PayPal Account Limitations: withdrawal & transfer limits.

Sep 19 2022 | Alice Wong, Small business - North Americas, PayPal

Account limits prevent certain actions on your PayPal account. Keep reading to learn what account limitations are, why they get placed on your account, and what you can do about removing them.

As a small-business owner, it’s crucial that you’re able to continue processing payments, pay vendors, and access your money for other business needs. It’s also important to understand what account limitations are, why they may be placed on your account, and what they mean for you as the account holder. Understanding these limitations and how to address them could help eliminate potential headaches down the road.

What are account limitations?
Account limitations are temporary restrictions placed on a specific account that could prevent withdrawing, sending, or receiving money. Having limitations on an account doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve done anything wrong. Rather, they’re used to help protect both the buyer and the seller.

Why are limitations placed on an account?
There can be several reasons for an account limitation:

  • An unauthorized person may be using your account.​ If PayPal believes someone is using your account without your knowledge, the account could be limited to protect you from fraudulent charges while PayPal investigates the suspicious transactions. Similar steps may be taken if your debit or credit card issuer or bank notifies PayPal that someone has used your card or bank account without permission.
  • The account is out of compliance with regulatory requirements. Limitations can also be placed on an account that has been found to be out of compliance with regulatory requirements. For example, if you receive donations, you’re required to provide documents confirming you’re a registered nonprofit organization. PayPal may limit your account while you gather those documents or while we’re working with you to satisfy any other regulatory requirements. The same is true if you don’t follow PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy—selling banned items, such as prescription drugs or guns, for example.
  • Your account has a high number of claims and chargebacks. When there’s a high number of buyer claims and chargebacks to your account, we may review your account. While we’re reviewing, you may experience an account limitation.
  • Sudden, rapid changes in what or how much you sell. If you start to sell an entirely new type of product, specifically higher-end items like jewelry; or there’s a rapid increase in sales volume, your account may be limited while PayPal reviews it.
How does PayPal notify you of an account limitation?
In some cases, you might receive a notification by email or on your account overview page. Responding to this warning quickly by logging in to your PayPal account and taking the necessary actions may help you avoid account limitations altogether.

If, however, you realize your account has been limited, log in to your PayPal Business account and visit the Resolution Center to review details of why your account has been limited. This is also where you’ll find the requested information from PayPal. Requests will vary depending on the issue but some possibilities are:
  • Invoices from your suppliers
  • Information about payments
  • Proof of shipment, tracking information, and buyers’ information
  • Proof of address
  • Proof of identity

When does PayPal remove account limitations?
The time it takes to have account limitations lifted varies depending on the issue. The fastest way to keep the process moving is to submit the requested information as quickly as you can. Once you have, we’ll get back to you, usually in three business days or less, with next steps. We may request additional information.

Tip: You can view your account status at any time in the Resolution Center. If for any reason you can’t complete the necessary steps to remove the limitations, contact Customer Service directly for help.

Traveling abroad? How to avoid account limitations.
Traveling outside of the country may trigger a warning with your account and can lead to account limitations, but you may be able to skip the hassle.
  1. Before your trip, set up a Travel Profile in your account by logging in to your PayPal account from a trusted device, such as your home computer.
  2. Select Profile and Settings.
  3. Enter information about your trip, including the dates and location of travel. You’ll also be prompted to provide a phone number and email address PayPal can use to contact you while you’re traveling if necessary.

Tip: In order to successfully set up your Travel Profile, your trip must begin within 30 days and cannot last more than one year.

Your new Travel Profile will only be attached to your PayPal account and does not impact the PayPal Debit MasterCard. If you plan to use your card while traveling, give us a call at 888-221-1161 or send us an email one to two days prior to travel. We’ll add a note in your account so our Debit Card Security Department knows you’re on the road.

You can also access additional information by reviewing our FAQs at the bottom of this page. Additional information is also available in the User Agreement.

The contents of this site are provided for informational purposes only. You should always obtain independent, professional accounting, financial, and legal advice before making any business decision.

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Frequently asked questions.

We’d like to assist you in removing your account limitation so you can continue using PayPal. The requirements to remove the limitation can be found in the Resolution Center. Once the requirements have been completed, your limitation will be reviewed and we’ll contact you within 3 business days via phone or email.
If you've completed the steps to remove your limitation in the Resolution Center and your account is still limited, it means that we're still reviewing your information. Once our review is complete, we'll notify you. Please note that our specialists are unable to lift your limitation over the phone or via messaging.

Learn more about the timeframes for our limitations review.
If your account is limited, we'll send you an email with the reason for that limitation. For your convenience, we always list the steps to remove the limitation in the Resolution Center under Steps to Remove Limitation.

Reasons for Account Limitations
There are several reasons why your account may be limited. Here are some examples:
  • Regulatory requirements
Your account could be limited in order to comply with regulatory requirements. For example, requesting certain products, like a debit card, can trigger federal and state laws, and we may limit your account while we work together to satisfy those requirements.
  • Acceptable Use Policy
Likewise, if you’re not in compliance with our Acceptable Use Policy, you’ll find that your account has been limited. Selling banned items such as prescription drugs or guns is an example of a violation of the Acceptable Use Policy.
  • Unauthorized use
We may limit your PayPal account to protect you from potential losses and review any fraudulent activity if:
  • We believe someone accessed your PayPal account without your authorization
  • Your bank informs us that there have been unauthorized transfers between your PayPal account and your bank account
  • Your debit or credit card issuer alerts us that someone may have used your card without your permission
  • Higher-risk activity
Another reason why your account could be limited is seller performance indicating your account is high risk. Examples include:
  • You received an unusually high number of claims and chargebacks from your buyers, which is an indication of poor seller performance
  • You started selling an entirely new type of product, such as a higher-cost item like jewelery
  • Your typical sales volume increased rapidly, which is out of nature with your usual sales patterns
In these cases, your account may be limited while we do a review.
  • Inactive account
We may also limit your PayPal account if you haven’t used it much since you signed up. To restore full access to your account, log in and provide a Proof of Identity (such as Driver’s license Copy, State ID copy etc.). Go to your Notifications center to upload documents.
If you are a new account holder, you will be required to complete the certification requested by PayPal to comply with FATCA within 90 days of opening your account. If you don't provide the information PayPal request within 90 days, you will no longer be able to send funds from or receive funds into your account.

If you are an existing account holder and you are required to provide additional documentation to ensure your status (as a US person or a non-US person) is properly documented for FATCA purposes, then you will be required to provide the requested information within 30 days from the date we request it or your account will be limited on day 30. The day 30 limitation will prevent you from:
  • Sending funds from the account
  • Closing the account.
If you don't provide the required information within 45 days from the date we request it, your account may be further limited on day 45. This day 45 restriction will prevent you from:
  • Sending funds from, or receiving funds into your account.
  • Removing bank or card information
  • Closing your account
In each case the restriction will apply until the proper documents are received by PayPal.

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