How do I set up a Stripe account?

Stripe is a 3 rd party payment vendor that is separate from SolarAPP+. SolarAPP+ is unable to act as direct support for Stripe related questions or issues. We recommend logging into your account and making your support inquiries from within Stripe support. Locate the "Contact Support" for 24x7 assistance.  

1. Create a Stripe account for your jurisdiction at

2. Verify your email address. Click on the email verification link that was sent to the email used to sign up for the account.

3. Activate your account. After providing NREL with your API live keys and verifying your email address, it’s time to activate your account. Select the “Activate your account” option in the left-hand sidebar.

4. If you are a tax exempt organization (e.g. nonprofit organization) located in the United States and registered with the IRS, you can use Stripe by entering your Organization name and Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Tax exempt entities can be found on the IRS public Tax Exempt Organization Search tool. Search for your organization to identify the name and EIN stored on the IRS website: search here.

See Using IRS documentation as reference when entering business name and tax ID number (TIN) for US-based businesses for instructions and additional information on how to find and enter your name and EIN.

5. On the “Business details” page, enter the name of your jurisdiction. Then instead of entering an Employer Identification Number (EIN), enter your jurisdiction’s Tax Identification Number (TIN).

6. Scroll down and select the “Industry” dropdown. Select “Professional Services.” Within “Professional Services,” you’ll see a designation for “Government Services.” Select that option.

When setting up the account you have to set up as “Non-Profit”.  

At the point where Stripe asks for your SSN# let Stripe Support know that you need to escalate the set up to another department within Stripe that deals with government identification and verification. Simply find Stripe Support tab on the top right corner of the website and let the support staff know you’re a government entity trying to establish an account without a SSN#. Stripe support will follow up asking for other information to verify the person establishing the account has authorization to do so. Below are some links to possible information they may ask for.

Email support: [email protected] and explain what you’re trying to do.

You also may want to review all this information to better understand the details:

8. Advance to the “Business owners” page, and select the “Continue with no owners” option.

9. On the “Fulfillment details” page, select “No” for the “Do you sell physical goods?” question and “Within one day” from the “How long after paying will your customers typically receive their goods or services?” dropdown.

10. On the “Credit Card Statement” page, enter the name of your jurisdiction in the statement descriptor field. A statement descriptor is the name a customer will see on their card statements. Choose a name that's easy to recognize to avoid potential chargebacks, like “City of Angels Building Department.”

11. On the “Bank details” page, enter in the routing and account number for the bank account you’d like permitting fees to be deposited.

12. The last step is two-step authentication, which strengthens your account’s security. Stripe supports two primary methods of two-step authentication:

  • Text Messaging (SMS) authentication
  • Mobile Apps authentication

Stripe also supports using hardware security keys, Windows Hello, or Touch ID for two-step authentication once one of the above authentication methods are in place. We recommend setting up both primary methods, to prevent being locked out of your account if you lose access to one.

13. Once you are done, advance to the “Summary” page, review the information entered, and press “Submit.”

14. Finally, input (through copy and paste) your live public and secrete API keys within your SolarAPP+ account/registration. Alternatively, you can copy and paste those Stripe keys into an email and send to: [email protected] and we can enter them on your behalf. An API, or Application Programming Interface, is a software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other. Your like API keys can be found on the account dashboard under the “Get your live API keys” dropdown. Please provide NREL with both the “Publishable key” and the “Secret key.” You can find the “Secret Key” by selecting the “Reveal secret key” button. Please do not send your test API keys, as these will not work within the SolarAPP+ system (as payment cannot be processed with these test keys). When you input the two keys into SolarAPP+ the system and hit submit. SolarAPP+ will remove the secret key for privacy purposes. If you want to verify the live keys were inputted correctly, reach out to [email protected] to confirm. 

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