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My company need to by something online. My company does not have a credit nor debit card and I don't plan to get one at the moment because the business is very small.

The merchant I was planning on buying from accepts PayPal. I can create a PayPal account and transfer money to my it to make purchases. The PayPal account will only be used for purchasing, not connected to any online business.

Should I then still create a business account, which mainly seems focused on supporting being connected to an online store? And can I use a business account to buy online?

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You don't have to create a PayPal account in order to buy from a merchant that uses PayPal for processing their payments. You can use your credit card just like with any other purchase.

Creating a PayPal business account is, as you say, mainly for businesses wanting to accept payments, not make them. PayPal doesn't require you, the customer, to have an account just to make a payment to a merchant. We have dozens of customers a day make purchases through us using our PayPal account (we're small), and for them the main attraction to using PayPal to pay us is that PayPal has pretty good security and offers some very good customer protections against fraud. They don't have to create a PayPal account just to pay us, though.

When you create a PayPal business account, you link a bank account to it that they verify, then they issue you a PayPal MasterCard, which is a debit card that links to your PayPal account. When you make purchases, if the funds are in your PayPal account (because, for instance, you're using PayPal as your merchant processor) then the payment is deducted from that. If there's no money in your PayPal account then PayPal simply debits the bank account you linked with them, no differently than if you were to use your bank's debit card.

In this instance, if you don't plan to use PayPal for merchant processing then there's no real reason to open a business account. It doesn't have any advantages over your bank's debit card and, IMHO, just adds another layer of complexity and paperwork to your accounting for no identifiable benefit.

I hope this helps.

Good luck!

  • I should have added to my question that my company does not have a credit card and I'm not planning on getting one either because the company is small and I run it part time. To be able to by stuff online it would, however, be easy to create a PayPal account, transfer money to it and buy online. So mainly I want to know which type of account I should create and if it's possible to buy stuff using a business account. – Mathias Rönnlund Aug 24 '16 at 11:27
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    In that case, if you don't have a debit/credit card and don't want to get a business debit card from your bank then yes, you can create a business account and receive a PayPal business debit card that you can use to make online purchases with. PayPal will charge against your business account just like a regular bank debit card would, and it gives you the flexibility you're looking for. The anti-fraud features with PayPal are nice to have from a customer point of view. PayPal keeps the credit card info, not the merchants. – Daniel Anderson Aug 24 '16 at 11:30
  • Ok, thanks. Seems it will work as I planned and I can create a business account so I can enter the company's VAT info etc. The PayPal business debit card you are referring to, is that a virtual debit card that is about the same as a Paypal account? – Mathias Rönnlund Aug 24 '16 at 11:33
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    It's not a virtual debit card. I didn't realize you weren't in the U.S., but here in the States, PayPal issues an actual PayPal debit MasterCard in the business name, so it can be used anywhere, either in the physical world or online. You might check around on PayPal's site to see if they have something different for the country you're in. – Daniel Anderson Aug 24 '16 at 11:38

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