Last updated: January 2024
This update clarifies several of Stripe’s policies. Although the document has been restructured to enhance clarity, this update doesn’t contain material changes to the types of businesses, products, and industries that can’t use Stripe’s services.
How to use this page
This page provides information about the types of businesses, products, and industries that can’t use Stripe’s services. To use Stripe’s services, you must remain compliant with these rules and restrictions. For more information about why we can’t work with every business, please see this article about our business limitations.
Industries that can’t use Stripe, and products Stripe doesn’t support.
Industries and products that can’t use Stripe’s services without Stripe’s prior approval in writing.
Countries that have specific prohibitions.
Stripe may never be used for certain activities, regardless of the industry.
Prohibitions related to the use of issuing products.
If you have any questions about prohibited and restricted businesses, you can contact us.
High-Risk Jurisdictions and Persons
Use of Stripe's services for any dealings, engagement, or sale of goods or services either directly or indirectly with the following are prohibited:
Persons located in, resident in, or a citizen of or products or services originating from jurisdictions that Stripe has determined for various reasons, including legal, contractual, and commercial reasons, to be prohibited, including, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and the Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk regions.
Persons Stripe has determined for various reasons, including legal, contractual, and commercial reasons, to be prohibited, such as those individuals or entities named to a restricted person or party list of, or otherwise restricted by, the US, United Kingdom, European Union, or United Nations, including the sanctions maintained by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control or the Denied Persons List or Entity List maintained by the US Department of Commerce.
Additionally, it’s prohibited to use Stripe's products and services to directly or indirectly:
Export, re-export, sell, or supply accounting, trust and corporate formation, management consulting services, architecture services or engineering services to any person located in Russia.
Deal in any goods prohibited by law for export to or import from Russia (for example, luxury goods).
You must not use Stripe’s services for any illegal activities or for the businesses or product types listed below. The types of businesses listed here are representative of prohibited categories, but this is not an exhaustive list.
Any illegal products and services
- Illegal drugs, substances designed to mimic illegal drugs (including kava)
- Equipment and items intended to be used for making or using drugs
- Fake references or ID-providing services
- Telecommunications manipulation equipment including jamming devices
- Businesses that engage in, encourage, promote or celebrate unlawful violence or physical harm to persons or property
- Businesses that engage in, encourage, promote or celebrate unlawful violence toward any group based on race, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or any other immutable characteristic
- Any other products or services that are in violation of law in the jurisdictions where your business is located or targeted to
Adult content and services (See the FAQs for additional details)
- Adult services, including prostitution, escorts, pay-per-view, sexual massages, fetish services, mail-order brides, and adult live chat features
- Adult video stores
- Gentlemen's clubs, topless bars, and strip clubs
- All online dating services
- Pornography and other mature audience content (including literature, imagery and other media) depicting nudity or explicit sexual acts
- Any artificial-intelligence-generated content that meets the above criteria
- Transactions that provide compensation to creators without an underlying piece of digital content associated. Examples include subscriptions to free, public content or a tip button on a profile page.
Debt relief companies
- Debt settlement, debt negotiation, and debt consolidation
- Games of chance including gambling, internet gambling, casino games, sweepstakes and contests, and fantasy sports leagues with a monetary or material prize
- Games of skill including video game and mobile game tournaments or competitions, darts, card games, and board games with a monetary or material prize
- Payments of an entry or player fee that promises the entrant or player will win a prize of value
- Sports forecasting or odds making with a monetary or material prize
- Bidding fee auctions
- Offering products and services by or on behalf of embassies and consulates
- Offering government services without authorisation or added value
- Offering government services with misleading claims
- Disbursement of government economic support, such as grants
- Identity theft protection services including monitoring and recovery
Products and services that infringe on intellectual property rights
- Sales or distribution of music, movies, software, or any other licensed materials without appropriate authorisation
- Counterfeit goods
- Illegally imported or exported products
- Unauthorised sale of brand name or designer products or services
- Any other products or services that directly infringe or facilitate infringement upon the trademark, patent, copyright, trade secrets, proprietary or privacy rights of any third party
The legal services listed below
- Bankruptcy lawyers
- Bail bonds
- Law firms collecting funds for purposes other than legal service fee payment
Lending and credit
- Loan repayments with credit cards
- Credit monitoring, credit repair and counselling services
Marijuana (See the FAQs for additional details)
- Cannabis products
- Cannabis dispensaries and related businesses
- CBD products with THC levels that are greater than the applicable local jurisdiction’s legal limit, including CBD edibles
