Everything You Need To Know About Setting Up Your Square Account
Square offers several time-saving benefits for small business owners, including no credit checks, a free magstripe reader to get you started, and a free Square POS app.
Square offers a low-risk entry point into credit card processing for small businesses and is among the most highly-rated payment processors we’ve reviewed here at Merchant Maverick. While Square is designed to be easy to use, the scale of the platform can be daunting when you’re first starting your Square setup.
Below, we’ll cover the basics of how to set up a Square account and provide links to deeper explorations of specific features you can dive into once you’ve completed your Square setup.
Table of Contents
- What Do You Need To Get Started With Square?
- How To Create A Free Square Account
- Choose Hardware Options For Your Square Account
- How To Set Up Your Square Account & Dashboard
- How To Set Up Square Deposits & Funding
- Explore More Square Software Options
- Where To Go Next With Square?
- In Conclusion: Setting Up Your Square Account
- FAQs: Square Setup
What Do You Need To Get Started With Square?
You will be asked for the following information as you go through the process of setting up your Square account.
- Email address
- Social security number
- Home address
- Shipping address
- Full legal name
- Phone number
- A US-based bank account for deposits
- Date of birth
Recommended but not required:
- EIN or Employer Identification Number
- A business bank account
How To Create A Free Square Account
Here are the basic steps to signing up for your free Square account.
Choose Hardware Options For Your Square Account
If you didn’t make hardware selections during the previous steps, now is a good time to take a closer look at Square’s POS devices. You can find them by selecting More from Square and selecting Hardware from the top of the next page. You can also select Order Square hardware from under your account name.
There’s too much to cover here, but you get the full rundown on these devices in our Square hardware buyers guide.
How To Set Up Your Square Account & Dashboard
Finally, you’ll have arrived at your dashboard.
As you can see, there’s a lot going on here. Helpfully, the dashboard places Square setup-related tasks front and center. Different tasks may be prioritized depending on the selections you made during the signup phase.
The upper left is for fast access to features you’ll use frequently. The bottom left is for navigating through features you may use, but not as often. You can edit both of these sections.
How To Set Up Square Deposits & Funding
The signup process gives you the opportunity to set up your Square deposits, but in case you skipped it, you can complete the process at any time. Setting up deposits will allow Square to pay out your share of sales revenue. You can enter bank accounts under Account & Settings –> Bank Accounts.
If you’ve ever set up direct deposit before, the process should be pretty familiar.
When it’s time to get all of that revenue into your bank account, Square has several options for getting your money, all found under Balance.
Square will automatically deposit your funds on the next business day (though, in some cases, it may take two). You can also change your ‘close of day’ to adjust for your time zone or business hours if you would like. The close of day determines when Square cuts off payment deposits for the next business day.
If you need your money even faster, Square offers Instant Deposits that transfer your current Sales Balance immediately — whether it’s a business day or a weekend. This faster service will cost you 1.5% of the transfer amount. You can even use Scheduled Deposits to get your money deposited at each day’s close of business.
The third option is to sign up for Square Checking, a business banking service offered through Sutton Bank. Signing up for this service will allow you to instantly access your balance funds at no additional cost.
Find out all the details about the instant deposit feature and more about how Square’s deposit options work in general by checking out our guide to Square balances and instant deposit options.
Explore More Square Software Options
When you sign up for Square, you’ll be enrolled in Square POS by default. There are other configurations and software options that are available both free and with a premium subscription. Here are the big ones:
|Placeholder||Square For Retail||Square For Restaurants||Square Appointments|
|Free Plan||Number of users: Unlimited||Number of users: Unlimited||Number of users: 1|
|Retail POS app included||Open checks||Calendar|
|Auto-generate SKUs||Split tender||Online booking site|
|Bar code scanning with iPad camera||Online ordering||Services management|
|Advanced items search||Tableside ordering & payments||Square Assistant (handles confirmations and rescheduling automatically)|
|New order creation||Menu management||Commission tracking|
|Cross-location stock counts||Auto-gratuity||Resource tracking|
|Paid Plan||Monthly fee: $60/month per location||Monthly fee: $60/month per location; $40/month per location for additional POS devices||Monthly fee: $29/month (Pro), $69/month (Premium)|
|All free plan features||All free plan features||All free plan features; unlimited users|
|Discounted card-present transaction rate: 2.5% + $0.10||Unlimited KDS devices||Discounted card-present transaction rate: 2.5% + $0.10|
|Cross-location bulk transfers & returns||Advanced table management and course management||Multiple locations|
|Advanced inventory management tools & reporting||Advanced reporting||No show protection|
|Barcode printing||Advanced employee management||Resource, sales, & commission tracking (Premium)|
Square For Retail
This POS system works with an iPad and has a redesigned interface and usability geared for retail businesses that have substantial inventory. Instead of scrolling to an item in your inventory, an item is easily searchable by name. The barcode scanning and printing features make keeping up with inventory a bit easier, too.
Check out our Square Retail review for more on price, pros and cons, and a lot more details.
Square For Restaurants
If you are familiar with Square’s POS system, you may be surprised to see how different Square for Restaurants really is. And it has to be. Sit-down restaurants usually require more specialized tools to cover their everyday business needs, and this POS delivers — from table mapping, menu creation, table management, and reporting tools — there are a lot of specialized features here.
Check out our full Square for Restaurants review to find out if this is the right choice for your restaurant.
If your business relies on creating and maintaining appointments for just yourself or an entire team, Square Appointments might be just what you need. Note that this POS option is an iOS exclusive. It’s free for individual users, and pricing starts at $29 a month beyond that.
Check out our in-depth Square Appointments review, including functionality, customization, and features.
Square offers myriad specialized software options to make business more productive. Some are free, while others come at an additional cost. Here are some of your options:
- Customer Engagement: Square’s customer engagement tools include a customer database, feedback management, and CRM software.
- Loyalty Program: Keep customers coming back with your own custom loyalty program. You can try it for free for 30 days. Read our Square Loyalty Program review for an in-depth analysis.
- Team Plus: As outlined in a previous section, pay $35/month per location for advanced reporting and employee management tools. A free 30-day trial is available.
- Shifts: One of Square’s newer features, Shifts is a team scheduling software designed to help maximize team schedules and estimate labor costs. The basic version is free with Shifts Plus
- Payroll: Square Employee and Contractor payroll start at $35/month plus $5/employee or contractor paid. Contractor-Only Payroll is just $5/month per contractor.
Where To Go Next With Square?
You may have noticed that Square offers a huge ecosystem that small businesses can take advantage of. We’ve only touched on the basics of setting up a Square account here, but there’s so much more. Your next steps could be:
- Set up and learn how to use Square payroll to pay your staff
- Check out Square’s marketing features
- See what Square offers nonprofit businesses
In Conclusion: Setting Up Your Square Account
When you consider that Square is a secure, PCI-compliant option with a transparent pricing plan and offers lots of bells and whistles, it truly is an excellent solution for any small business. I like that it’s so easy to set up an account with Square and that they don’t ask for much in terms of personal information. When it is time to get set up or find reports, the Dashboard is intuitive and easy to navigate.