At Castlewood Studios (our Website & Internet Marketing business) we get a lot of clients wanting to sell items on their website. If you want to accept credit and debit cards and online payments, a free Stripe account is a great way to go about it. Here we’ll show you how to easily create your business Stripe account, step-by-step.
If you’re looking for a way to accept credit/debit cards and digital payments online, then you should consider creating a Stripe account. Why choose Stripe over something like Paypal? Both are great options, and both charge roughly the same processing fees. However, Stripe has one advantage over Paypal – combined with a free WordPress plugin, it will allow you to easily add inventory-controlled buttons to the most basic websites or blogs.
How To Create A Stripe Account:
- Collect required information: You’re going to need to know the:
- Full legal first/last name for the administrator on the account, along with their date of birth and Employer Identification Number or Social Security Number.
- Business type (Single-owner LLC or DBA, Corporation, etc).
- What email will be used for account? (This will be where notifications about payments and disputes are sent.)
- What customer support email and phone number? (This info will be available to customers needing help.)
- Business/Home physical address.
- Bank account number and routing number.
- Estimated monthly sales through Stripe (“I’m not really sure” is an option).
- Industry type (you’ll need to settle on something as close to what you do as possible).
- Description of services: What do you sell, where do customers pay (on the cart page of your website?), how long before they receive their purchases, etc. You don’t have to write a book, but a clear description will be helpful in resolving potential disputes later on.
- Go to https://dashboard.stripe.com/register to actually create the account.
- You’ll be asked a couple questions at a time, starting with your email, name and what the password should be. Armed with the information you’d collected previously, you should breeze past this initial section.
- After entering your information and creating the account, the next step is the verify the email address you signed up with.
- Log into that email account and click the link in the email to verify it. It’ll take you back to your Stripe account, and ask for the password you previously created.
- Next, back in your Stripe dashboard, click the “Activate your Stripe Account” link, then the “Start now” button.
- Enter information about the location of your business, the website, description, etc. Depending on the type of business you are (LLC, Corporation, etc), you will be asked to provide different information. For sole proprietors and single owner LLC’s, all you’ll need is your SSN. Corporations, on the other hand, will require different information.
- One of the last things you’ll enter will be the phone number used for two-factor authentication – make sure you can receive texts at that number. After you save this info, Stripe will send a code in a text message to the number you provided. You’ll need to enter this code to enable two-factor authentication on your account. Once you do, a code will be sent to this number every time you try to log in – so don’t lose your phone!
- If you do lose your phone, no worries! After setting up authentication, you’ll be given an emergency backup key. As long as you keep this someplace safe (ie: not on your phone), you can use this code to log into your account even without your phone. Needless to say, don’t let anyone else know this code.
- Note: this step can wait until you set up Stripe in WooCommerce, Stripe Payments, or whatever other Stripe integration you happen to be using. After verifying your phone number, look on the left side of your Stripe dashboard for “Developers”. Click this, then click “API keys”.
- Notice at the top of this screen a message saying “Viewing live API keys. Toggle to view test keys“. Sure enough, there’s a toggle to the right to switch between the two. Click it to switch to “test” mode.
- Copy the “Publishable key”, which looks something like “
pk_test_abunchofgibberishhere” and save it somewhere secure.
- Click the “Reveal test key token” for the secret key and copy/save that as well. This should start with a “
- Click the toggle next to “viewing test data” toward the top of the screen to show your live API keys.
- Copy and save your publishable and secret keys just like you did the test keys. These will look similar to your test keys, but will be prefaced with “
pk_live_” or “
- Note: you can only see your live secret key once, so make sure you write it down somewhere safe. You can always create another secret key later if you loose this one, but you don’t want anyone else getting ahold of any of your secret keys. They’re secrets for a reason!
- Optional but recommended: Click on the head-and-shoulders profile link in the upper-right corner of your window, then click “Profile”. Make sure all the info appears correct. While you’re here, go to the “Email preferences” section and check the boxes for “Successful payments”, “Disputes”, “Invoice mispayments”, “Webhooks”, and any other notifications you might wish to receive.
Congratulations! You have created your own business Stripe account. Now all that’s left is to connect it to your website and begin processing payments. For one such example, you might want to check out our article “A Free and Easy eCommerce Solution Using Stripe Buttons“