Before you can start selling on Amazon, you need to create an Amazon Seller account, make a business profile, and check and change a number of settings to suit your needs.
Your Amazon Seller Central account is where you will upload your products, track how many sales you’ve made, and, most importantly, get paid. Before moving on to the next steps, it’s important to make sure that this is set up correctly.
In this article, we’ll show you how to sign up for an Amazon seller account and how to set up your account to match how you plan to do business on Amazon.
Table of Contents
1. Registering to Become an Amazon Seller
An Amazon Seller account is your gateway to the Amazon marketplace. Although you can log in to Amazon Seller Central with the same username and password you use for shopping on Amazon, these two accounts are entirely separate.
To open an Amazon Seller account, first make sure you have all the information available that you’ll be prompted to enter:
- Your legal business name
- The email address you want to use to receive notifications and other communications from Amazon
- Your home or business address
- Your home or business phone number
- Credit card information (so Amazon can collect its fees)
- Bank account routing number and account number (so Amazon can remit payments to you)
- Tax identification number — Social Security number (SSN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN) (see the nearby sidebar)
- A valid passport or driver’s license (you’ll need to provide the ID number and submit a scan or digital photo of the document)
- A scan or digital photo of an additional document for identification, such as a bank or credit card statement with your name and address on it
To start the registration process, take one of the following steps:
- Go to sell.amazon.com and click Start Selling.
- Go to sellercentral.amazon.com and Register Now (near the top of the page).
- Go to www.amazon.com, scroll down to the Make Money with Us section, and click Sell on Amazon.
Regardless of where you start, you’re directed to the same signup page. Follow the on-screen prompts to enter the information requested and upload the documentation required. After you provide all the information and documentation required, you will receive a confirmation email message indicating that your account is active.
To be sure your account is active, go to sellercentral.amazon.com, hover over Settings (in the upper-right corner of the page), and choose Account Info. If you see a message near the top of the page stating, “You currently have limited access to Amazon selling services,” scroll down the page and hover over any red text to find out the nature of the issue and access instructions on how to resolve it. Follow the on-screen instructions to resolve any issues.
Obtaining and using an EIN instead of an SSN is always a good idea to prevent identity theft, but you really don’t need an EIN unless you plan to do one of the following:
- Hire employees
- Offer a Keogh or Solo 401(k) retirement plan
- Buy or inherit an existing business that you operate as a sole proprietorship
- Incorporate or form a partnership or limited liability company (LLC)
Applying for an EIN is easy. Just visit www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/apply-for-an-employer-identification-number-ein-online and follow the instructions.
If you intended to sign up for an Individual plan and were signed up for a Professional plan by mistake, downgrade to the Individual Plan and email a refund request to Amazon Seller support. To downgrade your plan, take the following steps:
- Hover over Settings (upper-right corner of the Amazon Seller page) and choose Account Info.
- Scroll down to the section Your Services (lower left) and choose Manage.
- Next to Sell on Amazon if you see “Professional,” choose Downgrade.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to downgrade to the Individual plan.
After you downgrade your plan, you may continue to see (for up to 120 days) that you’re signed up for the Professional plan, but as long as you receive an email notification from Amazon indicating that your Professional plan has been cancelled, you won’t be enrolled in or charged for that plan.
Next, you must contact Amazon to request a refund for the $39.99 you were charged initially for being enrolled into the Professional plan:
- Select Help.
- Scroll down to Need More Help? at the bottom of the page and select Get Support.
- Select Selling on Amazon to see additional options.
- Choose Your Account and then Other Account Issues.
- In the Describe Your Issue box, type an explanation of what happened, followed by your request for a refund.
- Press Continue and follow the on-screen instructions to complete your communication. Someone from Amazon’s support staff will follow up with you, via email or phone, to resolve the issue and process your refund.
2. Completing Your Amazon Seller Business Profile
To become fully integrated into the Amazon marketplace and be able to run your eCommerce business without any hiccups, you must provide Amazon certain details and documentation about your business, including any relevant government filings.
To access Business Information links, which you can use to supply the necessary information and documentation, log on to Seller Central, hover over Settings (upper right of the opening Seller Central page), and choose Account Info.
