Documents Required To Open A Merchant Account

The Opening of a merchants account requires series of documentation and verification. Each country has its own procedures while acquiring a merchants account, the sole purpose of mystifying the account opening process is to limit the chances of fraudsters and unwanted people applying. Merchants account opening takes days after fulfilling all documentation processes, at times it takes weeks depending on the country. Another factor that delays merchant account opening is the nature of a business, the financial institution uses “know your customer” (KYC) techniques to verify and confirm the business premises and business owner, and this is to ensure they are not dealing with someone that is questionable. Some of the universal documents needed in opening a merchants account are itemized as follows:

  • Merchant Account Application: Completed in full and signed.
  • Means of Identification :This is also a vital document needed in opening a merchant account. Without a valid means of id, a merchant stands the risk of not getting his/her account open. Example of a means of ID is an International passport, driver’s license or National ID.
  • Photo Identifications: Valid photo identification of all the business owners who own 10 percent or more are required because the acquiring bank must know who the majority owners are in any business.
  • Voided Check: A voided check must contain the business’ exact name. It also certifies that the business has a valid business checking account.
  • Utility Bill: The utility bill – which can be either the gas, electric or cable bill – must be no more than three months old when submitted with the merchant account application.
  • Business Bank Statements or Business Bank Letter: We need the last three months’ worth of banking statements which ascertain a business is operating and functional. We’ll accept a business banking letter from startup businesses who are functional, but have not begun accepting transactions yet.
  • Credit Card Processing Statements: Three months of credit card processing statements are required for business that process credit card transactions. These statements show chargebacks and refunds as well as the volume your business does.
  • Website or Marketing Material: Your website shows the acquiring bank exactly what your business is selling. For businesses without a website, we require marketing material and a business plan so that we can see how the merchant intends to drive sales.

Other Documents required may include :


Certificate of incorporation

Memorandum and articles of association.

Recent (up to 12 months) certificate of good standing (if applicable)

Certificate of incumbency

Constitutional document (if applicable)

Certificate of registered office or equivalent (if applicable)

Certificate of directors and secretary or equivalent

Certificate of shareholders or equivalent

Copies of identity cards/international passports of authorized signatories, registered shareholders,
directors, beneficial owner(s) etc

Minutes of the subscribers appointing the initial directors (if applicable)

Partnership agreement or deed (if applicable)

Proof of business address of group principal trading officers (if applicable)

Proof of the permanent residential address of all related parties of the company (Directors, Secretary,
Shareholders, Ultimate Beneficial Owner/s, Signatories, Trustees, Settlor, Protector, Partners, Attorney) i.e.
utility bills (not more than 6 months)

Short CV’s of the ultimate beneficial owner/s and authorized signatories (if applicable)

Copy of license (if applicable)

Trust deed or similar instrument (if applicable)

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