How do I set up a Stripe account?

1. Create a Stripe account for your jurisdiction at https://dashboard.stripe.com/register.

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. Provide your test API keys to NREL via email: [email protected] An API, or Application Programming Interface, is a software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other. Your test API keys can be found on the account dashboard under the “Get your test 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 test key” button.

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

5. Complete account setup by providing more information about your jurisdiction. On the first “Business structure” page, select “Company” for Type of business and “Multi-member LLC” for Business structure. Stripe does not have a government entity option, but these selections are a close approximation and will not influence your account in any way.

6. 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).

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

8. Next, on the “Business representative” page, enter in details for the main point of contact at your Finance Department. Enter in their name, email, date of birth, phone number, and social security number. In the “home address” section, just enter in the same office address entered on the “business details” page.

This information is required as part of Stripe’s mandatory identity verification requirement: Stripe must collect, verify, and maintain information on the individuals associated with every US Stripe account, as required by our regulators and financial partners. This is intended to promote transparency and prevent individuals from using complex company structures to hide terrorist financing, money laundering, tax evasion, and other financial crimes.If you are concerned about Stripe’s usage and security of this information, see Stripe’s Privacy Policy.

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

10. 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.

11. 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.”

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

13. 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.

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

15. Once your account has been activated, provide your live API keys to NREL via email. 

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