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What is a Merchant of Record for Creative Services?

Read on to find out the fundamental role of an MoR for creative services.

Kyla Chan
March 2024

A Merchant of Record (MoR) is a legal entity responsible for processing and managing payments on behalf of a business. This role involves handling transactions for the purchase of goods or services. In the context of the provision of work by influencers, affiliates, or other creatives, an MoR can partner with businesses to ensure that vendors are paid efficiently and compliantly, taking on the liability and regulatory requirements associated with these transactions. Today, we will discuss the specific role of a Merchant of Record in hiring creative work.

Which operational areas does an MoR for creative services support?

Payment processing

MoRs simplify the process of paying creatives by handling all aspects of the transaction. This includes ensuring that payments are processed swiftly and securely, providing you with a seamless experience.

Financial and data privacy compliance

MoRs ensure that all payouts comply with relevant financial regulations, including tax laws and anti-money laundering (AML) directives. This shields both businesses and creatives from potential legal issues.

The merchant of record often manages customer data related to transactions, which can include personal information and payout history. In this role, the MoR handles the data in compliance with privacy laws and regulations.

Sales tax management

As the creatives are providing their service to your company for a price, this transaction may be subject to sales tax (depending on the user and their particular situation). An MoR would make sure that the transaction is compliant with local sales tax.

MoRs navigate the complex landscape of tax obligations associated with payouts, including withholding taxes and reporting requirements. 

Regulatory tax compliance

MoRs facilitate payments both locally and internationally, managing currency conversions and complying with international payment regulations. This capability is crucial for businesses operating in the global digital economy and one of the advantages of integrating an MoR. Read our list of why an MoR can be a game-changer for businesses working with creative services.

Due Diligence/Fraud management

To prevent fraud and comply with regulatory requirements, MoRs perform Know Your Customer/Business (KYC/ KYB) checks on creatives. This process verifies the identities of creatives, adding a layer of security and trust to the payment process.

Usually, the MoR can also block or suspend clients if notified of fraudulent activities.

Reporting and reconciliation

MoRs provide detailed reports on payments made, including transaction histories and reconciliations. This transparency aids in bookkeeping for your business.

Compliance with international reporting standards, such as DAC7, underscores the MoR's role in ensuring businesses adhere to global tax reporting requirements.


Because the MoR oversees the entire process from onboarding to payouts, the MoR is equipped to handle all questions and challenges from users at every step.

Overall, having an MoR for your business can help you focus on your core business and foster long-term relationships with creatives while being confident that the financial and regulatory aspects of your payouts are being managed efficiently. Your creatives would also benefit from the streamlined payment processes, allowing them to focus on producing quality content rather than worrying about the complex financial processes with every collaboration.

Wondering when is the best time to integrate an MoR, and how to choose the best option? You can find your answer in this blog post.

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