The Seller Account Information page appears, which includes a Business Information section. Use the links in this section to pull up pages for checking/editing the items explained in the following sections.
When you choose Business Address, the Business Address page appears, displaying any business address and phone number you entered when opening your Amazon Seller account.
This address may be the same as your home address if you’re running the business out of your home, or it may be a different address if you run your business from a different location. Most importantly, this is the address to which all returned items will be sent (except Fulfilled by Amazon items, which will be returned to an Amazon fulfillment center).
You can enter a different return address in your return settings, as we explain in the later section “Entering Shipping and Return Settings.” The address you enter in your return settings will override your business address as the default return address. You can override the return address when you authorize individual returns.
The Business Address page provides two options for changing your business address:
- Select an Address: Choose this option to select from a list of addresses Amazon already has on record for you. (Amazon may have numerous shipping addresses from the account you use to shop on Amazon.)
- Add a New Address: Choose this option to display a form that enables you to enter a new location, fill out the form, and click Submit.
Though, technically, you can have different entries for business address, official registered address, and legal address, using the same address across Amazon can lead to faster approvals. Having different addresses or changing addresses frequently may attract additional scrutiny from the Amazon team.
Official Registered Address
Your official registered address is the address used to legally register your business with government agencies, such as your state’s Secretary of State office, business bureau, or business agency.
To check or change your official registered address, choose Official Registered Address and then choose one of the addresses in the list or click Add New Address and enter the address you want to use. Click Save to submit the change.
Language for Feed Processing Report
By default, error codes in any downloaded reports from Amazon are in U.S. English, but you may have the option to switch to a different language that matches one of the marketplaces in which you’re selling.
To check out your options, choose Language for Feed Processing Reports. If you’re greeted with the message “Forbidden. You do not have the rights to perform this action.” then Amazon will assign the most suitable language for you. If you see other languages, choose the language you want Amazon to use for downloaded reports and press Save.
The legal entity you choose for your business determines how your business is taxed. You may have entered some or all the required information when you first opened your account or you may need to do so after opening your account.
To check your legal entity or change it, choose Legal Entity. The Legal Entity page appears, indicating whether your tax information is complete and providing a way to enter any missing information or update your tax information. If your tax information is complete, you’re good to go.
To check or change existing tax information, press Update Tax Information and proceed through the Tax Information Interview. To complete the interview, you’ll need the following information:
Tax classification: Individual (for example, sole proprietorship) or business (for example, C-corporation)
Citizenship: Whether you’re considered a U.S. citizen or a citizen of another country for tax purposes
- Your name as shown on your income tax return and (optionally) your business or trade name
- The address used on your income tax return
- Your Social Security Number or Taxpayer Identification Number
Your merchant token is a unique number assigned to each third-party seller that enables Amazon to identify each of its sellers. It allows you to access Amazon’s Marketplace Web Service to use a variety of third-party software and applications designed to simplify and enhance your work as an Amazon Seller.
You can’t change your merchant token, but you can view it. On the Seller Account Information page, in the Business Information section, select Merchant Token. The Merchant Token page appears, displaying your merchant token.
Every seller’s merchant token is unique. Don’t try to share yours with other sellers or use a token from one seller account on another.
Your display name is what customers see when they view one of your product listings or an order that includes one of your products.
On the Seller Account Information page, in the Business Information section, select Display Name to change your display name, storefront link (if applicable), email address, and phone number for the various marketplaces you serve (for example, the United States, Canada, and Mexico). The Seller Information page appears where you can choose to edit the details for each marketplace.
3. Checking and Adjusting Your Account Settings
Soon after signing up to become an Amazon Seller and every so often thereafter, you should check your account settings to be sure all your information is accurate and up to date and the actual settings reflect your preferences.
To access your account settings, hover over Settings (in the upper-right corner of Seller Central), and click the desired option:
Account Info: Displays the Seller Account Information page, which includes the following information and settings:
- Your seller profile, which you can choose to edit
- Your listings status (countries where you can sell products)
- Your services (whether you’re signed up for a Professional or Individual plan and whether you’re registered for Fulfillment by Amazon [FBA])
- Payment information, including deposit methods and invoiced order payment settings
- Business information, including your business address and display name
- Shipping and returns information, including your shipping and return address and default shipping methods
- Tax information, which is information used to determine your tax liabilities and ensure your information is reported properly to the taxing authorities
Notification Preferences: Enables you to specify how you would like to receive a variety of notifications and reports — via text (short message service [SMS]) or email.
