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Verify Your Business and Start Taking Payments with Square

Last updated: April 2024

Please note that this article is limited in scope and only intended as a high-level overview of the topics discussed. Nothing in this article is or should be construed as tax or legal advice. For guidance or advice specific to your business, you should consult with a qualified tax and/or legal professional.

As a payment services provider, we have regulatory requirements to verify the identity of businesses using Square products and services. We do this by confirming the accuracy of the information you provide when you create your Square account.

During the onboarding process, we ask you to answer a few questions and, in some cases, to upload supporting documents to learn more about you and your business. These questions help us understand your business type, structure and ownership and the products and services you offer, as well as confirm the identity of your business. You can find all the necessary steps to get your business verified quickly and to start accepting payments as soon as possible in this article.

Your Business

Because every business is different, we’ll start by asking basic questions about your business. 

Note: The information you provide must match what appears in government records. If the information provided differs from that found in official records, the verification will fail.

Business structure

Select the type of business from the drop-down menu.

  • Individual / Sole Proprietorship
  • Corporation
  • Partnership
  • Charities and Non-Profits
  • Other (Note: Only select this option if none of the above corresponds to your business structure.)

If you don’t know which option you should choose, we can help you find out. Click “Help me find out” to learn more about business types.

Your selection must match the business structure filed with your respective business registration authority.

Business information

Fill out this section to help us understand how Square can work for your business, fulfill regulatory requirements and verify your business:

  1. Enter the legal business name as shown on your registration documents.
  2. Enter the “Doing business as” (DBA) name your business is using, if applicable. A DBA name is a way to use a name different from the legal name of your business. That way, if your legal name (or the registered name of your business) shows as the “company name” in your invoices but you assume another name on your website or social media, you can register a DBA to let the public know you are the actual business owner. Note: When you choose a DBA, this name will appear on your receipts.
  3. Enter your Federal Corporation Number, Federal Business Number or Provincial Corporation Number. Find out more about Federal Corporation Numbers, Federal Business Numbers and Provincial Business Numbers in our Support Centre.
  4. If you selected the “Charities and Non-profits” business type, you’ll be asked if your business solicits public donations. Your response doesn’t influence the business verification outcome.
  5. Enter your registered business address. This allows us to meet the requirements set by regulators and card networks by verifying your business. Enter your physical business address information if different than your registered business address. If you have a mobile business, the coordinates of your location are printed on your receipts.
  6. Click Continue.

Note: The order of these steps may differ depending on the device you’re using to sign up.

Verify Your Business

When you select Continue, we’ll start verifying your business by cross-checking the information you provided about your business.

You will receive one of three responses: Try again, Verification successful or Verification unsuccessful. Based on the response you receive, review the next steps in the corresponding section below.

Note: You won’t be able to take payments until your business is verified.

Try again

If we encounter any issues while verifying your account, we will ask you to try again.

You can try to verify your business again by reviewing the details (legal business name, business number and registered business address) you provided and correcting any mistakes. If you reviewed the information and everything is correct, click Continue. When you complete the rest of the onboarding steps, we’ll proceed with a manual review of your application.

Note: If your business has recently been registered, it may take a few weeks for the records to update. You can verify that the information you entered corresponds to the official records before you try again. To do so, contact the government agency where your business is registered.

Verification successful

When we successfully verify that the information you provided when you signed up with Square corresponds to your business’s registration information, you can proceed with the next steps.

Verification unsuccessful

If we are unable to automatically match the information you provided when you signed up with Square to the government registration information of your business, we will try to verify your business manually on our end.

You can upload supporting documents such as Articles of Incorporation, Certificate of Incorporation, Articles of Association or Federal/Provincial business registration documents to improve your chances of successful verification. We will notify you of the verification result within one to two business days after we receive complete information.

If we aren’t able to verify your business manually, we can’t approve your account to take payments with Square. If you reviewed the information provided but the verification is still unsuccessful, please contact us.

We’re verifying your business

When the business verification takes longer than expected, we will continue the verification process. During the verification, if we can’t verify your business with the information provided, we may request supporting documentation from you. Click Choose a file or drag and drop the file into the designated box to upload it directly from your computer. We’ll send you a notification on your Square dashboard and an email within 1–2 business days with the result. You can still download the Square POS app and start making sales with your cash register and point of sale; however, you’ll only be able to accept non-cash payments once your business is successfully verified.

Verify Your Identity

For your safety and to prevent fraud, we require identity verification before you start taking payments. Enter your personal information (legal name, home address, date of birth and, optionally, your SIN), confirm you’re authorized to create an account on behalf of your business and click Continue.

Verify Business Directors and Owners

As a payment service provider, Square is legally required to collect and verify information related to your business to ensure your account remains safe and secure. This process involves understanding the ownership and control structure of your business, including individuals with significant responsibility to control, manage or direct the business (directors for corporations and non-profits or partners for partnerships) and any individual who, directly or indirectly, owns or controls 25% or more of the business (referred to as “Beneficial Owners”). For businesses owned by trusts, beneficial owners include the trustees and known beneficiaries and settlors of the trust. Learn more about types of ownership structures in our Support Centre.

Based on the business information you provide, some of the business owner and director information, such as their names, may be automatically prefilled. If the prefilled information is inaccurate, click Edit and select Mark prefilled information as incorrect. Provide an explanation in the field detailing the correct information. Click Save when you’re done. Any business owner or director with missing information is marked as incomplete. Click Edit to provide the missing details.

When prefilled information is unavailable, you can provide the requested beneficial owner and director information by entering it manually. To add other directors or beneficial owners, select + Add a person and enter their information. You can also select I’ll do this later at any time to complete the verification. You can’t accept payments until your account is verified.

Click the checkbox to acknowledge and attest to the accuracy of the information you provided and select Continue to proceed with the verification.

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