In the age where people rarely carry cash, a company’s ability to accept and process credit cards is critical to its success. Choosing a credit card processing company for your business can be a daunting task. It’s important to understand that it’s not only your personal creditworthiness that counts, it’s your business’ creditworthiness as well if you’re seen as high risk.

With so many credit card processing companies to choose from, it’s hard to know what to look for and what questions to ask. Luckily, there are some questions you can ask that will help you find the right credit card processing company:

Is there a cancellation or early termination fee?

Ideally, you want a processor that won’t charge cancellation or early termination fees. But if you do have to pay a fee for leaving before your contract is over, look for fees that are less than a couple hundred dollars. Avoid processors that have a liquidated damages termination fee, which means that you’ll be charged for the estimated amount of the full contract if you cancel before the end of your contract.

What fees will I be charged aside from the cost of each transaction?

In addition to being charged for each transaction, some processors also charge monthly or annual fees, regulatory fees, compliance fees and statement fees. When choosing a credit card processor, ask about these fees upfront. There’s nothing worse than being hit with a fee that you didn’t expect.

Will I be seen as a “high risk” business? If so, what terms can I expect?

High-risk businesses are essentially treated like customers with a low credit score. If you’re considered to be high risk, you may have to put down a reserve, pay higher rates or both, since you’re at a higher risk of not paying your bills. This may be a scary question to ask, but knowing the answer up front can save you a lot of hassle in the long run. Most processors won’t be able to answer this question without doing a credit check, but they should be able to give you an estimate based on certain factors, such as the type of business and the length of time you’ve been open.

What encryption and security is offered for my transactions?

This is especially important for online transactions where the card isn’t physically available to you. It’s important to know how safe the customer’s information is. If there’s a breach and their credit card information is stolen, a customer won’t go to your processor – they’ll go to you. It’s important to pick a credit card processor that offers encryption and a high level of security.

What customer support is available?

Even if you choose the perfect processor, there will come a time when you’re going to need help. Look for a processor that offers phone support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Also, look to see if they offer online chat support as well.

When choosing a credit card processing company, just remember that you’re going into business with them just like they’re going into business with you. If you ask the right questions, you’ll have no problem finding the right processor for your business.