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Step 2: Prepare your WhatsApp application

Neelke Stadler Updated by Neelke Stadler

Grab a cup of coffee. This article is quite an intricate one. But, without going through these steps, you won’t be able to create your new chat service via the WhatsApp Business API.

Use the table of contents on the right to easily navigate to a specific section. Here's what we'll be covering:

  1. Complete the Facebook for Business verification process
  2. Confirm your display information
  3. Choose a unique phone number
  4. Complete your WhatsApp Business Account (WABA) application
  5. Choose your pricing plan
  6. Sign the Business Service Provider (BSP) agreement

1. Complete the Facebook for Business verification process

After you’ve completed your application form, the next step is to complete the Facebook for Business verification process – a necessary step in gaining access to the WhatsApp Business API. 

What is business verification?

To validate the true identity of your business, you’ll have to work through Facebook Business Manager, a free tool that helps businesses to organise and manage their Facebook ad accounts and pages as well as their Instagram profiles. Organisations must also set up a WhatsApp Business account from within Facebook Business Manager. (Remember: WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram all fall under the same big umbrella.)

The verification process checks two things:

  1. Authenticity: Is the organisation represented legally registered?
  2. Association: Does the person requesting verification legally work for the organisation?
Log in to Facebook Business Manager

If you need to set up a Facebook Business Manager account for the first time:

  • Visit
  • Click on “Create Account” (top right).
  • Follow the prompts to create your Business account.

Already have an account?

Once you have a Business account, continue verifying your business as follows:

Find here the list of list of acceptable documents for business verification in many major markets (Brazil, China, Cyprus, France, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, UAE, Ukraine, UK, US) that you'll need to submit to create a WhatsApp Business account.
  • Click on “Business Manager” (top left).
  • Click on the “Business Settings” icon in the dropdown box.
  • Once you’re in “Business Settings”, click on “Security Centre”.
  • You’ll now see a “Business Verification” tab. Click on “Start verification”.
  • Enter your business details. Please don’t provide false or misleading information, as you’ll get kicked out! Also, make sure that the business you’re trying to verify is linked to a line of credit that you own.
  • Choose to receive the verification code on your business phone number via a text message, a phone call or email. 
  • If your domain is already verified, click “Use Domain Verification”. If not, complete the domain verification process.
  • Return to the Security Centre and select “Continue”.
  • Enter your verification code and click “Submit”.

This video walks you through Facebook Business Manager:

Read our troubleshooting article here if you are struggling to get verified.

2. Confirm your display name

Your display name should have a clear link to your organisation and should be in line with WhatsApp’s Commerce and Business policies. It should also be consistent with the branding you use on other external sources such as your website. 

Your display name cannot only consist of:

  • A person’s full name.
  • A generic term (e.g. Fashion).
  • A generic geographic location (e.g. New York).
  • A slogan or long description.
 The formatting of your display name should comply with WhatsApp’s rules and regulations.

Take a look at these examples: 

Formatting rule


Your display name may not be in all capitals, it must have grammatically correct capitalisation, and it should match the capitalisation used in your business name.

Accepted: New City Computers 

Not accepted: NEW CITY COMPUTERS  

Note that this display name would be acceptable if the business already brands using all caps.

Don’t change the spacing from the spacing used in your business name.

An example for a business called “Lil'Cupcakes". 

Accepted: Lil'Cupcakes 

Not accepted: Lil' Cupcakes (A space has been added between "Lil’" and "Cupcakes" when the external business name does not contain one.)

Don’t add any extra punctuation, emojis, or character symbols (such as trademark designations).

Not accepted: @New City Computers or New City Computers™

Don’t add extra words to your company or brand name unless the words indicate:

  • Country or region
  • Department or function
  • “Test” or “demo” accounts

Accepted: Fresh Produce Mexico or Fresh Produce Customer Support  

Not accepted: Fresh Produce Official Account

If you add permitted words, the first letter of the word must be capitalised.

