Looking for a merchant service account can be intimating, especially if it’s your first time doing so. With terms, contracts, fees, and lingo you’ve never heard before, it can be difficult to understand exactly what’s going on. Once you’ve read our Small Business Owner’s Guide to Merchant Accounts, you have a better understanding of how it all works and now it’s time to choose one and apply. It’s important for you to know all the expectations for yourself and the merchant before you apply. Take the time to research their policies and do as much educating before you reach out to them. In addition, it’s also vital that you keep in mind reasons you may be denied a merchant account. This will help you make sure that you’re an ideal candidate for the company you choose and to save you frustration from a surprise denial half way through your process. Here are three of the top reasons that businesses get declined for a merchant service account:

Personal Credit

While you are trying to secure merchant services for your business, most companies will run the credit of the signer on the application. They may also require that the person who is signing for the account be someone with at least some ownership in the business or major title if the company is a LLC. If you yourself do not have healthy credit, consider a business partner who does. Allow them to sign for the merchant account.

Current Tax Liens

If you have any personal or business related tax liens open at the time of your application, it’s very likely that they will not continue to process your application further. Having tax liens places you in a “high-risk” category and banks/merchant service provides must weigh the risks and benefits of opening your account. Being in that category will make them less likely to approve your application.

You’re on the MATCH List

Think of the TMF Match List like the “blacklist” of merchant processors. Business and business owners can find themselves placed on this list when another bank or merchant service provider has ended their services with you and flagged you in the system as being a credit risk.

As with any business lending situations, it’s frustrating to know that the past really does impact whether or not you can qualify for loans, credit cards, or even merchant services. Knowing what your credit score is, whether you have any current tax liens, and if you have any poor history with another merchant servicer before you being the application process, will allow you to choose the best path in moving forward.