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FreshBooks Support Team

What is PayPal?

PayPal is a payment gateway that allows you to process your Clients’ payments quickly. Clients can pay with a PayPal account or by credit card. PayPal is ideal for those who are looking for a quick and easy set up, particularly for international users.

Currently, PayPal is not auto-bill capable, and takes your Clients to a PayPal interface outside of FreshBooks whenever they pay your invoice. Any goods or services sold on an Invoice using FreshBooks are not eligible for PayPal Seller Protection. To learn more about PayPal Seller Protection, please follow this

There are three types of PayPal Standard accounts:

  • Personal – Your Client can not pay you by credit card. They can only pay you via PayPal transfer of funds from their own PayPal account. When trying to pay your Invoice online, they will forced to sign up for a PayPal account even though they think they can pay by credit card.

    PayPal Personal accounts can be upgraded to Premiere/Business for free from within your PayPal account. There is an Upgrade button on your My Account page next to your name.

  • Premiere – You can accept credit cards and PayPal transfers
  • Business – You can accept credit cards and PayPal transfers

To set up PayPal on your account, follow the steps here.


Common PayPal Errors

“We can’t process your payment right now, so please try again later.” – also known as Guest Checkout Limit

Your Clients may get taken back to the beginning of the payment process after seeing this error message. This means one of two things:

  • Your Client’s credit card has exceeded the lifetime Guest Checkout Limit for transactions (approximately $4000). Once this amount is exceeded, they will not be able to pay with the same credit card unless they create a PayPal account. (Or they can use a different credit card that has not been used via PayPal yet).

  • Your Client’s credit card or email address is associated with an existing PayPal account. They must log into it first before continuing to pay the Invoice.


“Your payment can’t be completed, please return to the participating website and try again.”

A setting in your PayPal account may be blocking payments made by your Clients that are processed outside of PayPal’s button. Use the below steps to disable:

  1. Log into your PayPal Account
  2. Click Profile
  3. Click More Options
  4. Select My Selling Tools
  5. Click Block Payments
  6. Under the Payment Receiving Preferences, find the Block payments from users who: section
  7. Uncheck the Initiate payments from the Pay Anyone subtab of the Send Money tab option
  8. Click Save.


“You can only pay with a PayPal account to complete this payment.”

If your Clients are seeing this error, you may have recently added a bank account that hasn’t been verified yet. This is also true for Clients who are paying without a PayPal account, and takes 2-3 business days before deposits are visible.

If the account is already verified, ensure you have PayPal account optional enabled:

  1. Log into your PayPal Account.
  2. Click on your Profile link.
  3. Click on Website Payment Preferences under your Selling Preferences column
  4. Under PayPal Account Optional, select On to accept optional payment.


“This payment could not be completed because the PayPal account you have provided, (email), is not associated with a PayPal account. You have possibly made a typo or entered the wrong email address.”

If your Client receives this error, double-check your PayPal email by going to Settings and clicking on the Accept Credit Cards sub-tab. Click Manage under PayPal and verify the email is correct.

Alternatively, this error can come up if your Client sent an echeck via PayPal. This will result in a pending status until the funds are cleared. If this is your first payment, you’ll want to double-check that your PayPal email is connected to a verified bank account.

To verify your email, use the below steps:

  1. Log in to your PayPal account.
  2. Click on Profile
  3. Click on Add/Edit Email
  4. There should be an option to Confirm or Verify your email address if it hasn’t been done already.


Why can’t my Clients use Partial Payments via PayPal on an Invoice?

Sometimes your Clients may try to pay the same Invoice multiple times with Deposits or Partial Payments. If they encounter an error message, your PayPal account’s settings may be preventing multiple payments on the same Invoice. This can be changed with the below steps:

  1. Log into your PayPal account.
  2. Go to Seller Preferences on the bottom left
  3. Click Update beside Block Payments
  4. Choose No, allow multiple Payments per invoice ID
  5. Click Save to finish.

Note that the above settings are not available if you have a PayPal Personal account. If you have a PayPal Personal account, you will need to create another Invoice to collect the remaining payment from the Client.