Prohibited and Restricted Businesses

Last updated: May 2022

Use of Stripe's services for any dealings, engagement, or sale of goods/services linked directly or indirectly with jurisdictions Stripe has deemed high risk, such as Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and the Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk Regions, is prohibited. Additionally, it is prohibited to use Stripe's products and services to directly or indirectly export, reexport, sell, or supply accounting, trust and corporate formation, or management consulting services to any person located in the Russian Federation.

Prohibited Businesses

You must not use Stripe’s services for the following activities.

Illegal products and services

  • Illegal drugs, substances designed to mimic illegal drugs, and equipment designed for making or using drugs
  • Fake references or ID-providing services
  • Telecommunications manipulation equipment including jamming devices
  • Any business or organization that a. engages in, encourages, promotes or celebrates unlawful violence or physical harm to persons or property, or b. engages in, encourages, promotes or celebrates 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

Products and services that infringe intellectual property rights

  • Sales or distribution of music, movies, software, or any other licensed materials without appropriate authorization
  • Counterfeit goods; illegally imported or exported products
  • Unauthorized 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

Products and services that are unfair, predatory, or deceptive

  • Pyramid schemes
  • ‘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; sites that promise fast and easy money; businesses that make outrageous claims, use deceptive testimonials, use high-pressure upselling, and/or use fake testimonials; (with or without a written contract) offering unrealistic incentives/rewards as an inducement to purchase products or services but do not respond to any queries after the purchase
  • No value added services including sale or resale of a service without added benefit to the buyer and resale of government offerings without authorization or added value
  • Sales of online traffic or engagement
  • Negative response marketing and telemarketing
  • Predatory mortgage consulting, lending, credit repair and counseling services
  • Predatory investment opportunities with no or low money down
  • Remote technical support; mugshot publication or pay-to-remove sites; essay mills; chain letters; door-to-door sales
  • Any other businesses that Stripe considers unfair, deceptive, or predatory towards consumers

Adult content and services

  • Pornography and other mature audience content (including literature, imagery and other media) depicting nudity or explicit sexual acts
  • Adult services including prostitution, escorts, pay-per view, sexual massages, and adult live chat features
  • Adult video stores
  • Gentleman's clubs, topless bars, and strip clubs

Certain legal services

  • Law firms collecting funds for purposes other than legal service fee payment
  • Bankruptcy attorneys
  • Bail bonds

Firearms, explosives and dangerous materials

  • Guns, gunpowders, ammunitions, weapons, fireworks and other explosives
  • Peptides, research chemicals, and other toxic, flammable and radioactive materials

Gambling

  • Games of chance including gambling, internet gambling, sweepstakes and contests, fantasy sports leagues with for a monetary or material prize
  • Sports forecasting or odds making with a monetary or material prize
  • Lotteries
  • Bidding fee auctions

Marijuana

  • Cannabis products
  • Cannabis dispensaries and related businesses
  • Products containing any amount of CBD/THC

Misuse of Stripe products

  • Use of Stripe products with false, manipulated, inaccurate, or misleading information regarding your identity, business entity, the nature of business, and any other information requested by Stripe (you must inform us immediately of any changes to your personal and business information)
  • Use of Stripe products to facilitate transactions on behalf of another undisclosed merchant or for products/services that were not disclosed in the merchant's Stripe account application
  • Use of Stripe principally as a virtual terminal (e.g., submitting card transactions by manually inputting card information)
  • Processing where there is no bona fide good or service sold, or donation accepted; card testing
  • Evasion of card network chargeback monitoring programs
  • Cross-border acquiring where the business address of the merchant is outside of the jurisdiction of the acquiring Stripe entity unless permitted under the card network rules
  • Sharing cardholder information with another merchant for payment 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
The types of businesses listed are representative but not exhaustive.

Additional Jurisdiction-Specific Prohibitions

Hong Kong

  • Marketing lead generation services
  • Unregistered charities

India

  • Alcohol
  • Charities
  • Dating and matchmaking services
  • Lobby groups, political organizations
  • Mining and oil drilling
  • Sex toys
  • Sexually oriented dating services

Japan

  • Animals
  • C2C services outside of Stripe Connect
  • Donations to individuals
  • Fundraising for or financing businesses that are listed as prohibited/restricted above
  • Health instruments
  • Industrial waste disposal and garbage disposal devices; water purifiers
  • International marriage brokerage businesses

Malaysia

  • Sex toys
  • Sexually oriented dating services

Mexico

  • Adoption agencies
  • Credit card and identity theft protection services
  • Cross-border currency exchange services
  • Debt collection agencies
  • Direct marketing- travel
  • Electronic cigarettes for card-not-present transactions
  • Ephedrine
  • Game console modification devices
  • HCG weight loss
  • Investment services
  • Penny auctions
  • Pharmaceuticals wholesale for card-not-present transactions
  • Search engine optimization
  • Telemedicine
  • Tobacco for card-not-present transactions

Singapore

  • Marketing lead generation services
  • 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 toys
  • Sexually oriented dating services

United Arab Emirates

  • Historical artifacts, ivory products, prison-made products
  • Sex toys
  • Sexually oriented dating services

United States

  • Extended warranties and subscriptions over one year
  • Sex toys
  • Sexually oriented dating services
  • Unregistered charities

Restricted Businesses

You must not use Stripe’s services for the following activities, unless you have received our prior written approval. Restricted Business categories may be imposed through card network rules, requirements of financial partners, or due to compliance and legal obligations. If your business falls into one of the restricted categories, please contact us. We are here to help!

Regulated industries such as:

Financial products and services

  • Investment and brokerage services
  • Lending services
  • Buy Now Pay Later services
  • Crowdfunding
  • Debt collection agencies
  • Insurance services including medical benefit packages
  • Money transmitters, currency exchange services and other money services businesses
  • Neobanks / challenger banks
  • Other financial institutions

Government services

  • Government grants
  • Embassy, foreign consulate, or other foreign governments

Pharmaceuticals and telemedicine

  • Online pharmacies
  • Prescription-only products including card-not-present pharmaceuticals
  • Telemedicine and telehealth services

Tobacco

  • Tobacco products including e-cigarettes and e-liquid

Others

  • Credit card and identity theft protection services
  • Other age restricted goods or services

Businesses that may pose elevated financial risk such as:

Travel

  • Travel reservation services and clubs
  • Airlines and cruises
  • Timeshare services

Non-fiat currency and stored value

  • Virtual and cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and mining services (for crypto and NFT supportability and availability by region, please see this support doc)
  • 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 merchant is the operator of the virtual world

Business models that may be particularly prone to abuse by ‘bad actors’ such as:

Multi-level marketing

  • Businesses where sellers get their revenue both from selling items and from signing up new sellers
  • Network marketing and referral marketing programs
  • Shipping and forwarding brokers

Shipping

  • Shipping brokers
  • Forwarding brokers
  • Drop shipping

Others

  • Charity sweepstakes and raffles for the explicit purpose of fundraising

The types of businesses listed are representative but not exhaustive.

Check out this blog to learn more about Stripe's approach to prohibited businesses and why some businesses aren't allowed to use Stripe's services.