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Hi all,

I couldn't find an answer to this on here, so I'm hoping you all in the comm can help me.
I'm hoping to make freelancing a regular thing for myself this year, and have been slowly getting back into the swing of things. I'm almost to a place where I feel I can hit the ground running...but there's one thing holding me back.

When I've received a Paypal payment, it always shows the person's full name. I believe it showed the same to the buyer (my full name) when they sent the payment.

I've since switched over to a business account, but I'm still a bit nervous. I have an uncommon name, and I'm afraid of commissioners overstepping boundaries in regards to that; I've already had a former customer track me down on LinkedIn (granted, they were wonderful to work with...but it caught me off guard that they found me!)

So, if you have any experience with business accounts, or commissioning, how do you maintain your privacy online? How do you ship your commissions if they're hard copies? Do you let customers see your real name? Does your real name not show up on your business account invoices?

Thank you!
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( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 2nd, 2014 09:03 pm (UTC)
Go to your business settings to pick a business name for yourself. Once you've done that go to "More" then to "My Selling tools". Scroll down to "Shipping preferences" and make sure "Display Return Shipping Label Link to Buyer" is set to "No".

Now you can test to see what clients see on the details page of their Paypal payment by having someone you trust send money to you. With this set up all they should see is your business name.

People can still see your address if they file a dispute against you irrc. My only suggestion for that is to take out a PO Box.
Mar. 4th, 2014 02:24 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! This was helpful. :)

PO box can't happen right now, but that is an awesome suggestion for the future.
Mar. 5th, 2014 12:07 pm (UTC)
Do you need to go through a verification process after choosing a business name?
Mar. 5th, 2014 07:18 pm (UTC)
No, once you pick one it shows up instantly. Changing your business name is also instant. The only thing that requires verification is if you try and change your legal name on Paypal.
Mar. 6th, 2014 12:40 am (UTC)
Ok, thank you :D
I also saw on that page at the bottom that it tells me that I can upgrade to a business account? I don't know if that's part of the name change or what
Mar. 6th, 2014 12:41 am (UTC)
Oh yes, you definitely need to upgrade first before you can pick a business name!
Mar. 6th, 2014 05:35 am (UTC)
Ahhh, does that cost money or need verification?
I apologize for so many questions, it's just that I've got someone sending me money and I don't want it my account to be down for too long to miss a payment.
Mar. 6th, 2014 11:24 am (UTC)
Not that I recall off hand. I believe the fees are a little different, but every year when I calculate taxes and deductions, my paypal fees come out to around 2% of my total income.
Mar. 6th, 2014 05:53 pm (UTC)
Okay, thank you so much :D
You're so much help

May get started on this today
Mar. 2nd, 2014 09:15 pm (UTC)
I do business under my real name. Have since 2005. Never had any trouble. I completely understand people who want to maintain privacy, but the risks associated with people knowing who you really are are much smaller than a lot of folks seem to assume.
Mar. 2nd, 2014 09:59 pm (UTC)
Like bladespark, I've always used my real name for business transactions. My mom, though, uses either her studio name or an alternate version of her real name for all her transactions.
Ironically, she's the one who's had her privacy compromised multiple times, while I've never had an issue.

Honestly, I don't think real name vs business name matters unless you start getting into legal and tax stuff. I think keeping your head on straight about appropriate times and places to give out your info will do more to keep you safe than whether you use your real or business name on Paypal invoices.
Mar. 2nd, 2014 10:17 pm (UTC)
I've used a business name in the past and it has no bearing on taxes. :) Paypal keeps records of your real life name and attaches that to tax documents.
Mar. 2nd, 2014 10:26 pm (UTC)
I was thinking more of people who set up their business as a separate entity from themselves, but I realize that's not too common a situation for most artists!
Mar. 4th, 2014 08:47 pm (UTC)
Depends on where you're doing business.

In Illinois, if you are doing business under anything other than just your name 'John Doe' then you must file a DBA (doing business as) and do the three week run in a local newspaper thing. So if you're doing 'John Doe Studios', you have to do the DBA.
Mar. 3rd, 2014 03:07 am (UTC)
I've been doing business under my real name, but I'll admit I've been nervous about it, too. I consider myself lucky that there's a lot of other more famous people with my name. >_>
Mar. 4th, 2014 02:25 pm (UTC)
Yeahh. The LinkedIn incident really shook me. Like I said, they were a wonderful client to work with, but the fact that they found my LinkedIn (and subsequently could see where I went to school/worked/ect) really made me nervous!
Mar. 3rd, 2014 04:42 am (UTC)
I've been doing business on PayPal with my business name (for art in this case is 'zenia rose' not my IRL shops name) for over a year now. Not because I am afraid people with do bad things with my real name... just because I don't like it and don't want it leaked all over the Internet.
Mar. 3rd, 2014 09:50 am (UTC)
It does depend on what your doing and how 'professional' your client base is. I'm a uk sole trader, the business is under my real name and i'm trading as 'business name'.
Because I work under legal contacts then my real name and address (and the clients) has to be on them. I also issue .doc invoices and payments go into a business account rather than paypal; which would come across as unprofessional in the illustration industry.
In order for clients to pay into my business account I have to have my title, initial and last name on the invoice (along with account number & sort code) on the invoice.
When I post out hard copies I've always put my name and address for return info as I don't have much concern about the clients I work with.
I also have business insurance which might be worth looking into if your concerned about legal actions against you.

However if your working with unprofessional clients i.e making a living by furry commissions then I'd definitely be very weary of giving out personal details. Celestinaketzia's suggestions of hidden paypal details and P.O Box are good ideas!
Mar. 4th, 2014 02:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the input!

Personally, I do commissioned artwork and artisan crafts, mostly through Tumblr, Etsy, and back in the day, Deviantart. I'm a pretty clean artist, so I'm not too worried about attracting unprofessional clients..but reading some of the horror stories on here over the years has made me realize that there are bad commissioners (thankfully a small minority) wherever you go.

I really just want to stay safe; since this is only a side job, I try to stay as transparent as possible with my clients. Unfortunately can't get a PO right now, but I def want to look into that option in the future!

(Edit: decided to remove some info)

Edited at 2014-03-04 02:24 pm (UTC)
Mar. 3rd, 2014 08:38 pm (UTC)
I've never had any issues giving out my name or address.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )


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