Many business owners find themselves surprised when they register a Facebook Page for their business and discover that one already exists. Worse yet, an unmanaged page can be a worrisome aspect of your online reputation — so claiming ownership as soon as possible is essential.
If you find yourself among business owners wondering what to do about an unclaimed Facebook page for your business, you’ll be pleased to know that taking ownership of the page is often a straightforward process. Here’s everything you need to know about claiming a Facebook Business Page as a business.
The process you’ll need to take to claim your business’s Facebook Business Page varies. Specifically, you’ll need to determine whether or not your business’s Facebook Page is claimed before you can take any next steps.
If the existing Facebook page is unclaimed, you will see a small icon symbol and text just beneath the cover photo denoting that it is an “Unofficial Page.”
Claimed pages generally offer some information on who runs the page, but the amount of information you’ll find depends on how the page’s privacy settings have been configured.
If the Facebook Business Page is unclaimed, gaining ownership is a simple process. To start, you should navigate back to the Facebook page and look at the rightmost corner just beneath the cover photo to find the “Is this your business?” link.
Once you click on the link, a pop-up will appear with several prompts you’ll need to fill out to claim the business page. Typically, Facebook will request that you enter your publicly-listed business phone number.
Next, you’ll need to enter a four-digit verification code once the automatic Facebook confirmation line calls you. After all the prompts are complete, you’ll be able to manage the Facebook page and do important tasks like responding to reviews.
If your business doesn’t have a publicly listed number, you may need to use alternative methods to claim the Facebook page. You can generally accomplish this by submitting official documents to Facebook to prove your ownership.
Here are all the official documents that Facebook accepts.
- Business licenses
- Business tax files
- Utility or phone bills for your business
- Certificate of formation (for a business partnership) or articles of incorporation (for a corporation)
Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t accept documentation like email correspondence, domain ownership documentation, or business cards to prove ownership. You will need to provide one of the previously mentioned documents to obtain ownership of the Facebook page.
Unfortunately, there are many cases where business owners find that somebody else has already claimed their Facebook page. To gain Facebook page ownership, you’ll need to provide several pieces of documentation.
To start the reporting process, navigate to the business Facebook page and click on the gear located at the top right corner of the page. Once the menu appears, select ‘Is this your business?’ and submit the correct information for each prompt.
After you’ve submitted basic information about your business, Facebook will prompt you to provide one of the previously mentioned forms of documentation to prove your ownership of the business.
Once everything is submitted, the Facebook team will review your report. It generally takes around a week to receive feedback.
If you provide all of the correct documentation necessary for Facebook to shift ownership of the page, it wouldn’t be long before you receive access to the Facebook page.
Once you own the page, you can merge it with any duplicate pages if necessary. You can also edit information like the business address and phone number to ensure they’re completely up-to-date.
While the methods mentioned above are effective for claiming most unofficial Facebook pages, some situations make it difficult to claim a page.
Many business owners are frustrated when their employee creates a page and leaves, as the page is considered official by Facebook.
If you want to claim the page, you should start by reaching out to the employee directly. This is often the easiest method of gaining access. If you’re not able to contact the employee, you may be able to gain access with the help of Facebook staff.
To start, open the Facebook support team chat form and fill out the prompts as accurately as possible. You should be prepared to include valid forms of documentation to prove that you are the business owner.
It’s generally recommended that you submit all the following information with your request.
- Your personal information and ID, including your driver’s license, passport, or birth certificate.
- A description of your relationship to the business and why you have the authority to request access to the business page.
- Clarification on why you’re making the request. For example, if an agency you no longer work with or an ex-employee owns the page, you should disclose that you terminated your working relationship with them and lost access to it.
- The Facebook user and email address that you would like added to the page.
- Your Facebook Business Manager ID that you would like added to the page.
- Information on any invoices the Facebook account may have previously had for ad campaigns, including the amount owed and the last four digits and expiration date of the credit card used.
- A declaration that “I certify that, to the best of my knowledge, the information provided is true and accurate.”
- A valid signature is at the end of your statement.
Unfortunately, gaining access to a business page is much more challenging when Facebook believes it is already official. You should provide as much documentation as possible to ensure you have the highest chance of success.
Access to your business’s Facebook page is essential, as it will allow you to control your online reputation and reach out to customers. Unfortunately, rogue Facebook pages are sometimes created — and sometimes, it can be almost impossible to access them.
If you use these methods, you’ll be well on your way to gaining access to your business’s Facebook page. And in doing so, you’ll gain a heightened ability to engage with customers, connect your social media, and even create a Facebook vanity URL – but best of all, you’ll be on your way to building a lasting positive reputation.