I have a client who’s mostly B2B but has some clients who are individuals (he’s a lawyer). Should we represent the individuals who are clients using Person Accounts, Accounts with the same name as the individual and an associated Contact, or some other way? If Accounts with the same name is the recommended solution, what is the utility of using a different Record type for these?

I am leaning towards eponymous Accounts, e.g., the client “John Smith MD” gets a fake organization named “John Smith MD”. It is entirely possible that he could later work for a different organization and still be the same person and have two different relationships with my client.

This is suggested in Salesforce B2C vs B2B

As I understand NPSP, Accounts are converted to Households, which certainly seems inappropriate here.

We are using Enterprise Edition including some 3rd party packages that I assume would not react well to NPSP.

  • I have looked at other questions, including salesforce.stackexchange.com/questions/225/…
    – Paul
    Jul 20, 2016 at 18:09
  • Also salesforce.stackexchange.com/questions/79824/…, which seems to indicate eponymous Accounts also, while saying there will someday be a better option of a "Person Custom Object". This seems to be in pilot: salesforce.org/custom-person-object
    – Paul
    Jul 20, 2016 at 18:21
  • Households are one option that's available in the NPSP, not a requirement. However, it is what the majority of orgs use who utilize it. NPSP 3.0 and higher doesn't use person accounts.
    – crmprogdev
    Jul 20, 2016 at 18:29
  • The only reason to use a record type would be if you wanted to be able to quickly access or separate the two different types of accounts and/or contacts. OR if they had different business processes associated with them. The latter doesn't sound like that's necessarily the case in this situation.
    – crmprogdev
    Jul 20, 2016 at 18:32

1 Answer 1


It could depend on how your lawyer client works, but my suggestion would be to use the account structure. In your example, "John Smith MD" could well have a DBA (doing business as) or even an LLC. Even if he doesn't, there are a lot of good reasons to separate the account (contractual relationship) from the contact (person). If there aren't that many of these one-person shops, then it's not really onerous to create the account/contact hierarchy.

If your client has very many clients who are truly individuals (i.e. John Smith the guy down the block whose employer is irrelevant to the relationship) you could tag those accounts using a custom field -- say, a checkbox that says "not a business". If that's even necessary.

You definitely don't want to use the NPSP. It makes changes the opportunity structure to support grants, memberships, and donations and has all sorts of fields, reports, etc. that would be useless here.

  • 1
    I would certainly agree to avoid the NPSP completely and Person Accounts unless they are really needed. In this case I think there is usually a legal entity that can be the account and then the individual is a contact as many doctors or lawyers will trade through a corporate structure in their name rather than as what in the UK we'd class as 'self employed'.
    – Dave Humm
    Oct 1, 2016 at 8:04

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