Choosing to open a US PayPal account, or a local PayPal account depends on your circumstances.

US PayPal Account Vs local PayPal Account

If you’re accepting payments primarily in USD, and mostly from US customers, then the answer is probably yes: You should open a US PayPal account.

Note that having a non-US bank account or a non-US card attached to your PayPal account is not the same thing. The PayPal account itself has a location.

Accepting US Dollars (USD) in your US PayPal account

If your customers are based in the US, or they expect to pay in USD (such as most Software-as-a-Service businesses) then you want to allow them to pay you in USD, to avoid currency conversion fees.

If you have a UK or Australian PayPal account, or a UAE PayPal account, then the incoming USD will be converted to GBP, AUD or AED (for example), at a rate that favors PayPal, you’ll lose some money. That’s not so bad if you have a low-volume, high-margin business (consulting, or SaaS), but if you are doing a large volume with a thin profit margin, then these fees could make a significant difference to your business.

Speed and trust of a US PayPal account

You might think that all PayPal accounts are the same.

But actually, PayPal makes a distinction, and allows sellers to check a tickbox that refuses all payments from all non-US PayPal accounts.

This means that your non-US PayPal account is not as fungible or as useful as a US PayPal account.

Also, it’s not black and white, but subjectively, US PayPal accounts are less likely to be blocked, banned, or frozen, when interacting with other US PayPal accounts.

Also, few people realize this, but after a customer has paid you (for example, via a PayPal invoice), your business address is shown to them when they look at the paid invoice. So your address being outside of the US may make a nervous or distrusting customer doubt you, or request a refund via PayPal, even if your location has no bearing on you delivering your services.

It seems unfair, but we must accept reality as it is: you are better off having a US PayPal account.

You can’t change your mind later

Note that you can’t simply call PayPal and ask them to convert your account from an Australian or UK PayPal account to a US PayPal account. If you call PayPal support, they will tell you to close the account and open a new one.

How do I open a US PayPal account?

Read our guide on how to open a US PayPal account here.