IS IT LEGAL TO CHARGE MY CLIENTS AN ADDITIONAL FEE FOR ONLINE PAYMENTS?
Regulations on this can vary from state to state (and card to card). Bill4Time highly recommends checking with your payment processor and reviewing documentation from your state bar association, before deciding whether or not to charge any additional fees.
Please note, most states have specific regulations for:
- How/when you should notify your clients about charging a fee/surcharge.
- Whether or not your clients need to consent to an additional fee before being charged.
- What types of cards (credit/debit) you can actually charge a fee for.
- Limitations to the overall amount you can charge as a fee/surcharge.
For a list of general statutes regarding processing fees and surcharges in each state, please click HERE.
DOES PAYPAL/STRIPE/LAWPAY ALLOW ME TO CHARGE A PROCESSING FEE?
Some payment processors specifically prohibit you from charging customers to cover these fees. You can review processor specific information about charging processing fees and surcharges below.
It is against PayPal's User Agreement to charge your client/customer for any processing fee or surcharge in relation to your PayPal transaction fees.
According to their website: "You agree that you will not impose a surcharge or any other fee for accepting PayPal as a payment method. You may charge a handling fee in connection with the sale of goods or services as long as the handling fee does not operate as a surcharge and is not higher than the handling fee you charge for non-PayPal transactions."
Stripe does allow their customers to charge processing fees or surcharges to clients (as long as you're following your state's regulations for this). An article containing a formula to calculate these fees can be found in their help center (located HERE).
While LawPay doesn't specifically prohibit charging your client a processing fee or surcharge, they do cite many reasons why it may not be a good idea for you to do so.
Please review their articles on this topic, below:
Can you charge a fee or surcharge for clients who pay you with a credit card?
Opinions on Surcharges