What laws apply to having credit for customers?

A business asks customers to put in money to get credit, and then customers use this credit to buy from the company. The credit can remain indefinitely in the business, and customers can withdraw it at any time.

There is probably better terminology to describe this case. Please tell me what laws apply to this business in the US

  • 1
    Do you mean like a law firm's retainer? There are Bar Association rules that govern this in the US
    – Tiger Guy
    Jan 20, 2023 at 15:28
  • @TigerGuy, yeah, it sounds like it. It's paying in advance and then having the ability to make one or multiple purchases and then taking the remaining balance out. Jan 20, 2023 at 16:01
  • I modified the tags. Full faith and credit is a reference to U.S. states having a constitutional duty to recognize official actions of other U.S. states.
    – ohwilleke
    Jan 20, 2023 at 18:58

1 Answer 1


Customers can withdraw it at any time.

This is present interest enough (Crummey doctrine). The merchant account transfer is subject to neither the income nor gift tax until the grantor and testator spends it toward any beneficiary's present interest and material purpose.

Otherwise, there should be a 5 year minimum to gift cards.

Expiration dates for funds underlying gift cards must be at least five years after the date of issuance, or five years after the date when funds were last loaded. (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System Press Release, Federal Reserve announces final rules to restrict fees and expiration dates on gift cards, March 23, 2010)

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