Reply To: Setting up an Amazon Seller account – required info.

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Regan Blee
Keymaster

Hi Honor,
The answers to your questions will vary slightly depending upon where you plan to sell.  So, do you plan to sell on Amazon in the UK or the USA?  Most people sell on Amazon.com in the USA even if they are from another country like the UK or Australia (that’s where I’m from).  But of course, you can sell in the UK if you want but the rewards are much smaller.
For the moment, I’ll assume that you plan to sell on Amazon.com in the USA.

Firstly, you are setting up a business so you need to think about it that way from the word go and structure things accordingly.
This means that you need a Professional selling account on Amazon.  You mention that you have an Individual selling account in the UK.  This is not good enough and if you’ll need to upgrade it to a Professional account if you plan to sell in the UK on amazon.co.uk.  To sell in the USA on amazon.com, you’ll need a Professional account there.  As Isaac said in the video, set up your account just 1 to 2 weeks before you are shipping your goods.  If you set the account up too early, you’ll just have to pay extra monthly fees for an account that is not being used yet.

The video “setting up an Amazon seller account” is mostly presented from the perspective of a US-based seller selling on Amazon.com.  For sellers from other countries like you and me, the concepts are exactly the same but a couple details vary.  I’ll try to address them here:

  • You need to set up a business to protect your personal assets and to provide a professional appearance.  A UK-based business is fine. Talk to your accountant about the best structure but I imagine that you’d set up a UK-based Limited Company.  (You could instead create a US-based LLC but it is more hassle and complexity with little additional value)
  • Once you have a business set up, you can create seller accounts for that business name on any Amazon marketplace in the world.  During the seller account setup process, you just enter the UK business details and UK tax information.
  • As far as products go, you search for products on the marketplace that you plan to sell on, e.g. if you plan to sell in the USA then you search on Amazon.com
  • Bank Accounts.  Firstly, do not use any personal bank accounts and credit cards.  You need to set up a business bank account in the UK for your new Limited company.  You also need to ask the bank for a business credit card or a business debit card (if they won’t give you a credit card.)
  • Amazon’s fortnightly payments to you can be deposited directly into your business bank account without a problem.  That is OK at the very start when you’re getting your new business up and running.  BUT, Amazon charge a hefty foreign exchange fee for that privilege (it’s about a 4 to 5% haircut).  When you are ready, set up an account with a Money Transfer company like Transferwise or Worldfirst (or many others) so you can easily manage multiple currencies.  You’ll save lots of money when transferring money between the UK, USA and China.
  • Yes, you need to pay your Chinese suppliers in USD.  This will be costly in bank fees and foreign exchange costs if you are using a high street UK bank.  Companies like Transferwise or Worldfirst will make this process easy and cheap for you.
  • To import goods into the USA, your UK business/Limited Company will need an EIN for Customs purposes.  This is easily obtained from the IRS.  Check out IRS.gov for details about the process for a foreign company can get an EIN.  (I can’t quite remember what the process will be in your circumstance).  But you don’t need the EIN just yet.  Post here again later if you get stuck on this.

    I hope all that helps and was clear.

    Please ask any questions you want to and I’ll try my best to help.

    cheers

    Regan

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