What is a Full Legal Business Name on PayPal?

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You may be a freelancer, blogger, or maybe you run an online business. At some point, you will need a PayPal account to get paid and make online purchases for your business. 

Should you keep your business transactions separate from personal transactions? 

When you set up a PayPal account for business purposes, you'll run into a few questions not asked when setting up a personal account. They can be intimidating if you're not sure what they mean exactly. 

For example, what is a full legal business name on PayPal? Of course, you want to make sure you get these questions right the first time and avoid potential legal trouble down the road. 

Disclaimer: This website's information does not represent, and is not intended to represent legal advice; rather, all information, content, and materials on this site are provided for general informational purposes only.


There are generally two types of businesses, a small business (or sole proprietorship) and an incorporated business. Both have a “Full Legal Business Name,” which is the name of your company. For incorporated companies (LLC., Inc., Co.), the full name that shows up on the business license is what you are looking to put down. 

On the other hand, small businesses may have an LLC but fall under the “Doing Business As” (DBA) category. 

The name of a Small Business Administration (SBA) company or Sole Proprietorship is known as a trade name. There is no legal suffix for DBA or Sole Proprietorships (Example: LLC, Inc. Co.) 

Now, while that clarifies what PayPal means by your full legal business name, it doesn't help if you're still in the early stages of setting up your business. You may not even know for certain what your business is just yet.

You might not have a legal business name, or any revenue and expenses for that matter. Can you still set up a PayPal Business Account?

Yes…


If you are the only one conducting business, the owner and operator, the answer is no. 

The owner's full name is the legal business name. 

For corporations and partnerships, yes, it is required to have a full legal business name. Upon registering, an Employer Identification Number (EIN) is issued for business and tax purposes. Only a business lawyer can do this. 

Can I Set Up a PayPal Business Account Without a Business?


Yes, you can have a business account without having a business. Your Social Security Number would fall under the EIN, and you would be considered a Sole Proprietorship or DBA. 

There is a bit of advice and things to keep in mind before taking this step. For example, PayPal does report ALL income to the IRS. There is a borderline when the tax person comes around looking for you. It may be hard to prove your case if you get audited, which is something to keep in mind.   

Can I Use a Business PayPal Account for Personal Use?


Yes, the account can be personal, but tax season rolls around will be a headache. The best option is to keep it separate in your paperwork when using your business account for personal reasons. Going through the printed-out monthly reports and transactions with two different color highlighters will help keep things separate. Your CPA will thank you.    

PayPal Business Account vs. PayPal Personal Account


Listed below are the benefits and drawbacks of each, the business and personal PayPal accounts. It will help bring insight into how you may want to operate your business using each version.

PayPal Business Account Benefits


PayPal Business accounts have all the tools necessary to operate a business at any level. The best option is that everything is free with no annual or monthly fees with the basic service. You will have all you need to perform the following: 

  • Invoicing online across the world;
  • Billing services are recurring for ongoing customers or clients;
  • Access to a Marketing Solutions package;
  • Reports for daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly for sales;
  • Keeping track of all your expenses;
  • All the paperwork needed to make taxes less stressful; 
  • Up to 200 employees can use your account with different levels of authority and their ID login;
  • Purchase and sell in person or online globally.

PayPal Business Account Drawbacks


There are a few setbacks that can be time-consuming. These are the issues some people in business have faced: 

  • Chargeback costs have steep fees;
  • The terms of use limit certain accounts, and suspension and frozen funds are inevitable for months if violated;
  • Some people do not use PayPal, so it may cause a loss in profits. 

PayPal Personal Account Benefits


PayPal started to save people from scams that dipped into bank accounts and grew a reputation for being the safest transaction method between business and people. Listed are the bright sides of using PayPal for personal reasons:

  • Multiple Credit and Debit Card Security; 
  • You can send and receive money easily;
  • It is affordable and offers discounts with cashback bonuses;
  • No service charges or membership fees;
  • Compatible with mobile phones and has an app;
  • The dispute resolution center allows for disputes against online sellers who do not meet expectations.

PayPal Personal Account Drawbacks


Like the business account, there are a few setbacks that may discourage users from going with PayPal. Listed are some complaints people have when using PayPal: 

  • Charges 2.89 percent when receiving payments;
  • Transfer fees for transferring money to your bank account;
  • Strict terms of service that cause quick suspensions of accounts for violations;
  • Some payments are put on hold.

Business Account Fees vs. Personal Account Fees


The good news is that the fees are the same for both business and personal accounts. There is a 1.50 percent transaction fee for transferring funds to your bank account with a maximum fee of $15.00. There is no fee for purchasing at a store or online store as long as there is no currency conversion. All countries have different rates.

For receiving donations, there is a 2.89 percent charge with a fixed fee of 1.50 percent. Fees are waived for domestic personal transactions from a bank account or PayPal balance funds. For all items sold, whether personal or business, there is also a 2.89 percent fee.  

PayPal Business Account Requirements


There are a couple of requirements needed to obtain a PayPal business account, and they are as follows: 

  • Business phone number (this may be your personal number if you're a sole proprietor or DBA);
  • Email;
  • Legal Business Name (your full name if you are the only one conducting business)
  • Last four numbers of the owner's SSN;
  • EIN “if” the business is incorporated or an LLC;
  • Home address;
  • Date of Birth; 
  • Name of Bank, Routing, and Account Number.

How To Open a PayPal Business Account


For the most part, opening a PayPal Business Account is the same as opening a personal account, but there are some differences:

1. Sign up at PayPal.com

2. Go to the business account section and click Next. 

3. Enter your email address. 

4. Create a unique login ID and password; enter the contact information for your business.  

5. Read through PayPal's user agreementprivacy policy, and electronic communications delivery policy. Then, if you have no issues, click Agree.  

6. Enter your employer ID number (or, if you're a sole proprietor, your social security number). 

7. If you have a website, you can enter it on the following line.  

8. PayPal will request some personal information to verify your identity. 

9. When your identity is confirmed, you will be asked to verify your email to complete your account setup. 

10. Begin using your PayPal Business Account. 

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