Thursday, July 3, 2008

DBA and Business Legal Name in Merchant Accounts

When you fill out a merchant account application for a credit card payment processing service, you provide both your "Doing Business As" (DBA) name and your legal business name. Small business merchant accounts providers need your DBA name to set up your billing descriptor. The way your company's name shows on your customer's credit card statement is called a billing descriptor.

Credit card processing companies will want to make sure that it is done properly. It is important because, if consumers do not recognize your business name, they may dispute the transaction and initiate a chargeback which can be both costly and time consuming. If your company only provides one service or sells one product, your business name alone will be sufficient as a billing descriptor and your merchant account processing provider will use it by default.

In the case where your company offers more than one product or service, as with most businesses, your creditcardprocessing provider can utilize the so called "soft billing descriptor". It allows the use of an abbreviation of your business name plus a short description of the item that was sold. Your company's phone number is included in both versions. Check with your credit card merchant processor to make sure that they support the soft billing descriptor.

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