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Square Get Started Guide

Getting set up to accept credit cards on Square only takes a few minutes — but don’t miss out on our entire suite of products that can help you run and grow your business.

This 5-step guide can help you take payments faster, significantly reduce your team’s training time, generate robust sales and inventory reports, and cut your administrative time in half. Watch the video below for an overview of how to get started with Square:

If you’re looking to learn more about getting up and running, check out our comprehensive guide to starting a business. You can also test out Square’s features by trying the Point of Sale Demo.

What if I get stuck?
Get in touch with our Support team anytime by email, or X (formerly Twitter), and if you’ve successfully created an account, you can call Square Support Monday through Friday between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. PST, or reach us in the Seller Community.

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The Square Ecosystem

Square connects every aspect of your business, so you can focus on your customers. It doesn’t matter what you sell, Square has apps, features, integrations, and hardware, built to work together and simplify your day-to-day. Watch the video below for an overview of the Square ecosystem.

Step 1: Get Set Up to Take Payments

Use this section to order your hardware and set up your secure Square account so you can get paid quickly once you start accepting payments.

Create your Account

To Do Why?
Create Account with a Corporate Email Use your corporate email when creating your account to keep your business and personal info organized. Important alerts and updates are sent to this email address.
Enter Business and Personal Info Help Square verify your account and recommend useful features for your business type.
Link Your Bank Account Get transfers within 1-2 business days. You can also add additional bank accounts from the Account & Settings tab of your online Square Dashboard later.
Order Hardware Make sure you’re set for opening day — order your hardware early to allow time for shipping, or locate a retailer that carries Square hardware.
Download the Square App Get the Square app – the point-of-sale system designed to grow with you – to accept payments in-store or on the go.

Step 2: Set Up your Account on Square Dashboard

Your online Square Dashboard is your business headquarters, where you can take care of everything from adding locations, employees, and items, to customizing your account, viewing your sales reports, and more.

Account Security

To Do Why?
Turn on 2-Step Verification 2-Step Verification provides an extra layer of security for your Square account.
Add a Full Access Team Member or Authorized Representative Grant account access to team members and associates according to your needs by adding them as Full Access Team Members or Authorized Representatives.

Transfers Setup

To Do Why?
Schedule Transfers Choose how quickly you’ll receive your funds based on our different transfer options.
Customize your Close of Day Setting a close of day lets Square group and send transfers based on a full day’s business activity.

Location Setup

To Do Why?
Add Locations and Addresses Set up locations to slice and dice sales data, update inventory, and manage employees across all your stores.
Add other Bank Accounts If you have separate bank accounts for each location, you’ll need to visit the Bank Accounts tab in your online Square Dashboard. Select a location, click Add external bank account, and complete the bank verification process.
Add Transfer Tags Match transfers to specific locations with transfer tags.
Add Business Hours Business hours tell your customers when you’re open and let Square know when to email your daily sales summary.
Add Web and Social Media Sites Your website and social links appear on digital receipts. This is also a great way to get more online traffic.

Receipt Setup

To Do Why?
Customize Receipts Your logo appears on customers’ digital receipts and helps them recognize your business and their purchases. You can choose from a framed or full-width logo for your receipts.
Add Business Details and Policy Customize your receipts and help set the right expectations around your store policies.

Dashboard Library Setup

To Do Why?
Create Categories Categories classify items into different groups like Hot or Cold Drinks and control what items print on kitchen tickets.
Create Items Items created in your Dashboard display at your Point of Sale, which increases checkout speed and provides detailed reporting, so you know what you’re selling.
Create Modifiers Let customers tailor their orders with modifiers and get better item-level data.
Create Discounts Discounts for neighbors? Team member meals comped? Create dollar and percentage discounts for items or an entire sale.
Create Sales Tax and Manage Your Tax Settings Set up sales tax rates and the items they apply to and let Square calculate the total. The tax report shows total tax collected.
Set up Inventory Know exactly how much inventory you have and when you need to restock by setting up Inventory Management.
Set up Dining Options Note how and where an order will be used (e.g. ‘For Delivery’, or ‘Layaway’) to help your staff prepare orders correctly. This information also appears in your reports.
Purchase Gift Cards Order your gift cards early so you’re ready to sell them on day one.
Create Gift Card Items Load and sell gift cards, by creating a gift card item in your Item Library. Leave the price blank to add a value at your Point of Sale.

Team Setup

To Do Why?
Create an owner passcode This will allow you as the owner or admin to be able to access your Square POS to get full access.
Customize Permission Sets Customize permission sets (team permissions) to ensure your team has the right level of access to your account.
Create Team Members Invite team members to accept payments for your business. Track their sales, discounts, and distributed tips with custom reports if you're using Advanced Access.
Assign Permission Groups, Passcode, and Location After a team member is created, assign them to the appropriate permission group to restrict their access to parts of your online Square Dashboard or the Square Point of Sale app.
Set Up Square Shifts Square Shifts enable you to track your team’s timecards, create schedules, track commissions, and more. Offered in free and paid versions depending on the size of your team and features needed.

