I am having an issue while updating an existing community contact/account: Contact has 'created by' and 'Owner' set to Salesforce Standard User. And then from that Contact I created a community user. Now with REST API I am trying to update that Contact's 'owner' field to Community user I see following error: Portal users cannot own partner accounts

1 Answer 1


This error message is confusing. Basically, the system will prevent portal users from owning contacts that are linked to any kind of account, according to this knowledge article: https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=000004491&language=en_US&type=1

When you try to enable an Account as a Partner Account and any of the contacts associated to that account are owned by a Partner User, you would receive this error message. If Partner Account enabling was allowed to go through successfully in such a scenario, it could result in Partner Users owning Partner Contacts which is not allowed by design.

The only way to enable the Account as a Partner Account, when this situation is encountered, is to update the ownership of the associated Contacts so that they are owned by internal, non-Partner Users.

The only way for you to avoid the error is to use a beforeInsert trigger to change the contact ownership to an internal Salesforce license user.

  • Thanks David.. yeah I looked at couple of documentation links.. make sense.. Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 0:43

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