PayPal Acceptable Use Policy

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PayPal Acceptable Use Policy

Last Update: 17 July, 2023


You are independently responsible for complying with all applicable laws in all of your actions related to your use of PayPal's services, regardless of the purpose of the use. In addition, you must adhere to the terms of this Acceptable Use Policy. Violation of this Acceptable Use Policy constitutes a violation of your PayPal User Agreement.


Prohibited Activities

You may not use the PayPal service for activities that:

  1. violate any law, statute, ordinance or regulation.
  2. relate to transactions involving (a) narcotics, steroids, certain controlled substances or other products that present a risk to consumer safety, (b) drug paraphernalia, (c) cigarettes, (d) items that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity, (e) stolen goods including digital and virtual goods, (f) the promotion of hate, violence, racial or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory or the financial exploitation of a crime, (g) items that are considered obscene, (h) items that infringe or violate any copyright, trademark, right of publicity or privacy or any other proprietary right under the laws of any jurisdiction, (i) certain sexually oriented materials or services, (j) ammunition, firearms, or certain firearm parts or accessories, or (k) certain weapons or knives regulated under applicable law.
  3. relate to transactions that (a) show the personal information of third parties in violation of applicable law, (b) support pyramid or ponzi schemes, matrix programs, other "get rich quick" schemes or certain multi-level marketing programs, (c) are associated with purchases of annuities or lottery contracts, lay-away systems, off-shore banking or transactions to finance or refinance debts funded by a credit card, (d) are for the sale of certain items before the seller has control or possession of the item, (e) are by payment processors to collect payments on behalf of merchants, (f) are associated with the sale of traveler's checks or money orders, (g) involve currency exchanges or check cashing businesses, (h) involve certain credit repair, debt settlement services, credit transactions or insurance activities, or (i) involve offering or receiving payments for the purpose of bribery or corruption.
  4. involve the sales of products or services identified by government agencies to have a high likelihood of being fraudulent.
  5. relate to transactions involving any activity that requires approval without having obtained said approval.


Activities Requiring Approval

PayPal requires approval to accept payments for certain services as detailed in the chart below.

PayPal requires approval to accept payments for certain items and services as detailed below.



Item or Service Requiring approval (not intended to be an exhaustive list)

Contact Information



Airlines and scheduled or non-scheduled charters/jets/air taxi operators.

For general questions, please refer to our Help Center.


If you have questions about obtaining a approval or opening a new PayPal Business account that offers services requiring approval, please contact our Sales team.



Charities / Non-Profit

Collecting donations as a charity or non-profit organization.


High Value Items

Operating as a dealer in jewels, precious metals and stones.


Payment Facilitator

Providing payment services which would fall under the definition of a money service business or an electronic money institution. Services would also include the sale of stored value cards and escrow services.



Buying, selling, or brokering stocks, bonds, securities, options, figures, commodities, contracts for difference/forex, mutual funds or an investment interest any entity or property.


Gambling, Gaming, Prize Draws and Contests

Activities involving gambling, gaming and/or any other activity with an entry fee and a prize, including, but not limited to property/real estate prizes, casino games, sports betting, horse or greyhound racing, fantasy sports, lottery tickets, other ventures that facilitate gambling, games of skill (whether or not legally defined as gambling) and sweepstakes, if the operator and customers are located exclusively in jurisdictions where such activities are permitted by law.



Any digital representation of value that can be digitally traded, transferred, or used for payment, including, but not limited to, crypto currencies, virtual in-game currencies, or non-fungible tokens.


Prescription Items

The sale of any product(s) requiring a prescription or prescription dispensing



Telemedicine Services

Providing medical services and consultations in a remote fashion.




Mature Audience Content

Any adult content delivered digitally including video on demand (VOD) and web-cam activities. PayPal may be restricted from processing payments in certain jurisdictions for adult DVD’s, magazines and other adult themed products or services.


Online Dating

Any dating services that enables individuals to find and introduce themselves to new people with the goal of developing a personal or romantic relationship.


Live Streaming/Broadcasting

Any activities in which people transmit video, voice or text content in a live environment with the potential of user interaction.



Providing file sharing services including cyberlockers and similar remote digital file sharing services where uploaded content is accessible to the public or the service pays uploaders for content.



Selling alcoholic beverages.



Non-cigarette tobacco products, e-cigarettes, cigars


Medical Items or Services

All items classified as medical devices, and all services or treatment provided by a person or organization holding itself out as a provider of health-care services, including, but not limited to, all health-care services for which government licensure is required in the provider’s jurisdiction or in the jurisdiction where services are being provided.

This category includes “Medical Tourism” involving medical services to be provided to a patient outside of that patient’s home country.


Multilevel Marketing and Direct Selling Organizations

Direct Sales Organizations (“DSOs”) and the Multi-Level Marketing (“MLMs”) are distribution and marketing models in which products or services are sold via a network of independent distributors or representatives. DSO and MLM models rely on personal sales and frequently require the independent distributors to recruit new distributors in order to advance within the organization or gain incentive compensation.



A marketplace is an e-commerce solution where third-party sellers can sell their products or services to customers.



More Information

To learn more about the Acceptable Use Policy, please refer to our Help Centre.


Violations of the Acceptable Use Policy

We encourage you to report violations of this Acceptable Use Policy to PayPal immediately. If you have a question about whether a type of transaction may violate the Acceptable Use Policy, or wish to file a report, you can do so here.