will also verify the selling plan that you chose. Don’t forget to check the FBA box if you are setting up an FBA account.
5. Then, you will need to get through a “tax interview” process where you will be entering your tax identification information. Amazon will need to keep tabs of all the third-party sellers that they cut checks to, so they need to register you in their system.
During the tax interview, you’ll have to choose whether you are a sole proprietor or a business entity since sole proprietors (i.e. individuals) will use a Social Security Number as their tax identification number.
After you have submitted your information, Amazon immediately provides you with a W-9 form.
7. Last is an optional step where you provide general information about your products. You can skip this step, however, and fill it out at a later time. (Although you should really just keep going at this point and get all your products properly listed so you can start selling as soon as your inventory is received.)
After completing the above steps, you can finally start having fun because your Amazon Seller account is ready at last and you are all set to explore Seller Central… and beyond!