- Hydroponic equipment and other cultivation or production equipment marketed for growing marijuana
- Courses and information on cultivating marijuana
Nutraceuticals and pseudo-pharmaceuticals
- Pseudo-pharmaceuticals or nutraceuticals focused on significant weight loss or sexual performance
- Pseudo-pharmaceuticals or nutraceuticals making unsupportable or harmful claims
- Cryptocurrency mining & staking
- Initial coin offerings (ICOs)
- Secondary NFT sales
- Commercial airlines and cruises
Unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices (acts or practices that contravene rules, laws, regulation or guidance prescribed by the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or other local consumer regulatory bodies)
- Pyramid schemes
- Multi-Level Marketing services offering commission or recruitment-based sales
- “Get rich quick” schemes, including: investment opportunities or other services that promise high rewards to mislead consumers; schemes that claim to offer high rewards for very little effort or up-front work; and sites that promise fast and easy money
- Businesses that make outrageous claims, use deceptive testimonials, use high-pressure upselling, or use fake testimonials; (with or without a written contract)
- Businesses offering unrealistic incentives or rewards as an inducement to purchase products or services
- No value added services including the sale or resale of a service without added benefit to the buyer and resale of government offerings without authorisation or added value
- Sales of online traffic or engagement
- Negative option marketing, negative option membership clubs, and reduced price trials with unclear or hidden pricing
- Predatory mortgage consulting
- Predatory investment opportunities with no or low monetary deposit
- Suspicious remote technical support
- Door-to-door sales
- Document falsification services
- Any other businesses that Stripe considers unfair, deceptive, or predatory towards consumers
Weapons, firearms, explosives and dangerous materials
- Guns, gunpowder, ammunition, fireworks and other explosives
- Weapon components such as firing pins, magazines, clips, and firearm conversion kits and any 3D-printed weapons
- Improperly marked replicas of modern firearms, including toys
- Pepper spray and stun guns
- Swords and katanas, unless they are meant as replicas or for the practice of martial arts
- Disguised knives and knives with opening mechanisms designed for quick deployment of a blade
- Pesticides requiring application by a certified professional
- Research chemicals
- Toxic, flammable, combustible or radioactive materials
- Unmailable goods, per the United States Postal Service
You must not use Stripe’s services for the following activities, unless you have received prior written approval from Stripe. If you think your business falls into one of the restricted categories, please contact us. Because of card network rules, requirements of financial partners, and our own compliance and legal obligations, if your business falls into one of the categories below, Stripe might not be able to grant approval for your business to use our products. Read more about this in our FAQs.
The types of businesses listed are representative, but not exhaustive.
Content creation-related transactions
- Content-related tips and gifts
- Purchases of access to exclusive content or digital goods
- Cannabidiol (CBD) (See the FAQs for additional details)
- CBD products containing only negligible amounts of THC, as per local limits
Financial products and services
- Investment and brokerage services
- Lending services, including real estate loans
- Buy Now Pay Later services
- Debt collection agencies
- Insurance services (including medical benefit packages)
- Money transmitters, remittances, currency exchange services, and other money service businesses
- Peer-to-peer money transmission
- Escrow services
- Neobanks or challenger banks
- Cheque cashing
- Payable-through accounts
- Selling bearer shares
- Other financial services
Pharmaceuticals, medical devices and telemedicine (See the FAQs for additional details)
- Online pharmacies, including SaaS platforms
- Card-not-present prescription-only products and pharmaceuticals
- Prescription-only and regulated medical devices
- Prescription delivery services
- Telemedicine and telehealth services
- Tobacco products including e-cigarettes, cigars, and e-liquid
- Herbal cigarettes
- Production equipment specifically marketed for the production of tobacco products
- Age-restricted goods or services such as alcoholic beverages
- Payment facilitation and aggregation (including receiving settlement proceeds for goods or services that you did not provide, on behalf of one or multiple third-party sellers)
Non-fiat currency and stored value
- Cryptocurrency (for example, bitcoin, ripple, ethereum, dogecoin, cardano, and so on) exchanges and wallets. For crypto and NFT supportability and availability by region, please see crypto supportability.
- First-party non-fungible tokens (NFTs) minting and sales, including marketplaces and SaaS platforms. Prepaid phone cards, SIM cards, and phone services
- Sale of stored value or credits maintained, accepted and issued by anyone other than the seller
- Sale of in-game currency or game items, unless the business is the operator of the virtual world
- Preloaded payment cards, gift cards, virtual credits or other products and services in which a monetary value is stored within the item (digital or physical)
Businesses that might pose elevated financial risk
- Travel reservation services and clubs
- Charter and private airlines
- Timeshare services
Businesses that are prone to abuse by fraudulent actors
- A business strategy where companies earn revenue and participants earn commissions from retail product sales network marketing, and referral marketing programs
- Soliciting donations or fund contributions
- Charity sweepstakes and raffles for the explicit purpose of fundraising
To learn more about Stripe's approach to prohibited businesses and why some businesses aren't allowed to use Stripe's services, you can read about business limitations.