Login Settings: Enables you to edit your login information, including your name, email, and password, and enable or disable two-step verification. (With two-step verification, you log in and receive a code via text message on your cellphone that you must enter to complete your login.) We strongly recommend that you enable two-step verification to secure your account. (See the later section “Securing Your Amazon Seller Account” for details.)
Return settings: Here you can change the marketplace-specific return settings such mailing labels, return instructions, returnless refund, and return address settings. See the next section, “Entering Shipping and Return Settings,” for details.
Gift options: Choose this option to modify gift messaging and wrapping preferences.
Shipping Settings: Displays your default shipping address and default shipping preferences for standard, expedited, two-day, one-day, international, and international-expedited shipping. See the next section for details.
User Permissions: If you’re registered as a Professional Seller, you can use this option to add or remove users from your account.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA): This page provides a long list of options to customize FBA, such as specifying who preps and labels the package for shipping, where your inventory is stored, whether unsellable customer returns are to be refurbished, and many more.
4. Entering Shipping and Return Settings
Before you start listing products for sale on Amazon, be sure to check your shipping and return settings to ensure they match what you want to offer to your customers, as we explain in the following sections.
Your shipping settings establish the default shipping service levels for orders you ship to buyers (Fulfillment by Merchant, not Fulfillment by Amazon). Amazon requires standard shipping for all sellers but allows you to offer other shipping level options such as expedited and two-day.
To check and (optionally) change your shipping levels from Seller Central, go to Settings, Shipping Settings. The Shipping Settings page appears.
Check the default shipping address at the top. If you’ll be shipping from a different location, press the Edit button, enter the location’s name and address, and press Save.
Under Default Shipping are the available shipping service levels. Initially, the only level you’re set up to offer to shoppers is Standard. Next to this option is “Normal,” indicating a standard transit time of 4 to 14 days. All the other service levels have “No” next to them, indicating that you don’t offer these shipping service levels.
To the right of each shipping service level is “view rate table,” which you can select to find out how much Amazon charges buyers for various items at that particular shipping service level and how much will be credited to your account.
Note that your shipping cost may be more or less than what Amazon charges the buyer and credits to your account, so you may gain or lose on shipping.
To offer additional shipping service levels or change the transit time for different levels, press the Edit button, enter your preferences, and press the Submit button.
You can override your default shipping settings for individual products by entering your shipping preferences when you list products for sale.
Your return settings enable you to specify, for each market (country), where you want buyers to send product returns, the conditions under which you want to allow return-less refunds, whether you want to receive return request emails, how requests are authorized, and how Return
Merchandise Authorization (RMA) numbers are generated. To access your return settings from Seller Central, go to Settings, Return Settings. The Returns Settings page appears.
Check the settings on all three tabs of the Returns Settings page to be sure they reflect your preferences:
General Settings: On this tab, you have three options:
- Email Format: You can choose to receive return request email messages from buyers with links to Authorize, Close, or Reply to the request.
- Default Automated Return Rules: You may want to authorize each request when you’re getting started to stay on the safe side. Later, to save yourself valuable time, consider selecting I Want Amazon to Automatically Authorize All Requests That Meet Amazon Policy. The third option, to have Amazon automatically authorize all requests is risky; you could end up having Amazon authorize illegitimate return requests — for example, buyers consuming nearly an entire container of supplements and returning it.
- Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) Number Settings: You can have Amazon generate a unique RMA for you or supply it yourself. Unless you have a good reason to use your own RMA numbers to track returns, save time by letting Amazon generate RMA numbers for you.
Returnless Refund: The Returnless Refund tab contains an Add New Rule button you can click to display a form that enables you to add a rule that sets the conditions for a returnless refund (the customer keeps the product and is refunded her money). Enter a name for the rule, a price range, choose one or more product categories the rule applies to, choose one or more return reasons, and specify a return window (number of days from the estimated order delivery date). Click Save to save the rule. The rule is added to your Returnless Refund tab with buttons next to it to Edit or Delete it.
