Should I Have a PayPal Business Account?

Should I Have a PayPal Business Account?

by Edward Hartman, July 2018

Since PayPal has become the world's largest online transaction service company, you are probably wondering if you should open a PayPal Business Account for your company. Setting up a PayPal business account enables you to take advantage of several features not available with a PayPal personal account. There is no charge to set up a PayPal business account; however, there are fees associated with many of the business account features.

Casually dressed man and woman looking at computer at desk in front of window

Accepting Payments Through PayPal

Your business can accept payments for goods and services through PayPal. Using a PayPal business account, you can accept online payment via PayPal, as well as in your store or business office, through a mobile card reader, and by phone. Many people, especially those shopping online, prefer to pay using PayPal.

PayPal can also process payments made with major credit and debit cards. There are no monthly fees, setup fees, or cancellation fees and there are no minimum processing requirements. You can accept credit card payments through PayPal even if you don't accept PayPal itself as a payment option for your customers. For PayPal online payment, your website can have a checkout button for PayPal.

As with any payment processing company, there are fees for processing business transactions through PayPal:

  • For online transactions, PayPal charges 2.9 percent of the transaction amount, plus a flat fee of 30 cents, if the funds come from within the United States.
  • For funds coming from other countries, the fee goes up to 4.4 percent, plus a flat fee that varies based on the currency used.
  • For transactions at your store, the charge is 2.7 percent for funds from the U.S., and 4.2 percent for funds from another country, plus the flat fee. Additional fees are charged for accepting payments in other currencies.

If you process at least $3,000 per month, you may apply for a PayPal merchant rate, which may reduce your processing fees. Also, PayPal offers various premium accounts that come with monthly fees, different features, and different transaction fees.

PayPal's fees may be better or worse than what you can get from other credit card processing companies. Also, as with any processing company, the fees are subject to change. It is always good to shop around periodically for the best rates and terms available at the time.

PayPal Credit for Your Customers

PayPal Credit offers its own credit and terms for your customers, which may be more favorable than terms offered by their other credit cards. For example, they will pay no interest if the transaction is paid in full within six months on purchases of $99+. This may serve as an incentive for customers to buy from you, rather than from a competitor that does not offer PayPal Credit.

PayPal Business Loans

A PayPal business account makes your business eligible to apply for two types of business loans.

PayPal Business Loan. You may apply to borrow from $5,000 to $500,000. PayPal says such a loan is best for a business that has more than $42,000 in annual revenue, and has been in business for at least nine months.

PayPal Working Capital. You may borrow from $1,000 to $125,000. To be eligible for this type of loan, you must:

  1. Have had a PayPal business account for at least 90 days, and
  2. Have processed at least $15,000 through PayPal within the past 12 months. So, if you want the loan 90 days after opening your business account, you must have processed at least $15,000 during those 90 days.

PayPal Alternatives

If you want to shop around for other payment processing options, you might want to see what is offered by the numerous other processors, such as Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, Dwolla, Google Wallet, WePay, Stripe, and TransferWise. The latter two are especially popular with businesses that have a lot of customers in other countries.

Other companies that offer invoicing programs, such as FreshBooks, QuickBooks, and Wave, may allow you to accept eChecks and ACH bank transfers from your customers, often at no charge.

The Risks

As with just about any company you do business with today, there is always the risk that your information might get hacked. Also, PayPal seeks to have you link your bank account to your PayPal account. To do this, PayPal asks you to provide it with your user ID and password for your online banking. This could allow a dishonest PayPal employee, or someone who successfully hacks PayPal, to access (or wipe out) your bank account.

PayPal has been known to freeze accounts, with no warning and without explanation. This ties up the money in your PayPal account until you resolve whatever issue PayPal has identified.

PayPal is not a bank, so it is not subject to banking rules, and your funds that PayPal holds are not protected by FDIC insurance.

To determine whether a PayPal business account is right for you, you will need to weigh the convenience versus the fees, decide if accepting payments through PayPal will increase your business, and evaluate other available payment processing options.