Limitations of a High Risk Merchant Account

High Risk Merchants - What Are Your Limitations?



Not all merchants can pick any business they want. Although building a high risk venture is an open mine for everyone with the capital, entrepreneurial spirit, networks, and the right facilities, many are hindered by limitations in their particular industry. The following is a partial analysis of those limitations and what you can do to explore your options.


High risk merchants either build their websites from scratch or advertise on an online public market, the “merchant malls”. Merchant malls can be found everywhere on the web. As soon as you have established your product catalog and other business details, you only need to register to start advertising your products/services in such a mall. You will have the advantage of having an already existing shopper base. Because the shoppers usually get discounts as members of the merchant mall club, they shop more and you gain more sales. But the catch is that certain merchant malls will only accept your application as an advertiser if your business is strictly established in a certain county, city, state, country, or region.


Certain merchants are able to franchise products as long as they belong to a certain niche industry. For example, if your business is intended to be health-related such as an online pharmacy, you can apply as merchant for companies that distribute health products like herbals, dental equipment, spa services, aerobic videos, or health food and beverages. It would be inappropriate to advertise and sell these products in one website and then mix in some used car parts or computer equipment in the catalog. The more definite your niche is, the more you will be recognized in the industry and even on the major search engines.


The best and most thorough way to know exactly how far you can go in your application as a merchant is to take a closer look at what companies specifically require for you to qualify as distributor. For example, some companies that offer you opportunities on credit card sales will first require that you have your own website, have not declared bankruptcy in the past, have a good credit report, and so on. (Note that I have discussed only application as a merchant. Applying for a “high risk merchant account” is a different story altogether).

Another example is when applying as a merchant for loans. Since this is a high risk merchant account territory, loan companies have far more strict and specific requirements. You may be required to be a resident of a certain country, of legal age, with X annual household income, etcetera.

As a conclusion, you need to decide what niche you will want to venture in when building your business. The high risk merchant industry so far has a good number of places where you can put your money in, to generate money back. Niches include:

  • Online Pharmacy

  • Adult Websites

  • Travel

  • Membership Clubs

  • Telemarketing

  • Gambling

  • Bail Bonds

  • Lottery Tickets

  • Pawn Shops

  • Dating/Escort Service

  • MLM

  • Water Filtration

  • High Volume

Explore these territories. In the end, the only limitation in building a high risk business is your passion and where it directs your entrepreneurial ambitions.


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