We have a marketplace website that allows buyers to purchase content from sellers. We then pay out the seller's balance after 30 days. Our payment processor is requiring us to have an escrow license since we hold funds. We are in California and on the website on how to apply for a license


it mentions that license is only for corporations whose main purpose is providing escrow services. However, I feel like this doesn't apply to us since our main purpose is being a marketplace + community. Do we really need an escrow license for our situation?

1 Answer 1


From the same page:

Q: Has the department of business oversight taken any action against unlicensed internet escrow agents that are offering and/or providing escrow services over the internet to California residents that are located outside of California?

A: Yes. Please refer to the Department of Corporations Press Release 00-13 on the results of a sweep of online escrow companies offering their services over the Internet.

One of the companies that they sent a cease and desist notice to was www.comauction.com. From a quick glace at archive.org, it seems like they were in a fairly similar position to you: they were primarily an auction site that only incidentally used escrow.

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