Looking to activate your WhatsApp Business API number? The first step is to get your business verified on Facebook.
In this article, I detail the steps that I have used to verify tens of customers' business accounts on Facebook.
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Step #1. Activate Your Facebook Business Manager account
Facebook Business Manager is a Facebook tool that helps organize and manage your business. You can manage all aspects of your Facebook business account from your business manager. You also need it to get your business verified.
If you already have a business manager account, you can skip to this section
Once you have your Business’ Facebook page ready, go to https://business.facebook.com and click on “Create Business.”
You need to fill out the form. Under the business email, you can use your business email; you don’t have to use the email you have used to create your Facebook account.
Using business email is probably the most significant benefit of using Facebook Business Manager, since you can give access to employees who have the company email, it is easy to cancel or move the access if they left the company.
Once done. Click on submit. You will get an email from Facebook to confirm your email. Click on "confirm now".
Now that you have created your Facebook business manager account, go to https://business.Facebook.com/settings and select the business manager account for the business you want to verify.
Alternatively, you can go to https://business.Facebook.com/ → more tools → Business Settings
Step one is done. You have activated your Facebook business manager account.
Step #2. Connect your domain to Facebook
Although this step is not mandatory, I found that it will make your life easier when submitting your application.
From the settings page, navigate to brand safety → domains.
Click on "add a domain" and enter your domain address.
You need to refresh the page once this step is done. You will see a red dot beside your domain name. This means your domain is not verified yet.
You have three options to verify the domain. DNS verification option, HTML file upload, or Meta tag verification.
No method is better than the other; it is just a matter of which resources you have access to. Select the DNS verification method if your domain is hosted with one of the big providers, like GoDaddy. Otherwise, use the HTML file upload method by asking your web development team to upload the verification file to the root directory of your website.
Regardless of the method you use. This step should not take more than 10 minutes of your developer time. Once he is done, click the verify button, and you will see the red dot change to green. If you have an error, contact the developer again, he did something wrong!
Step #3. Get the paperwork done
In this step, we will prepare the required docs for Facebook and make one change to the website.
You need two documents for Facebook verification. The Company Registration Letter (issued by a governmental entity) and a utility bill (Electricity, Water, or Teclo invoice).
I don’t think you will find an issue in getting your company registration letter (CR). But the utility bill with your business name and exact address can be challenging. We recommend using any bill as long as the company information that is shown in the registration letter matches the info on the utility bill exactly. When I say exactly, I mean it. The name should be the same, the language should be the same, the address should be the same, and if there's a phone number, it should be the same. Your application will never be approved if those two do not match, and I think this is why people find it hard to get their accounts verified.
If you have a phone number or going to use a telco invoice as your utility bill, don’t worry if the bill is not for the number you want to use for your WhatsApp verification. It is irrelevant to that. It should only be a number owned by your company. Facebook will not make verification calls to this number later.
The other change is on the website. Go to your website content management system (CMS). Modify the footer of the website to show that your company is the owner of the website. Use your company name as indicated in the company registration documents provided by the government. Use the same language as the government's documents. So if your business name is in Arabic, for example, write it down on the website in Arabic.
Step #4. Start the verification process
In the business settings page, navigate to the security center Click on the “start verification” button
Oops! the button is not active. Well, it is not you alone, except for some lucky ones; everyone faces this issue. But here are some workarounds:
if you want to get the verification to activate a WhatsApp Business API number, you can use the number embedded signup feature of your number provider (example of 360Dialog); this will unlock the verification button for you.
You can create an application on the Facebook Developers website for your business manager account and start the verification from there. (this method used to work, but recently, it is not guaranteed).
As they say, "Time is the solution to all problems,"... so if your business manager is new, you can wait a month or write to Facebook support to check the issue.
Once you have unlocked the button. You can now submit your application. 🕺🕺
Just one thing before we continue, Facebook removed the language selection from the application. And recently, some of our applications got rejected because the language of submitted documents is not English, although it is one of the supported languages.
To overcome this issue, As per Facebook team feedback to us, change your business manager language to match the language of your documents. This way, Facebook will forward your request to the team that speaks this language.
Attention: Change your Business Manager Lanaguge Before we proceed, make sure to change your business manager language to match the language of your supporting documents. Sorry, it is stupid. I know 😅
Step #5. Submit the application
The application consists of four parts. After the welcome page, and selecting the country, you need to fill in the business information.
When you fill in the business name, you need to put the name to match exactly what is written in the company registration documents and in the same language. Select the country, then fill in the address; make sure that you put the information as provided in the supporting documents you have prepared.
Under the business phone number, provide a number shown in your supporting document, and ensure you have the country code included as well. This number is not related to the number of your WhatsApp verification. No calls will be made to it to make the verification.
Also, fill in the website link, and make sure it is the same website that you have used to connect your domain.
The next steps vary depending on whether your company name matches a business on Facebook Database. If it does match, Facebook will give a list of matching businesses you can select from, select your business info, confirm it, then move to the verification method step.
It happens that Facebook finds your business in their records, but they end up rejecting the application. So if you find that the information provided by Facebook does not match the information you have (like the website name or the info provided in the supporting document), you can choose not to select from the list and fill in the information manually.
Now you need to submit the legal documents. You need to verify your legal name by submitting the company registration and verify the Address by submitting a utility bill. Upload the docs, then click next.
Now, Facebook needs to verify that you have access to the assets you have provided in the application. Remember that we have already verified the domain, so click on verify us via domain. And we are done; your application is submitted.
Step #6. Submit Again 😅
Yes, in my experience, 50% of applications get rejected the first time. Sometimes, I just submit the application again, and it works; sometimes, we find some issues on the application, we fix them, and it gets approved. The is a 50% chance that the first submission gets approved, 80% for the second one, and after that, it is 95%.
With each submission, you get a reply from Facebook on your email. Then you must visit the business manager settings page to check the resolution details. Facebook takes from 3 to 5 days with each round of review.
Facebook will provide you with the reason why they did not approve the application and will ask you to fix them within a deadline. If you follow all the above steps, you should not face any issues. Most of the time, their feedback is that the Legal documents do not match the utility bills, and your legal name is shown clearly on the site, so add it to the header if needed.
Once your application is approved, you will receive a message and a business verification status on your Facebook business setting page.
Make no mistake; business verification is unrelated to the blue checkmark beside your Facebook page or WhatsApp number. To get those checkmarks, you need to follow another process that is also governed by Facebook policy.
Below is a checklist of the steps you need to follow in order to get your business verified by Facebook:
Create a business manager account
Connect your domain to the Facebook business manager
Update your website to include your legal business name on the footer
Get your company registration letter
Make sure that a utility bill has your address information correctly with the legal business name shown on the bill
Activate the verification button by creating a Facebook application
Submit the application
The process takes 3 to 10 days on average. If you are too busy and want to get the verification done, so you activate your WhatsApp business API, Apply here, we are giving this service for free for the first 100 applicants 😉.