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    Everything You Need to Know About the FNS Application

    Now that you’ve decided to become an authorized SNAP retailer through the USDA and FNS, your first step is filling out the application.  FNS has made this process pretty simple by putting the whole application into an easy to navigate website portal.  That means, you don’t even have to worry about the daunting tasks of printing a form, filling it out clearly and error-free, and then making sure you get it to the right place.  (If you want, you can still complete a paper application and mail it in.)

    However, some of the questions you’ll have to answer can be a little tricky, and the remainder of the process involves providing a bit more information.  Luckily, we’ve compiled a few of the tips and details you’ll need to make sure your well prepared and can ensure you avoid as many roadblocks to authorization as possible!

    Create an Account

    Creating your account on the FNS site is actually a great benefit to you throughout this process, as it allows you to keep track of the status of your application. Click here to go to the FNS website now.

    Filling Out the Application Properly

    No one really likes filling out paperwork, and no one likes to fill out the same paperwork twice.  It’s important to make sure that you are entering your information correctly the first time so that your process will not be prolonged.

    Documents You Will Need

    • Color copies of photo IDs & Social Security Cards for all owners, partners, corporate officers, and shareholders.
    • Copy of at least one current license to do business at the location of the store you are applying for.
    • Most recent IRS tax return for the store if the business has been open longer than one year.

    *Note: Do not combine copies of documents on one page and do not send originals.

    Questions You Should Be Prepared to Answer

    • Type of ownership you have over the business (you can only select one of the following):
      • Privately Held Corporation
      • Sole Proprietorship
      • Partnership
      • Limited Liability Company
      • Nonprofit Cooperative
      • Government Owned

    *Note: If your store is a privately held corporation or limited liability company, you must have the name and address of the corporation as on record with the state.

    • Whether any officer, owner, partner, member, and/or manager has ever had a license denied, withdrawn or suspended, or been fined for license violations.
    • Whether any officer, owner, partner, member, and/or manager has ever been convicted of a crime after June 1, 1999.
    • Employer Identification Number
    • The type of food items you stock in your store and the percentage of your sales that is made up by the categories. (You can read more about the stock requirements to be an eligible SNAP retailer here.)
    • The number of cash registers at the store.
    • Business hours for the store.

    Next Steps

    If you complete and submit your application through the USDA site, you will still be asked to print a document cover letter and required certification and signature statement.

    After you’ve signed the certification and signature statement, send it with the required cover letter, business license, and color copies of identification cards to:

    USDA, Food and Nutrition Service

    PO Box 7228

    Falls Church, VA 22040

    *Note: All documents must be combined in one package and not stapled together.

    How Long It Takes to Be Approved

    Once the USDA has received your application and all supporting documentation, FNS can take up to 45 days to issue a final decision.  During this time, you can check the status of your application through the USDA website.

    Should you need any assistance with your FNS application or signing up to be a goEBT retailer, please feel free to contact us.

    Ready to start? Visit the USDA website now!