Starting an online business is one of the best ways to conduct business. A real advantage of doing business online is that your “store” is open 24/7 to any customers that know about it.

Online businesses are more successful if they accept credit cards. The goal is to find a merchant provider that will provide you with a payment gateway to take care of credit card transactions.

This article will take you from the idea of starting an online business through applying for a merchant account. It may be helpful to you to read the whole article to pick up on things you may have missed while building your business.

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Guidelines for Starting a New Business

Please note that these tips are not set in stone; there is no guarantee of success following any business methodology. This article just comes from experience of setting up an online business and meeting the criteria for the vast majority of merchant account applications so that your business can accept credit cards.

On a side note: When starting a business online, there is a temptation to create a business name, make a logo, print out business cards, get a website and get office stationery right away.

The problem with that process is that so much money is wasted on business cards and stationery that instead could be used to legitimize your business. Wait until your business is legally and fully legitimate before creating your business art.

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What are the Topics for this Series?

Here is the list of steps in a logical order to help you find your way:

Just starting to think about creating a business: (Part 1 of 6)

Step 1 Find a Source of Income

Step 2 Develop a Simple Task Management System

Step 3 Determine your Type of Business

Figuring out where you could benefit your chosen industry: (Part 2 of 6)

Step 4 Define the Top Problem to Be Solved

Step 5 Goals of Financial Management

Step 6 Determine your Unfair Advantage

Step 7 Distribution Channel Strategy

Step 8 Key Performance Metrics and Business Strategies

Setting up your business process documentation and operational planning: (Part 3 of 6)

Step 9 Create a Yearly Budget Planner

Step 10 Plan Ahead Organizer

Step 11 Develop an Exit Strategy

Step 12 Develop a Risk Assessment Format

Step 13 Create a Password Database

With all of the planning stages completed, making your business legal is next: (Part 4 of 6)

Step 14 Obtain a Financial Accountant

Step 15 Obtain a Business Lawyer to Form Articles of Incorporation

Step 16 Obtain Your EIN from the IRS

Step 17 Obtain Your Business Bank Account

Step 18 Set Up a Physical Business

Step 19 Obtain Your DUNS Number

Step 20 Create Business Logo Images

Step 21 Hire a Photographer

Step 22 Hire an Account Manager

Step 23 Develop a Policy and Procedure Manual

Starting to make your business usable by the public: (Part 5 of 6)

Step 24 Build Online Presence

Filling out the correct merchant account application to accept credit cards: (Part 6 of 6)

Step 25 How to Accept Credit Cards Online

Starting an Online Business that Accepts Credit Cards Checklist (Free Gift)

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Find a Source of Income

The process for making an online business that accepts credit cards is quite a process. Do not expect to get a business loan right away. Your options are to keep working a regular job, minimize as much as possible to make money, take extra gigs on the side or find investors to help get the process started.

You can ask for micro-loans (or small monetary gifts) from people to help you get started. This is a personal loan (or gift) and must be paid back with what you earn in wages or dividends after your business is established and earning a profit.

Click on this link to read a report from Berkley College about unique sources of income.

Develop a Simple Task Management System

There are a lot of moving parts when setting up a business. You are going to want a simple task management system to accomplish all of the tasks. The best methods for simple task management are: “Get Things Done (GTD)” and KanBan.

For simple task management:

  • What is the task?
  • Is it now in progress?
  • Who is responsible for that task?
  • Is it completed?

For sanity’s sake, you cannot focus on more than 3 or 4 tasks in progress at any one moment.

For example, if your job is “odds making” for gambling brokerage houses, your task management could be as simple as:

  • Collect odds data – in progress – done
  • Put into correct report format – in progress – done
  • Send to “Bookie” – in progress – done
  • Check for payment received – in progress – done

Task management is so essential to your entire business operation that it is important to master this skill as one of the first steps. The next step is to determine your business type by researching the possibilities.

By the way, being an “odds broker” could be considered to be a high-risk merchant.

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Determine Your Type of Business

A telephone order company runs differently than a sports forecasting business. These are in different industries, sectors and niches. It is a good idea to choose a few types of businesses that you have an interest in waking up every morning to do.

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The Importance of Market Research in Business

There are a lot of assumptions made about different kinds of businesses. For example, a person could be handy with tools that are used to make wooden furniture; however, the same tools can be used to make rifle butts.

It is a good idea to become a customer for a business you are wanting to get into and ask lots of questions about how they operate.

Also, getting an SEO and Google AdWords Keyword report will clue you in on areas of the market that are being requested but not fulfilled. If you were there to supply the demand, your business would be more successful.

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Create a Target Market Profile

Creating a target market profile involves creating a story about your ideal client.

For example, if you sold lingerie, your ideal client might be a female executive who shops at adult book stores and purchases adult paraphernalia like personal massagers and knockoffs of Gucci and Jimmy Choo.

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For this example, her name is Tiffany Hart. She spends roughly $500 per month on stockings and satin undergarments. Tiffany uses her credit cards to purchase the vast majority of her goods.

Tiffany is also divorced, and her ex-husband takes the children every weekend. She buys iced coffee and loves going to fortune tellers. She reads these magazines: Vanity, Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan.

Tiffany gets gel nails and hair extensions before going out to clubs. She loves music that allows for her to whip her hair around. Her friends refer to her as a cougar even though she prefers older, refined men.

Tiffany has contemplated working for escort services in order to help pay for her lingerie wardrobe.


The point is to write down as many things about your client as you can to create a focus for your lingerie sales business. It is clear that in order to accept credit cards online from Tiffany, you are going to need a high-risk merchant gateway provider like High Risk Solutions.

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Type of Business Conclusion

In order to decide on a type of business to go into, you must:

  • Choose an industry
  • Do market research
  • Create a living profile of your ideal customer

Once you have these things completed, the next step is to identify the most pressing problem for your ideal customer that you can solve.

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Starting a Business Online to Accept Credit Cards (Part 1 Conclusion)

Make sure that you have a source of income coming in when you are starting your business. Then, decide on a simple task management system to get you through all of the stages of your business set-up. Next, determine the type of business you would like to start.

The next stage is going to be finding your niche metrics within your chosen industry.

If you are ready to fill out the application for a high-risk merchant account payment gateway so that you can accept credit cards online, please click on the application below.

Click box for High Risk Solutions Application.

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