Introduction: Hacks #17-27

From accepting occasional donations to receiving payments from thousands of customers, PayPal provides the tools and support you need to build your business. Rather than having to complete a complicated and costly application for a merchant account so that you can accept payments, all you have to do is fill out a form at, and PayPal will handle all the dirty work. To get started, all you have to do is to set up your PayPal account for accepting payments.

PayPal offers three types of accounts. All of them can be used for making and accepting payments, but each has its own unique features:


Personal accounts [Hack #1] are the most common, because they are what most new PayPal members choose by default. Most buyers who use PayPal to make payments have a Personal account.

There is no fee for sending or receiving payments with a Personal account, but there are limitations. Personal accounts cannot receive payments funded by credit cards; since many PayPal buyers like to fund their payments with a credit card, a Personal account severely limits a seller's customer base. Also, Personal accounts are limited to receiving $1,000 in payments per month.


Premier accounts can accept payments funded with credit cards. There is no fee for sending payments with a Premier account, but there is a fee for accepting payments, no matter how they are funded. Premier accounts also include a host of features to help make your business successful and efficient, such as the Seller Protection Policy, the PayPal Shopping Cart, Subscriptions, Recurring Payments, and a listing in PayPal Shops.


Business accounts are nearly identical to Premier accounts, but they offer a few added features of interest to businesses. For instance, your PayPal account is identified to your customers as your business name instead of your personal name (as it is with both Personal and Premier accounts). The fee structure for Business accounts is the same as for Premier accounts.

Choosing a Business account over a Premier account can be a good way to protect your privacy and reinforce your business presence. If you're an eBay seller, for instance, you can set your PayPal business name to be the same as your eBay user ID.

If you're serious about making it easy for your customers to pay you, you will want to hold a Premier or Business account.

PayPal's policies allow each person to hold no more than two accounts. If you do hold two accounts, one must be Personal and one must be Business or Premier. See [Hack #23] for reasons you might want to hold a separate Personal account.