How to Apply EBT for Business

How to Apply – EBT for Business

Starting a new retail food store?  Growing your business to include an EBT Machine?  We can help!  Our firm can help you with an EBT application for business retail food stores.  Metropolitan’s EBT attorneys and staff have handled Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program  (also called EBT and SNAP) applications for years.  We are aware of the pitfalls and dangers inherent in an incorrect or inaccurate application.  Our prompt and responsive service can help to manage any questions or concerns the USDA may have about your application.  Trust our office to quickly and efficiently get your application approved today!

Your EBT Retailer Application – The Steps

The EBT application process has gotten more difficult over the years.  Recent changes to inventory and revenue requirements have made it difficult to qualify on a store’s first application.  Our firm, however, specializes in avoiding application problems for minimal cost.  The application process goes like this:

    1. Get Your Documents Together:  Before you can apply for an EBT license, you must be within 10 days of buying/opening the store, or already be in operation.  If your store is already in operation, gather the following documents: your business tax return for the most recent year (if you have filed one); copies of the social security card and driver’s license (front and back) for each owner, member, manager, and or partner for the store; a copy of each business, lottery, alcohol, and tobacco license your store has.
    2. Fill Out Our Online Form:  Fill out our online EBT Retailer License application form and submit it to us any time during the day or night.  We will review your application to see if there could be any problems that the USDA would be concerned about.
    3. Take Pictures of Your Store:  Take detailed pictures of your store’s inventory, focusing on the number of varieties of items from the staple food groups that your store offers.  Remember, you must have either: (1) 7 varieties of the 4 staple food groups (Meats/Poultry/Fish, Diary Products, Fruits/Vegetables, and Breads/Cereals), with at least 3 units of each variety in stock at all times, OR (2) more than 50% of your gross revenue in staple food sales.
    4. Prepare for the Store Visit: Remove trash, confusing signage, references to items that you no longer sell, and make certain that your inventory is full and refilled every day.  Keep all of your inventory records (receipts, invoices, etc.).
    5. Answer Any Extra Questions:  The USDA may have questions about your store’s operations, sales figures, or inventory.  Our firm helps prevent the questions from arising, or provides answers to satisfy the Department’s concerns.
    6. Get Your License!  Licenses are typically issued within 30-45 days of the filing of the application and submission of the documents.

Businesses that Qualify for EBT Licenses

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is responsible for overseeing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  FNS believes that greater access to food items for the SNAP participants, helps create better diets.  So, in recent years they have encouraged the participation of farmers markets to apply as snap retailers.  Other stores that qualify to accept EBT include: convenience stores, small/medium grocery stores, fish markets, meat markets, some restaurants, supermarkets, combination stores, and super stores.  Each of these stores must complete the online application to accept SNAP benefits.

About the EBT for Business Application Process

The Retailer SNAP Application is submitted through an online system.   Each EBT Application requires a certain amount of information regarding the applicant’s personal history.  FNS will also ask about the history of your business (including the financial history of your operation), and how the business is generally managed.  Sometimes the USDA will require a store to supplement its EBT business application.  The USDA often asks the store produce information and documents to demonstrate that the applicant is the actual owner, or will be running the store.  Other documents the Department may require include: your personal tax returns, your business licenses, your lottery and liquor licenses, your bank records and a personal affidavit.

More recently, the USDA has been concerned with eliminating carry-out stores, small stores without sufficient inventory, and store owners with any criminal background.  We have successfully won EBT business licenses for our clients in each of those circumstances by providing detailed and thorough explanations to the Department.  We have fought a number of application denial appeals as well, and won licenses for our clients’ stores.  Our team can help to make sure that the Department receives the information it requests, while making certain that you avoid costly mistakes that could result in a denial of your EBT application.

Experience with EBT Applications and the USDA

Our office and attorneys handle USDA matters every day, some of which involve the improper denial of EBT applications for business retailers under 7 CFR §278.1.  This experiences gives us an edge when it comes to preparing your application and anticipating the information that the USDA will require you to produce to make certain your application proceeds appropriately.  If you’re looking to apply for an EBT machine, call our office today to learn more.

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