The reason for this question is that I have a spreadsheet with lots of contacts to import, but some of them only have the first name. The LastName, being mandatory, will make my job harder.

I have seen people switching the FirstName and LastName labels so that the first name is mandatory for the user (but on the API, the user is filling the last name), but that seems to be a bad workaround to me.

What would be the best practice to import contacts that do not have the last name? Put something generic on the field?

  • 1
    I have seen elsewhere people use LNU which represents Last Name Unknown. Salesforce doesn't have any plan to remove this validation from last name. – Jayant Das May 24 at 14:08
  • That sounds reasonable enough, actually. 🤔 UND ("Último Nome Desconhecido", in Portuguese) sounds good. – Renato Oliveira May 24 at 14:10
  • Please answer the question! I'll happily accept that as the answer. – Renato Oliveira May 24 at 14:18

As for the LastName being mandatory, I can only say that it's by design. And seems there were ideas to get it optional, but Salesforce doesn't have any plan to do so. So it is very unlikely we can get away with it.

As for the workaround, as you have noted you can either switch the FirstName to the LastName


I have seen people using a notion LNU which represents Last Name Unknown (or UND Último Nome Desconhecido in Portuguese :) ) to populate the LastName field. I have also seen this used widely with some Organizations when people don't have a valid Last Name.

One other approach that I have seen around especially with Government Authorities where Last Name is always required, they use the approach of populating the First Name as Last Name and then using FNU for the First Name which represents First Name Unknown. (I have had a personal experience with this)

So as long as you have a way to identify such records, you can go with any of these approaches.

  • 2
    Brilliant workaround, reminds me of a former colleague in previous company having name as firstname.lnu@company.com – Raul May 24 at 14:55
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    @Raul I have also seen another approach on this especially with government authorities where say Last Name is always required and that a person doesn't have one but only First Name, they will use the First Name as Last Name and then have the First Name referred as FNU (First Name Unknown). – Jayant Das May 24 at 15:02

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