Prohibited and Restricted Businesses

Last updated: May 2023

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, or persons Stripe has deemed high risk, such as those individuals or entities named to a restricted person or party list of the U.S., United Kingdom, European Union or United Nations, including the sanctions lists maintained by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control or the Denied Persons List or Entity List maintained by the U.S. Department of Commerce, 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, management consulting services, architecture services or engineering services to any person located in Russia. Further, it is prohibited to use Stripe’s products and services directly or indirectly related to any goods prohibited by law (e.g. luxury goods) from Russia. 

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
  • Online dating services

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


  • Games of chance including gambling, internet gambling, sweepstakes and contests, fantasy sports leagues with a monetary or material prize
  • Games of skill including video game and mobile game tournaments/competitions, card games, board games with a monetary or material prize
  • To process payments for an entry/player fee that promises the entrant/player to win a prize in money or money's worth, or to payout winnings of such games
  • Sports forecasting or odds making with a monetary or material prize
  • Lotteries
  • Bidding fee auctions


  • Cannabis products
  • Cannabis dispensaries and related businesses

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




Dating and matchmaking services

Lobby groups, political organizations

Mining and oil drilling

Religious organizations

Sex toys

Soliciting donations or fund contributions



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


Sex toys


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


Game console modification devices

HCG weight loss

Investment services

Penny auctions

Pharmaceuticals wholesale for card-not-present transactions

Search engine optimization


Tobacco for card-not-present transactions


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


Psychic services and fortune tellers

Unregistered charities

Vehicle sales


Historical artifacts

Dating services

Surrogacy services

Online alcohol sales


Private investigators, protection services and detective agencies

Soliciting donations or fund contributions

United Arab Emirates

Historical artifacts, ivory products, prison-made products

Sex toys

United States

Extended warranties and subscriptions over one year

Sex toys

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

Cannabidiol (CBD)

  • CBD products containing negligible amounts of THC

Pharmaceuticals, medical devices and telemedicine

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


  • Tobacco products including e-cigarettes and e-liquid


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

Businesses that may pose elevated financial risk such as:


  • 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 brokers
  • Forwarding brokers
  • Drop shipping


  • 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.

Additional Product-Specific Prohibitions

Stripe Issuing

You must not use Stripe Issuing for the following activities.

Consumer use

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 but not limited to: 

  • Providing a payment method loaded with/that accesses consumer funds
  • Cards that disburse payroll or payouts
  • Any other use that directly or indirectly enable payments using the consumer’s funds

International use

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

Lending use

You may not 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 but not limited to:

  • 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. (e.g. retail scalping)
  • Using Issuing cards for any other illegitimate purposes


As a user of Stripe Issuing, you are required to comply with our compliance guidelines and may at times be asked by our compliance teams to update your marketing materials or aspects of your user experience. This helps us ensure you and Stripe are continuing to comply with the Federal and State laws and regulations that govern the use of these financial products. Failure to comply within the requested timeframes may result in closure of your Stripe account. 


If there is inactivity on all cards associated with an account for a period of 12 consecutive months, Stripe will automatically close your Issuing account.

Integration Type:

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 are 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.