How to Create a US PayPal Account | International Founder Guide

Learn how to setup a US PayPal account as an international founder. See what your options are, and find the right choice for you.

To create a Personal PayPal account, you'll have to provide:

  • Your Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • E-mail address
  • A Social Security number

To create a Business PayPal account, you'll have to provide:

  • A LLC or Corporation
  • A Company Phone Number
  • A Company Address
  • An EIN Number
  • A Social Security number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

What documentation do I need to open a PayPal account?

PayPal accepts a wide range of documentation in order to set up an account. Below are some of the documents that PayPal accepts:

  1. Acceptable Proof of SSN/ITIN documents include:
  • Social Security Number card
  • Letter from IRS assigning SSN or ITIN
  • 1099 Form (Dated within last 12 months)
  • Employer-issued W2 (Dated within last 12 months)
  • Paystub with complete SSN (Dated within last 12 months)
  • 3rd party prepared tax documents (Dated within last 12 months, and signed by 3rd party preparer)
  1. Acceptable Proof of Identity documents are:
  • Driver’s license
  • Passport or passport card
  • State or Government Issue ID
  1. Acceptable Proof of Address documents are:
  • Utility bill (Dated within last 12 months)
  • Cell or landline phone bill (Dated within last 12 months)
  • Motor vehicle registration (Dated within last 12 months)
  • 401k/Brokerage Statement (Dated within last 12 months)
  • Copy of Grant Deed on Home or Lease Agreement for Home
  • Bank or credit card statement (Dated within last 12 months)
  • Identity card or driver’s license with physical address listed (must be current)

Are you sure these are the requirements?

Yes! Here are transcripts from our conversation with PayPal to directly confirm the requirements!:

Doola: My specific questions are:

  1. Do you need a US SSN to open a PayPal account?
  2. If you don't have a US SSN, can you use an ITIN number?
  3. What are the exact documents required to open a PayPal business account?
  4. Are any other documents other than an EIN + Certificate of Formation / Articles of Incorporation required?
  5. Is a US address required?
  6. Is a US Phone number required?
  7. Do you have to live in the US to use a PayPal account? Or can you operate the account from another country?

PayPal: Welcome to PayPal! My name is Annie. I will be assisting you today.

Hi Doola, thank you for using PayPal Messaging.

To answer your questions,

  1. In creating an account in PayPal, we would need you to add your SSN. As part of the USA Patriot Act, we are required to gather specific information to confirm your identity before completing your application for PayPal specific product; add funds, PP Here, PPDC, Pro/VT. But if your main goal is to receive and withdraw money, you can still do so without verifying your account.
  2. Since you have a business account. Yes, you can just use your ITIN number instead of the SSN.
  3. There are no documents required to open a PayPal Business Account. At the same time, to confirm and verify your Business account, you will need to submit Proof of Business Existence, Proof of Identity, and Proof of Address.
  4. Your EIN + Certificate of Formation / Articles of Incorporation required can be used as Proof of Business to verify your account.
  5. Yes. You need to have a US address and not a P.O. Box address.
  6. Yes. You also need a US phone number since your account is in US.
  7. A PayPal account can be accessed by the account holder and used from any country where PayPal services are offered. However, if you are trying to make a payment or change account information from publicly accessible computers, such as those found in Internet cafes, libraries, or hotels, our system might block your attempts. As a result, we might limit some features of your account until we can contact you and confirm that you are controlling your account.

Is PayPal safe?

PayPal Safety Logo

Yes! PayPal is ranked among the safest financial services companies in the world! Senders of money have no access to your bank account or personal information. PayPal's PayPal Purchase Protection covers you if you have any problems.

Can I access my PayPal account anywhere in the world?

You can access PayPal from over 200 countries and services from a country that is included on PayPal's permitted countries list!

Also per convo above: "7. A PayPal account can be accessed by the account holder and used from any country where PayPal services are offered. However, if you are trying to make a payment or change account information from publicly accessible computers, such as those found in Internet cafes, libraries, or hotels, our system might block your attempts. As a result, we might limit some features of your account until we can contact you and confirm that you are controlling your account."

The Benefits:

For both of these types of accounts, creating them is extremely simple. All that's necessary is to go to PayPal.com, and click sign up! The forms have a place for all this information and once you fill it in, you're ready to go!

Some of the key benefits of having a PayPal account include:

  • Security
  • Ease of Use
  • Speed of Transactions

The Drawbacks:

For people who aren't from the United States, a Personal PayPal account is out of the question because they mandate a a Social Security Number.

Even with Doola's services, which can get you an LLC, Company Phone Number, Company Address (cannot be a PO box), AND an EIN Number for your business PayPal account; by not being a U.S. Citizen you are automatically excluded from many of the perks of a business account because they are only available in America!

However a Business Personal PayPal account is possible with an ITIN! Here is our blog post on how to apply for an ITIN (and Doola can help with this)!

In Conclusion:

PayPal is a great and safe way to do business transactions online! But only for people who have U.S. Social Security Numbers for personal accounts, and people who have either SSN or ITIN numbers for business accounts.

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Doola's website is for general information purposes only and doesn't provide official law or tax advice. For tax or legal advice we are happy to connect you to a professional in our network! Please see our terms and privacy policy. Thank you and please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions.
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