So you have decided that it is now time to start selling on Amazon, Great! you are now on your way to becoming an Amazon Entrepreneur. This is not going to be an easy get rich quick scheme. Trust me it’s not, but if you are determined to take the right steps. Put in the right amount of effort, you can became successful. Having a rewarding eCommerce business with the ease of having inventory stored at other locations. With a huge pool of potential customer’s right at your fingertips. Makes Amazon the best website to sell pretty much anything on. In this article I am going to show you how to first set up your Amazon seller account. While highlighting some crucial information to help you get started.
The first step in creating a Amazon seller account is to go to www.amazon.com, from there you need to scroll to the bottom of the page. In the footer section there is going to be 4 columns get to know us, make money with us, Amazon payment products and let us help you. Underneath make money with us you will find Sell on Amazon, click that and it will take you to the sellers page where you will be able to create your sellers account from there.
Things you need before you get started
Before you create your sellers account there is a few things that you will need or should have already prepared. ( you can view the article here. From a better description of what you will need before start to sell on Amazon.)
- Your legal business name (You will need to have a DBA or registered business in your state) and Contact information.
- An email that you want to be linked to your seller central account. this can be a personal email. I do recommend setting up a branded or business email to keep everything separate.
- Credit card with a valid billing address This will be used to charge your account for billing purposes.
- A phone number that is easily reachable. This is used during the registration process. The phone number will also be used for 2 step verification [so use a phone that can receive text messages and is always on you.]
- Your tax identity information.
Choosing Account Type:
I previously wrote a article on the difference between individual and professional seller account. I would have a look at that article to help you decide on which account type to use.
Here is a Quick overview to help with you decision:P
Professional Seller account
- Monthly Fee of $39.99 a Month
- Create New Product Pages
- Manage inventory feeds through bulk up loads (spreadsheets)
- Ability to set your own shipping rates
- Make listing inactive go on vacation mode
- Buy Box Eligible
- Grant access to other users
Individual Seller Account
- $0.99 Fee per Item Sold
- Create New Product Pages
- Amazon sets shipping rates
- NO Buy Box eligibility
- Can’t grant access to other users
- Can go on Vacation mode
The two most common business structures are LLC and Sole Proprietorship. I am not going to go into everything in this tutorial but will give a quick overview to help you decided on your business structure.
Read here if you want more information on choosing a business structure.
Due to the lower cost of setting up a sole proprietorship makes it perfect for starting out. Most entrepreneurs will start with a sole proprietorship until they make enough money to set up a LLC.
Basically sole proprietors are taxed as a self-employed individual. The income of the business is considered your personal income for tax purposes. All Liability of the company falls onto you.
The only thing you will need to set up is a DBA (Doing Business As) with your local clerk’s office. Fee’s to set up a DBA vary depending on where you live. For the most part you can register you DBA with the local clerk’s office for under $30.00. Which is less then the monthly fee to set up a amazon account. Setting up a DBA will also allow you to open a business account at most banks. Which I recommend doing to keep all of your money for your business separate from you personal finances.
Limited Liability Company (LLC)
An Limited Liability company works as its own tax identity. So all income and expenditures are base on what the company makes. Also the Liability of the company falls onto the company. This keeps your personal finances safe.
There is fee’s and to set up and you are expected to pay the IRS around $800 dollars in tax’s even if you don’t make a sale. This is why most people start out as a sole proprietor until they have enough cash floor to cover those charges and more.
There is other forms of business structures such as partnership and corporation. But most companies selling on Amazon will be set up using one of the two business structures listed above.
Setting Up Your Account
Here is where you enter you legal business name, think of it as who will be paying the taxes. ( Please note this won’t be the name of your store. That is in the next section. Legal business name will be used for tax purposes only.) If you’re setting up your Seller account as an individual, use your name and tax identification information or if you set up a DBA use that. Otherwise, stick with your business’s name and information.
Amazon will be giving you a w-9 on the tax information section and verify with the IRS. If you give any wrong information you won’t be able to open a seller central account.
Your address will by default be used for billing information and returns will be sent to this address. if these addresses are different I recommend just entering your billing address. you can change your return address later in the settings tab.
Business Display Name:
This is what the customer is going to sees. So make sure to display the business name / Brand you want to display to your customers.
You do not need a website to sell on Amazon especially if you are doing retail arbitrage. If you are doing private label, it might be a good idea to have a ecommerce site running along with your Amazon store. If you don’t have the funds now to host a website you can buy a domain name for cheap with Namecheap.
I would enter your personal mobile phone number and not your companies phone number. Amazon has two step verification when logging into account from a unknown computer. Which they send a text or call with a PIN number. You need this PIN number in order to access your account. So if you aren’t at work and checking your daily sales it’s best to use a phone number that you always have on you.
Even if you pick a sole proprietor it is recommended to create a whole new business bank account( Don’t put funds into personal account). This helps keep all of your funds for the business in a single location making taxes a little easier to file.
You can always update at a later date, but changing bank account information takes a little time for Amazon to verify. So it is much easier to enter your bank account information the first time.
Depending on the type of business you will be running dictates what you will be entering here. Sole proprietors/individuals will use their Social Security Number instead of an Employer Identification Number (EIN) as their tax identification number.
Enter the need information. Amazon will then produce a W-9 form for you. This process is generally quick and Amazon will validate your information with the IRS in minutes.
The last step is some general questions about product information. You are able to skip this step and just jump straight into you new seller central account.
That’s it you are in. Now I would take some time now to get familiar with seller central look at the different tabs and sections. the next step will be to create your first product listing.