View Analytics

To Do Why?
Transaction History, Summaries, and Reports See how your business is performing by the hour, week, year, and more to make informed business decisions.
Tie Transfers to Transactions Click a transfer in your online Dashboard to see all transactions included in a transfer.
Learn about other Reports Create reports from your Dashboard that include items, discounts, taxes, payment method, team members, and more.

Step 3: Set Up Hardware and the Square App

Once your hardware arrives, you can connect your compatible Apple or Android device to start taking payments. This section will show you how.

Device Setup

To Do Why?
Create Device Codes to Sign In Let team members log into the Square app without an email address or password, and pair devices to specific locations.
Configure Items Grid, Tile Color and Name Customize the layout of the Square app to locate important items, discounts, and categories quickly.

Square Point of Sale Settings

To Do Why?
Manage Signature Settings Skip signatures for small transactions or choose to have your customers sign on paper receipts.
Set up Tipping Accept tips and customize how they’re added to a sale, or disable tipping if it’s not necessary.
Set up Cash Drawer Management Track how much cash should be in your drawer at any given time.
Turn on Offline Mode Continue to accept credit cards even if your Wi-Fi goes out.
Turn on staff management Enable passcodes on your Point of Sale to allow your team to clock in and out.
Turn on Open Tickets Create tickets you can modify before charging customers. Close out the ticket when the customer’s ready to pay.

Hardware Setup

To Do Why?
Connect iPad to Square Stand Square Stand secures and charges your iPad, connects to receipt and kitchen ticket printers, cash drawers, barcode scanners, and processes payments.
Connect Cash Drawers Square Stand connects to a cash drawer so you can keep track of your cash with every sale.
Connect USB Printers Print customer receipts, accept signatures and tips on receipts, and print order tickets with a receipt printer.
Connect Ethernet Interface Printer Ethernet printers are a great option if you need to connect more than one printer to your Square Stand.
Configure Printers Connected printers appear in the Square app so you can customize what gets printed and be ready for any sale.

Step 4: Train Your Team and Go Live

Now that your account, Dashboard, and hardware are set up, you’re ready to train your team. We recommend running through a few simple scenarios to make sure you, your managers, and your staff are ready to jump in.

Team Training

To Do Why?
Accept Cards with Square Reader for Magstripe Let your team members swipe a few cards to practice using Square. Swipe card in a steady, fluid motion through the reader.
Accept Payments with Square Reader for contactless and chip Practice processing chip cards, contactless cards, and contactless (NFC) payments like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.
Accept Payments with Square Stand (1st or 2nd generation) Learn how to swipe magnetic stripe cards, insert chip cards, or tap contactless cards or mobile devices with digital wallet (e.g. Apple Pay, Google Pay) with Square Stand (1st or 2nd generation).
Manually Enter Card Info Learn how to enter the card number if the card or customer isn’t present, or if you don’t have your reader.
Accept Cash, Checks, and Other Tender Types Practice recording cash, checks, third-party gift cards, and other tender types.
Clock In and Out Give each team member their personal passcode and show them how easy it is to clock in and clock out.
Redeem Rewards Simulate the customer experience of collecting a loyalty punch on a few payments and try redeeming a reward.

Manager Training

To Do Why?
View and Modify Shifts Show team members with online Square Dashboard access how to modify shifts, view reports, or clock out forgetful team members.
View and Manage Cash Drawers Start and end a cash drawer session, perform paid in/paid out, and print a cash drawer report.
View and Print In-App Reports View, print, or email your daily sales summary directly from the Square app.
View and Reply to Feedback If you take a test payment, you can leave a test feedback response and view it in your online Square Dashboard. Practice replying to and refunding yourself.

Step 5: Grow your Business with Square

Once you start accepting payments with Square, expand your business with partner integrations, marketing, and more.

Connect With Third-Party Apps

To Do Why?
Create Custom Apps Square’s existing tools are just the start. Create custom apps for your data or connect with the services you already use.

Engage your Customers

To Do Why?
Import Your Customer Directory Manage your customer information from your online Square Dashboard or the Square app.
Reach out to your Customers Send marketing campaigns, offers, and announcements to customers directly from your online Dashboard in minutes.
Accept Appointments If you provide services that require a schedule, use Square Appointments to keep your calendar organized.

Sell Online

To Do Why?
Set Up Square Online Square Online is great for businesses who are getting started selling online and looking to be up and running quickly.

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Use this guide for reference or share it with your team by saving or printing this page. Right-click anywhere on this page to save or print.