PayPal account limitations: withdrawal & transfer limits

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.

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