How To Transfer An FBA Amazon Account

An Insider’s Guide on Safe and Swift Transfer

Are you looking to transfer an FBA Amazon account but unsure where to start? Understanding the intricacies of this process is crucial to ensure a smooth transition without disruptions to your business. Our Full Service Amazon Agency can advise and guide you throughout this process.

Some sellers believe that transferring an Amazon account is against the rules, but Amazon’s policy actually allows for a change in ownership. This blog post provides accurate information to clarify this misconception.

Read on to discover key points such as managing account ownership and control, updating account details after a change in ownership, addressing legal considerations, transferring inventory, and managing multiple accounts.

Account transfers are allowed. Safe to make the changes.

Steven Pope, founder of My Amazon Guy

When To Transfer An FBA Amazon Account

This is all about understanding who can access and manage your User Permissions in Amazon Seller Central. Here’s the breakdown:

  • One Suoer Admin Email Per Account: When you create your Seller Central account, you’ll use a unique email address. This email is like your key – it shouldn’t be shared with any other accounts. Sharing an email across accounts breaks Amazon’s rules and could lead to your account being suspended.

  • Sugaring Access: As the account owner, you have complete control over the tools and features of your Seller Central account. But you can also choose to share some of that control with others.
  • Adding Team Members: Need help with managing your account? You can grant access to specific individuals like employees, co-owners, or contractors. This is done by setting up user permissions within your account. By adjusting these permissions, you can control exactly what features and information each person can access.

For a complete guide on managing user permissions in Seller Central and keeping your account safe, read our blog post: Efficiently Set Up Amazon Seller Central User Permissions With This Complete Guide.

How to Transfer FBA Amazon Account Safe Practices

How To Transfer An FBA Amazon Account

Update Account Details

To transfer an FBA Amazon account is possible with the right guidance and implementation. The first step on how is to setup an unused super admin email. 

Scenario: You purchased an Amazon FBA business, including the Seller Central account. However, the original admin email is inaccessible.

Solution:

  1. Locate the “Super Admin” user in Seller Central user permissions.
  2. Explain the purchase and provide proof (signed business acquisition agreement, ownership transfer, etc).
  3. Be prepared for Amazon to verify your claim through additional documents like licenses.

How To Transfer An FBA Amazon Account

Sample Scenario To Learn From

You launched your Amazon business venture with a partner, but things have changed. You’re now the sole operator, but your Amazon Seller Central account still reflects your former partnership. 

Your ex-business partner’s email sits as the main admin, and the linked bank account is in their name. This inconsistency raises concerns about compliance and creates a management headache. On top of that, Amazon’s murky policies regarding direct account transfers leave you worried about potential account suspension.

The situation is frustrating. You’re the driving force behind the business, yet the account details don’t reflect your ownership. This lack of control hinders smooth operation and creates unnecessary stress. You want to ensure everything is above board and avoid any issues with Amazon.

Solution:

  • Add New Super Admin Email: Create a brand new, dedicated email address solely for your Amazon business (e.g., [email address removed]). This email shouldn’t be linked to any other Amazon accounts. Head over to user permissions and update the main admin email to this fresh address.
  • Change Bank Account: Timing is crucial when updating bank details. Don’t risk a 48-hour account lockdown by changing things right before a deposit. Plan and make the bank account switch 3-5 business days before your next deposit.

Ensure your purchase agreement clearly states that your former business partner will retire their old email address and not use it for any future Amazon accounts. This prevents potential suspension issues down the line.

How To Transfer An FBA Amazon Account

Update Tax Information

After updating the bank account details, you’ll need to retake the tax interview within Seller Central. Here’s how:

  • Navigate to Settings: Go to “Settings” in Seller Central and select “Account Info.”
  • Locate Tax Information: Find and click on the “Tax Information” section.
  • Update Your Tax Details: Make all the necessary changes, click “Update Tax Information” and answer all the questions thoroughly.
  • Finalize with E-Signature: For faster processing, provide your e-signature to complete the tax interview.

EIN (Employer Identification Number): One Per Account

Each Amazon account can only have one EIN associated with it. If you’re transferring an account where the EIN remains the same, there’s no need to obtain a new EIN.

How To Transfer An FBA Amazon Account

Update Legal Entity

There are two main reasons why a seller would need to update their legal entity in Seller Central:

  1. Changing Business Structure:

If a seller changes their business structure, for example, from a sole proprietorship to an LLC or S Corp, they need to update their legal entity information on Seller Central to reflect the new legal status. This ensures accurate tax reporting and compliance with Amazon’s policies.

  1. Selling the Brand:

When selling an Amazon FBA business, the seller needs to transfer ownership of the Seller Central account to the buyer. This involves updating the legal entity information to reflect the buyer’s business details. This is crucial to ensure a smooth transfer of ownership and avoid any issues with account suspension.

