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Old 01-22-2011, 09:35 AM is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Miami
Posts: 16
Thumbs up Merchant Accounts for Individuals, Sole Proprietor.

Individuals can accept major credit cards too...
I wish to demystify the common knowledge or public perception of the basic requirements for accepting major credit cards. If you ask anyone chances are they will all say the same thing, only businesses can accept credit cards as a form of payment. Typically this is what the Merchant providers, Credit Card companies and Banks want you to think as doing so reduces their risk to non traditional business centric transaction types. To further explain this in a simple, and somewhat understandable manner think of the banks and card companies and their main target market for merchants, business and leaders in corporate industries that have a proven stable track record of low risk to profit ratio. As a direct result of streamlining a common stereotype that infuses the idea that only those with incorporated businesses are applicable for credit card acceptance ensure a set standard for risk management that becomes easier to manage and monitor. Now that I have explained the above I move onto concluding the fact that anyone, thats right, anyone can accept credit cards without the need to incorporate or become a traditional business in structure or fictitious.

Most major credit card issuers support merchants functioning as a Sole Proprietor...

Some Card companies still blockage against this sort of open commerce market place. Companies like American Express will decline sole proprietor merchant accounts thus refusing to work with artists and other self employed sole proprietor classification. On the flip side both Visa and MasterCard fully support this open commerce market place which accounts for the majority of the card types in the market place so this is really all one will need to accept in order to cater to more then 95% of credit card holders.

The smallest business can operate as a one person operation now with the ability to accept credit cards...

The classification an individual will need to signup as when completing a merchant account is a sole proprietor business type and the ID or EIN which stands for the Employee Identification Number issued by the IRS for free for all new business would need to be your very own Social Security number. What this tells the bank, merchant provider and card issuers is that you are acting as a business through yourself and will in fact declare profit or loss through your social security come the income tax filing. This is how most individual, vendors, small businesses and freelancers accept credit cards nation wide. It is a little known fact which is now just being understood by more and more individuals. This method of accepting credit cards is cheaper and easier to manage.

Not all providers support individuals as merchants however Spartadata and many others do support individuals operating as a Sole Proprietor ...

The last bit of the equation is the merchant provider. This is the company that carries the risk, directly with the card issuer and essentially provides you as the merchant the customer support, processing services and technologies that together make it possible for you to accept credit card payments. Not ever merchant provider will support this type of merchant classification, so it is wise to always inquire before investing time and effort in applying. If you are looking to signup you can do so with those providers that support this option.
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