What do you need to open an Amazon Seller account in 2020?

Navigating the entirety of Amazon can be confusing and overwhelming as a seller. However, there are steps you can take to properly educate yourself on the most effective way to succeed on Amazon. 

One way is to familiarize yourself with opening an Amazon Seller Account and choosing one of the options that Amazon offers sellers that is right for you and your business.

Opening an Amazon Seller Account or Amazon Individual Seller Account depends on the outcome you want for your business and evaluating what’s important to you at each level of your business’s growth. Here, we’ll break down each option, so you can get a better idea of what’s right for your business.

Amazon Seller Account

Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

Also called the Professional Amazon Seller Account, a Professional account is a subscription service for Amazon businesses to efficiently sell their products.

An Amazon seller account is one of the two available accounts from Amazon for sellers to purchase. Essentially, it is an elevated version of the Individual Seller Account, but this option offers more to sellers. 

The Professional Amazon Seller Account costs $39.99/month. This subscription is nonrefundable, regardless of whether or not you list or sell products. The Professional account gives you access to tools to track and update your account and inventory. It also provides ways to manage your orders. 

The Amazon Seller Account is best for medium- to large-sized businesses since you don’t pay a per-item fee with this account. The ability to upload items in bulk from a spreadsheet and eligibility for listing placement in the Buy Box are two great perks of this account. 

Additionally, the Amazon Seller Account allows you to create promotions, gift services and other special listing features. With this account, U.S. sales tax is calculated on your orders to collect sales tax. 

Certain categories on Amazon are only available to sellers with the Professional Amazon Seller Account like Automotive & Sport, Jewelry, Watches, Sports Collectibles, Video, DVD, & Blu-ray, Collectible Coins, Entertainment Collectibles and Fine Art because they require additional approval. 

Overall, the Amazon Seller Account is a more viable option for businesses selling over 40 products per month compared to the Individual Seller Account. It’s a better option for sellers who also want to collect sales tax, use third party apps and tools, want to win the Buy Box, need to sell their products in restricted categories, and who plan to run promotions on products.


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Amazon Individual Seller

The Amazon Individual Seller Account is the more basic option of the two in that it is best for sellers who sell under 40 products. 

The Amazon Individual Seller account is also best for sellers who are just starting out or selling items for fun and want to keep expenses low in the beginning of their business. 

This is the best option for sellers who don’t wish to complicate things and want the smartest option for their small business. The Amazon Individual Seller account requires sellers to pay $0.99 per item fee. 

The Amazon Individual Seller account is free to sign up for, but doesn’t include many of the features that the Professional Amazon Seller account offers. 

This account relies on Amazon-set shipping rates but still allows you to create new product pages in the Amazon catalogue. It also allows you to make listings inactive if you need to halt selling for whatever reason. 

The more basic Amazon Individual Seller account is perfect if you are new to the game and want to save money for more important expenses while starting your business. 

Become an Amazon Seller

To become an Amazon Seller you need to create an account on Amazon. The process is relatively easy, but the process for registering is different for each type of Amazon Seller account. 

First, if you want to start a Professional Amazon Seller account that costs $39.99 per month, you need to go to services.amazon.com and click on the yellow “Sign up” button.

Do not click that button to become an Amazon seller with the free, Individual Amazon Seller account. To become an Amazon seller with the Individual Amazon Seller account you must sign up a different way to avoid the $39.99 per month subscription. 

When you scroll down the page, you will find a link that’s easy to miss that asks, “Just have a few items to sell?” This is the link you need to find to become an Amazon Individual Seller account that costs $0.99 per item sold. After scrolling down the page, this is what to look for to become an Amazon Seller with the Individual Amazon Seller account: 

After clicking the link, you will be redirected to a page to sign into your Amazon Seller account. Again, Amazon will try to sign you up for the Professional Account by default, so you will need to then find the link to the Individual Seller account once again after signing in. 

Starting an Amazon Business

Starting an Amazon business is a process that requires research, and here at Cascadia, we want to help direct your focus on the important aspects of starting your business while we can figure out your Amazon needs. 

As former Amazonians, we are here to support you in starting an Amazon business that succeeds while helping you navigate the tricky parts of Amazon. 

To start an Amazon business, you must sign up for either the Individual Seller Account or the Professional Amazon Seller account. 

You will then choose between the two accounts, and here at Cascadia, we recommend you begin with an Individual Seller account if you’re just starting your Amazon journey. If you’re a brand ready to take control of your Amazon listings, then you’ll need the Professional Seller Account.  

To become an Amazon seller when starting an Amazon business, you will need to enter some personal information to get set up. The beauty of this process is that you don’t need a “legal” business when starting an Amazon business as an individual seller. 

Your personal tax information or social security number is all you need when starting an Amazon business because you can claim your earnings as personal income. 

After signing into your Amazon account, you will need to enter the following information into the prompts exactly as they are legally listed:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Country of birth
  • Country of citizenship
  • Identity data:
    • Passport #
    • Expiration date
    • Country of Issue
  • Identity document:
    • i.e., scanned image of your passport
  • Residential address
  • One additional document
    • i.e., scanned image of a bank account statement
  • Your business’s address
  • Your business’s exact name
    • Including “LLC” or any business identifier in its legal name
  • Company registration number

Check this information before you click submit because it needs to be exact for you to be accepted as an Amazon seller and for you to open an Professional Amazon Seller account. You will then need to submit this information to open an Amazon business account and Professional Amazon Seller Account. 

Once you have entered your business information, seller information, marketplaces, store information, you will then reach this screen, informing you of a postcard that will be mailed to an address you can input before hitting submit.

This postcard will contain your verification code, which is the final step to securing your Amazon Seller account. You can also track the postcard’s status, so you know when to expect it.

And there you have it, you are one step closer to successfully selling your products on Amazon. Starting an Amazon business is intimidating, but we are here to help as former Amazonians who understand the ins and outs of the beast that is Amazon.

Struggling with creating a new account? Reach out below for help!

About the Author
Priscilla Thomas is Content Marketing Specialist for Cascadia Seller Solutions. A recent graduate of SUNY (State University of New York) at Geneseo in Communications, Priscilla loves to help connect the right information with the person who needs to hear about it! In her spare time, she runs with her black lab, Holly, and love to bake with extra butter!

2 thoughts on “What do you need to open an Amazon Seller account in 2020?”

  1. Thank you for the article. It’s very helpful. What team from amazon is able to help IF the country of birth is missing from the drop-down menu?
    I am a US citizen but my country of birth is missing from that list
    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Viorel, they don’t currently have a workaround for this, unfortunately. We just encountered this with a US citizen, whose country of birth is Russia, and she couldn’t sign up because her country of birth is not in the dropdown. In her case, she ended up having to create an account under her husband’s name and business. While I know this is not an ideal solution, you may need a business partner if you want to open an account immediately, until Amazon fixes this glitch. Hope that helps!

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