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I am doing a few small scale (< $200) freelancing jobs and I've found a couple of interested individuals off the net. I need to receive payment, and I have decided to use paypal.

However, as these people are strangers, I am concerned about privacy. I do not want to use my regular personal paypal account to receive my payments. I do not want my personal info leaked in case some of the individuals turn out to be scammers.

I have a few questions:

  • Can I create another personal account to accept money, using the same postal address as my regular account?

  • When I receive payments from the other party, what private information will paypal give to the other party (other than my email address)? My name, mail address, etc..?

  • Unrelated to privacy, but will printing the transfer log be enough for my own tax records (for proving income, etc...)?

  • Unrelated to privacy, but how long will it take for a paypal-to-paypal money transfer to clear? That is, when will the funds definitely reside in my account after it's been sent by the other party?

Both my clients and myself are located in the US.

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  1. You'll need to check PayPal's terms of service for that first question. I would imagine you could, as my wife and I both have personal PayPal accounts listed at the same address.

  2. When you receive money, the senders will only see the (full) name on your account, the amount, and the transaction ID. If you set up a business account, the name on your account will be replaced with the company name. Your mailing address will not be made visible.

  3. Yes, PayPal provides an export option of your transaction history. For reference: If your volume greater than $20,000 across 200 or more transactions, then they'll be issuing a 1099-K form, anyway.

  4. That depends on the payment method. Bank transfers are instant, where cards require a settlement delay. PayPal provides buyer protection, so I'd be very dutiful in logging all of your work done to provide proof of completion, in case someone disputes a payment. Disputes can take place up to 45 days from the date of the transaction. Chargebacks can take place 120 days or more after the transaction (depends on the card network).

  • If I sign up for a premier account (I only do freelancing occasionally), it asks for the business name and address. So does that mean the clients will see both the business name AND address? Or just the business name? I guess technically my home address will be the business address, so I'm worried if that will show up (since business addresses are usually public). – sdri39fo Jan 12 '15 at 17:33
  • There's no reason for a money recipient (in eBay terms, a "seller") to have their address listed in the transaction details. It would be the money sender ("buyer") that might have address information included, and only if the seller requests/requires it. – Noah Jan 12 '15 at 17:55

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