How To Set Up A Stripe Account: The Complete Guide For Small Business
Stripe is an enormously powerful payments system that has a lot to offer small businesses. We'll show you how to set up your test account to try out the software.
If you are new to using Stripe for your business, you may be wondering how to set up a Stripe account and what the steps are. Below, we’ll walk you through setting up a Stripe account and what you can use it for.
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What Can You Do With A Stripe Account?
Stripe offers immense functionality as a payment platform for its base transaction price of 2.9% + $0.30. With that, you’ll get:
- Credit/debit card processing
- ACH processing (at 0.8% per transaction)
- 3D Secure authentication
- Card account management
- Prebuilt hosted payments page
- Advanced fraud prevention
For additional fees per transaction, monthly fees, or one-time costs, you can also get access to:
- Additional payment method support
- Adaptive acceptance
- Instant payouts
- Custom domain
- Billing and invoicing
- Instant bank account verification
- Tax collection
- International payments
- Chargeback protection
- Identity verification
- In-person transactions
- Data pipelining
- Custom reports
- Business formation consulting
- Gift card issuing
Can You Have Multiple Stripe Accounts?
You can create multiple Stripe accounts with the same email address and toggle between them through the Stripe dashboard. In fact, Stripe requires businesses to use separate Stripe accounts for projects, websites, or businesses that operate independently from one another. For example, you must create additional accounts if you manage multiple businesses with separate tax IDs.
Having multiple accounts provides some advantages, such as easier bookkeeping or allowing you to use different bank accounts for payouts, including settling transactions in other currencies.
What Do You Need To Set Up A Stripe Account?
To set up your Stripe account, you’ll need a few pieces of information handy. These requirements may vary depending on the country from which you’re operating. They also may vary depending on your business type or structure.
Regardless of these factors, Stripe needs to verify its customers’ identities.
Stripe serves a large number of countries, but you must select the country where your business is registered when you create your account. For a US-based account, you’ll be asked to provide:
- A valid email address that only the person responsible for the account has access to
- A valid Social Security Number, an ITIN, or an EIN
- Information about owners, including phone numbers, date of birth, and home address
- Proof that greater than 80% of your payment volume will be tax-deductible donations if you’re registering with Stripe as a nonprofit
- A bank account with which to receive payments
How To Create A Stripe Account, Step By Step
Setting up a Stripe account is, for the most part, straightforward.
Create Your Test Account
Set Up Your Stripe Payments Account
To get access to most of Stripe’s features, you’ll need to complete the activation of your account. You can do this by clicking on the Activate Payments button. Stripe will then walk you through a series of prompts.
What Can You Do After You Create Your Stripe Account?
Now that you’ve set up your Stripe account, you can begin to access Stripe’s vast ecosystem and compare it to those of Stripe’s biggest competitors.
Most importantly, you can begin processing payments. Stripe generally pays out every two business days, with the exception of the initial 7-14 day verification window. Read our guide for a deeper dive into how Stripe works. You can also check out our Stripe pricing guide for a better idea of how much it costs to use Stripe.
Stripe Billing & Stripe Invoicing
This is Stripe’s tool for creating subscriptions, trials, discounts, and recurring billing. It comes in two forms, Starter and Scale. The Scale plan includes quotes for customers, auto-reconciliation of invoices, and additional features aimed at smoothing out the payment process.
Stripe also offers invoicing, which you can create and customize through the Stripe dashboard.
If you’re using an external platform, you can use Stripe Connect to hook it up to your Stripe account. You’ll need your publishable key and your secret key from your Stripe account. Follow your platform’s instructions for how to link your account, or get your keys to your team’s developer for implementation.
Stripe is mostly known for online payments, but it can be used to process in-person transactions with the help of a terminal.
Read our review of Stripe Terminal for more info.
Stripe offers financing to some customers who have been with the service for at least six months. Stripe will inform you by email and through your dashboard that you are qualified for financing. No credit check is required.
Stripe’s loans are essentially a form of a merchant cash advance, which will be repaid through a percentage of your daily Stripe transactions.
Stripe Corporate Card
Stripe offers a corporate credit card which, like Stripe Capital, is available by invite only.
Stripe Corporate Cardholders earn 1.5% cash back on business purchases regardless of category. You’ll also be eligible for benefits offered by Stripe’s partners, which include Amazon Web Services and Slack. There are no annual fees.
Common Questions About Stripe Account Setup