Accepted: Fresh Produce Test  

Not accepted: Fresh Produce demo

Your display name must contain a minimum of 3 characters.

An example for a business, “KT Sir”:  

Accepted: KT Sir 

Not accepted: KT

Your display name may not be in URL format.

Not accepted:

Important note: In the first month, you can change your display name up to three times. But, after the initial 30 days have passed, you’ll have to wait another month before you can submit a new name. 

Success! When your display name has been submitted, the WhatsApp team will review it, and you’ll be notified as soon as it’s been approved.

For more information, visit WhatsApp’s official Display Name help page.

What will my users see?

There are two types of WhatsApp business accounts and, depending on your business account type, users will see different things.

Official business account

An official business account is when WhatsApp has verified that an authentic, notable brand owns the account.

If your WhatsApp account is an official business account, the display name will be visible in the chat list and contacts view instead of the phone number. This is true even if the user hasn't added your business to their address book. There will be a green checkmark beside the displayed name in the contacts view.

Note: V​ery few businesses get official business accounts.

Business account

By default, any account using the WhatsApp Business API is a business account.

If your WhatsApp account is a business account, the display name will only be shown in the contacts view in smaller text. All other views will show the phone number. You can help customers to learn more about your organisation or business by filling out your business info, including your business website, address and hours.

If a user has already saved the business number in their address book, the name from their address book will always be displayed, regardless of the business account type. The phone number will also be visible in the contacts view.

Are you interested in getting the 'green tick'?

The 'green tick' is mainly granted to internationally recognised brands. We'll need to make a specific request to WhatsApp on your behalf. Please contact us directly at if your organisation want to pursue this option.

3. Choose your unique phone number

Next, you’ll need to decide on the number to use for your new chat service. Here’s what you need to know: 

  • The phone number will be used to identify your account on the WhatsApp platform. 
  • The number must be in the E.164 international format and must be reachable from outside the country. 
  • It’s best to choose a friendly, memorable phone number. 
  • The number must be able to receive SMS or voice calls. A mobile or landline number would do the trick.
  • The number will be used during the WhatsApp for Business API registration process. You’ll receive an SMS or a voice call for two-factor authentication.
  • Short codes are not allowed on the WhatsApp platform. 
  • Toll-free numbers are allowed if they’re in international format.
  • Your phone number must not have been used on the WhatsApp Business API before.

Turn prefers to help you choose your WhatsApp number. We’ll make sure that the number meets the above requirements, that the phone number can be registered to your account within a certain timeframe, and that the process doesn’t have to be managed by you in future.  

If you use an existing phone number, ensuring that the number remains active is your responsibility. For example, you must make sure that the number isn’t deactivated by a mobile network operator or other service. 

Here is a brief summary of the actions you’ll have to take to secure your number:

Number type


New number (any)

The team will provide you with a number that fulfils all the requirements. Please request a number on your application form if you’d like us to assist.

New vanity number (e.g. +276 0060TURN)

If you would like your number to be a vanity number, the team can help you to get the closest match. Please request this on your application form.

Existing landline number

Landlines are acceptable phone numbers to use. But, since a phone number is tied to a WhatsApp Account, you must own this number. Make sure the number contains a country and area code.

1-800 and toll-free numbers

Please see Facebook guidance for migrating an existing number.

Phone number already registered on Android, iPhone or the Business Application version of WhatsApp.

Please see Facebook guidance for migrating an existing number.

Success! If you’ve received confirmation that your business has been verified, this first part of the process is complete. Note that getting approval from Facebook might take a bit of time.

4. Complete your WhatsApp Business Account (WABA) application

Now that you have all the information, you can complete the WhatsApp Business Account (WABA) application document shared with you by the team.

5. Choose your pricing plan 

The team will provide you with a password to access the rate card.

6. Sign the Business Service Provider (BSP) agreement 

The team will send this to you electronically via HelloSign.

Success! You're ready to move on to Step 3 to complete the set-up.

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