We have about 350,000 portal users who are setup as contacts in Salesforce that we would like to convert to person accounts.

Here are the steps that worked well for non-portal users, but fail for portal users:

  1. Create a new business account for each of those contacts.
  2. Update the AccountId for Contacts with corresponding business account created above.
  3. Change the record type for each account to person account. --> This step throws below exception for portal users.

INVALID_PERSON_ACCOUNT_OPERATION, account cannot be converted to person-account: []

Unfortunately the exception doesn't tell why it failed. Wondering if there a workaround to this? I looked at this and this but they seem to address a standard contact but not a portal contact. And again, we got it to work for standard contacts.


1 Answer 1


There is the limitation of Person Account for Portals.

Person accounts can't be enabled as users for partner communities and portals because partners represent companies, not individuals.


You can’t merge person accounts that are enabled to use portal or community users.

So when you try to do this, it will fail as partner portal user should always be contacts and not person accounts.

Src: https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=account_person_behavior.htm&type=5


  • Are we able to disable portal for customers, convert to person accounts and then enable portal back? Not worried about downtime, but I hope this doesn't send any email communication to customers by itself (like a welcome email or something after disable/enable). Dec 11, 2018 at 13:22
  • Try on sandbox first to see the effects, on another note the contact will still have associated USER login so even if you disable them the user will be there so it wont allow you to do it. Dec 11, 2018 at 13:25

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