Return Address Settings: Unless you specify otherwise, items you ship to customers are returned to the business address you entered when you enrolled as an Amazon Seller. You can press the Set the Address button on this tab to enter a return address that overrides the business address.
To the right of the three tabs is the Return Attribute Overrides button that enables you to download a template you can use to enter return attributes that override the default return settings for specified products. You’ll find a button for downloading the template and instructions in the template for filling it out.
5. Securing Your Amazon Seller Account
As the world’s largest eCommerce marketplace, Amazon draws the attention of bad actors, who target sellers to gain unauthorized access to their accounts. If someone gains access to your account, she may be able to:
- Lock you out of your own account.
- Divert deposits from your Amazon account to her bank.
- Sell fake or counterfeit merchandise under your business name.
- Gain access to other related accounts, such as a PayPal or email account (if the same or similar credentials are used to log in to other accounts).
- Obtain valuable insights into your business, such as ad performance and which products are most profitable, to gain competitive advantage.
- Ruin your reputation among shoppers, which could lead to account suspension or lawsuits.
To protect your Amazon Seller account from unauthorized access, take the following precautions:
Enable two-step verification. With two-step verification, every time you try to log in to your seller account, Amazon sends a security code to your mobile phone that you must enter to confirm your identity. Check to make sure two-step verification is enabled. In Seller Central, go to Settings, Login Settings, and next to Two-Step Verification (2SV) Settings, press the Edit button. If two-step verification is disabled, Amazon prompts you enroll. Press the Get Started button and follow the on-screen instructions.
Use a unique username and password for every account. If you use the same username or password on multiple sites, a breach on one site places other sites at risk.
Use strong passwords. Make your passwords long and use a random combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Don’t use publicly available information in your passwords, such as your phone number or birthdate. Write down your login credentials for every service you use and store them somewhere only you can find them.
Change passwords when necessary. For example, change your passwords when a service you use discloses a security breach, your account has been broken into, you become aware that spyware has been installed on your computer, or you logged on to a service over an unsecured public network.
Keep the email address and mobile number you use to sign on to your account or verify your identity updated on Amazon. To check this info from Seller Central, go to Settings, Login Settings.
Set up your notification settings to be notified of important actions taken on your account. To access your notification settings from Seller Central, go to Settings, Notification Preferences.
If you’re a Professional Seller with multiple users on your account, remove users whenever they no longer need access to the account. For example, if a user on your account leaves your business, remove the user. To set and edit user permissions from Seller Central, go to Settings, User Permissions.
Don’t let your web browser store you login credentials. If your browser stores your login credentials, anyone who has access to the device on which that browser is installed, including someone who steals the device, can log into your accounts.
Be careful using public Wi-Fi. If you must log in to sensitive sites over public Wi-Fi, do so through a virtual private network (VPN), which provides a secure, encrypted connection between your computer and any site it connects to.
Use a reputable password manager. With a password manager, such as LastPass, you store all your login credentials in a secure vault that you can access with a single username and password. You can then create long, complex, random passwords that you don’t have to remember.
Most common means to break into an account is a phishing attack, which typically involves sending the account holder an email message with a link to a site that looks like Amazon but is set up to capture the username and password the seller enters. To avoid succumbing to a phishing attack, take the following precautions:
- Be suspicious of any email that contains an attachment or a link, especially if the email message is warning you of a serious issue that needs your immediate attention. Fear makes people do stupid things, and phishers know it.
- Don’t click any email attachments or links unless you know and trust the sender.
- Install reputable Internet security software, such as ESET, that filters out spam and email likely to contain spyware and other malicious software.
- Hover over a link before clicking it. The link’s address will appear in a pop-up or at the bottom of the email message window, showing where the link will really take you, so you can make a well-informed decision about whether to click it.
- Watch out for website names or links that may appear to be from Amazon but have a slightly different spelling, such as Amason or Amazon.
- Don’t provide login or account information over the phone. Amazon never calls customers to verify the information. So, if you receive any such phone calls, be alert and don’t disclose the sensitive information being requested.
- If you receive a suspicious email message or phone call, report it to Amazon.