Here are some additional reasons why updating legal entity information might be necessary:

  • Accuracy: Maintaining accurate legal information ensures proper tax treatment and avoids potential issues down the line.
  • Compliance: Amazon requires sellers to comply with various regulations, and updating legal entity information helps ensure compliance.
  • Transparency: Having up-to-date information fosters trust and transparency with Amazon.

How To Transfer An FBA Amazon Account

Move Your FBA Inventory

Direct account transfers aren’t an option for FBA inventory. Here’s how to move it:

Sell & Replenish:

  • Gradually sell existing inventory on the old account.
  • Introduce new products to the new account to avoid violating Amazon’s policy against duplicate listings.

Warehouse Repackaging (Not Recommended):

  • Move inventory back to a warehouse from the old account.
  • Ship the products from the warehouse to the new account. This method is complex and not ideal.

Remember:

  • Selling the same item on two accounts simultaneously can lead to suspension (though not guaranteed).
  • Limit any overlapping sales to a short period (around 90 days) to avoid issues.
  • Always prioritize adhering to Amazon’s terms and conditions.

How To Transfer An FBA Amazon Account

Manage Multiple Accounts

Your Options:

One Large FBA Account: Centralize everything under one roof.

Pros:

  • Save on shipping and negotiate better deals with suppliers thanks to bulk buying.
  • Build a strong brand identity and attract more customers with a larger presence.
  • Generate tons of data for making smart business decisions.

Cons:

  • More susceptible to issues like product recalls or policy changes.
  • Managing a large account can be a real headache, especially for beginners.
  • Requires more resources like staff, software, and inventory.

Multiple Smaller FBA Accounts: Spread things out across multiple accounts.

Pros:

  • Diversify your products and markets, minimizing potential damage from problems.
  • Easier to manage, especially for FBA newbies.
  • Experiment with different products and strategies with greater ease.

Cons:

  • Smaller accounts might incur higher shipping and advertising costs per item.
  • Limited brand recognition compared to a larger, more prominent account.
  • Less data to work with, potentially hindering data-driven decisions.

Which Route to Take:

Experience Matters: Experienced sellers can handle the complexities of a large account. Beginners might find smaller accounts less overwhelming.

Risk Tolerance Meter: High-risk tolerance businesses might embrace a large account. Risk-averse businesses might prefer diversification with smaller accounts.

Resource Reality Check: Consider your available staff, software, and inventory before choosing account size.

Strategic Goals in Sight: Align your choice with your goals – building a strong brand, experimenting freely, or minimizing risk.

Recommendations:

Single Large Account: Ideal For

  • Simplicity Seekers: Preferring easier management of one comprehensive account. (e.g., Individual sellers, less complex businesses)
  • Cost-Conscious Operators: Prioritizing minimized fees and streamlined accounting. (e.g., Businesses wanting efficient financial management)
  • Unified Tax Structure: Operating all brands under the same tax infrastructure. (e.g., Businesses with a single tax structure across brands)

Multiple Small Accounts: Consider When

  • Diverse Partnerships: Having partners with varying tax infrastructures. (e.g., Businesses with distinct brand partners)
  • Brand-Specific Tax Needs: Each brand requires a unique tax approach. (e.g., Companies with brands targeting different markets)
  • Risk Mitigation & Experimentation: Preferring to spread risk and try different products/strategies. (e.g., Startups exploring new markets)
  • Distinct Brand Identities: Each brand has a unique identity requiring separate management. (e.g., Companies managing diverse brands)
  • Drop Shipping (with Caution): Might be beneficial for compliance within Amazon’s drop shipping guidelines.

General Guidelines:

  • Private Labelers & Mini-Aggregators: Generally safe and permissible to use multiple accounts.
  • Transferring/Buying Accounts: Acceptable within Amazon’s policies for strategic flexibility.

Important Cautions:

  • Drop Shippers: Be mindful of Amazon’s terms, multiple accounts can lead to suspension risks.
  • Varied Tax Structures/Partnerships: Proceed with caution when dealing with diverse tax needs or partnerships.

Do you need an in-depth guide in managing multiple seller accounts? Find out more by reading Conquer the Marketplace: Proven Strategies for Managing Multiple Amazon Seller Accounts

How To Transfer An FBA Amazon Account

Anticipate Challenges

Be cautious! Look out for fake or inactive accounts, stolen credentials, inflated metrics, and hidden liabilities. Conduct thorough due diligence, verify the seller’s background, independently verify the account, and consider using an escrow service.

Ensure you understand Amazon’s Terms of Service. Consult with legal and tax professionals to ensure proper paperwork and transfer procedures are followed to avoid account suspension or transfer difficulties.

Unexpected tax issues, inventory discrepancies, outstanding debts, or legal claims can lurk. Conduct detailed financial audits, have clear contracts outlining liability transfer, and seek professional financial guidance.