Jurisdiction-Specific Prohibited Businesses
Sex accessories and lifelike sex toys
Dating and matchmaking services
Lobby groups and political organisations
Mining and oil drilling and refining
Sex accessories and sex toys
C2C services outside Stripe Connect
Consultation and advisory or prediction services relating to online gaming or gambling
Consultation or advisory services providing guidance, information or tools on how to profit through trading or investments in financial products or cryptocurrency or running a resale or dropshipping business
Donations to individuals
Fundraising for or financing of businesses that are listed as prohibited or restricted above
Industrial waste disposal and garbage disposal devices and water purifiers
International marriage brokerage businesses
Private investigators or protection services
Sex accessories and lifelike sex toys
Businesses without a “Commercial Disclosure” page on their website as required by the Specified Commercial
Sex accessories or sex toys
Cross-border currency exchange services
Debt collection agencies
Direct marketing – travel
Electronic cigarettes for card-not-present transactions
Game console modification devices
HCG weight loss
Sex accessories or lifelike sex toys
Private investigators or protection services
Search engine optimisation
Prepaid phone cards and sim cards
Sale of ads for any products or services deemed illegal in Singapore – sales of products that facilitate payments to any of these products or services
Sex accessories or sex toys
(Prohibited = P, Restricted = R)
Dating services P
Food and cosmetics R
Historical artefacts P
Hotels, tour operators, and transport services R
Online alcohol sales P
Private investigators or detective agencies P
Psychic services and fortune tellers P
Vehicle sales P
United Arab Emirates
Historical artifacts, ivory products, prison-made products
Private investigators or detective agencies
Sex accessories or sex toys
Extended warranties and subscriptions over one year
Pseudo-pharmaceuticals or nutraceuticals focused on weight loss
Shipping brokers and freight forwarders, without prior authorisation from Stripe
Prohibited Uses of Stripe Products
- Use of Stripe products with false, manipulated, inaccurate, or misleading information regarding your identity, business entity, the nature of the business, and any other information requested by Stripe.
- If there are any changes to your personal and business information, you must notify Stripe immediately.
- Use of Stripe products to facilitate transactions on behalf of another undisclosed merchant or for products or services that weren’t disclosed in the business’s Stripe account application.
- Use of Stripe principally as a virtual terminal (for example, submitting card transactions by manually inputting card information).
- Processing where there is no bona fide goods or service sold, or donation accepted; card testing.
- Evasion of card network chargeback monitoring programmes.
- Cross-border acquiring where the business address of the merchant is outside the jurisdiction of the acquiring Stripe entity, unless permitted under the card network rules.
- Sharing cardholder information with another business for payment or cross-sell products or services.
- Use of Stripe intellectual property without prior written consent from Stripe; use of the Stripe name or logo including use of Stripe trade or service marks inconsistent with the Stripe Marks Usage Agreement, or in a manner that otherwise harms Stripe or the Stripe brand; any action that implies an untrue endorsement by, or affiliation, with Stripe.
Prohibitions for Stripe Issuing Products
You must not use Stripe Issuing for the following activities.
- Consumer use of Stripe Issuing is when an Issuing card is created to fully or partially enable payments for personal, family or household use, including:
- Providing a payment method loaded with or that accesses consumer funds
- Cards that disburse payroll or payouts
- Any other uses that directly or indirectly enable payments using the consumer’s funds
When you sign up for Stripe Issuing, you share with Stripe the location of your business, the physical address of your beneficial owners, and the jurisdiction in which your business is registered. Stripe requires that the physical location of your business, its jurisdiction of registration, and the physical address of at least one of your beneficial owners all match. Furthermore, you must use Issuing cards primarily in the same jurisdiction.
You can’t use Stripe Issuing as a method to extend credit to your customers using your own funds, unless you have the appropriate licensing to do so and you have received express consent from Stripe to use Issuing for that purpose.
Other abusive use
Any other abusive use of Stripe Issuing, including:
- Using Issuing cards to abuse free trial products at scale
- Using Issuing cards to buy in-demand items or services with the sole intent to sell them for profit (for example, retail scalping)
- Using Issuing cards for any other illegitimate purposes
As a user of Stripe Issuing, you must comply with our US compliance guidelines (or see the EU and UK specific guidelines) and our compliance teams might ask you to update your marketing materials or aspects of your user experience. This helps to make sure that both you and Stripe continue to comply with federal, state or any equivalent local or country specific laws and regulations that govern the use of these financial products. Failure to comply within the requested time frames might result in the closure of your Stripe account.
If there is inactivity on all cards associated with an account for a period of 12 consecutive months, Stripe automatically closes your Issuing account.
If you plan to enable your customers to use Stripe Issuing for purposes of creating cards for your customers’ employees or contractors, you must implement Stripe Issuing on Connect (for example, if you’re a platform that wants to enable your customers to create cards for their employees to use for business travel or marketing expenses, you must create a Connect Account for each of your customers). Please consult Stripe if you have any questions regarding the correct integration type for your business.