Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Freelancer with only a first name, no surname

Community Guru
Bill H Member Since: Aug 18, 2017
1 of 4

A freelancer wrote to me that Upwork requires him to have a given (first) name and a surname (last name). He has no surname; this is not rare in tribal and/or nomadic cultures. He had to invent a surname to comply with Upwork's requirement, but now he cannot link to his bank account, which has his given name only.


I raise this here because (1) I am hoping a moderator will notice and contact me; (2) This is supposed to be a global platform.I was astounded to learn that UW cannot handle wire transfers, because much of the world's commerce depends on them. Now, I learn that US-based Upwork cannot handle single-name cultures. What other rocks need to be turned over?

Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
2 of 4

Hi Bill,


In cases like that we would suggest a user to use a formal salutation in the first name field (like Mr., Mrs, Ms.) and their name in the last name field. That would be unlikely to cause issues with adding their bank account. Feel free to direct that freelancer to us and we'll assist them further.

~ Valeria
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
3 of 4

 wrote to lots of people. I already told him to contact Upwork

Active Member
CJ S Member Since: Jan 31, 2019
4 of 4

This is pretty common and I've seen this problem a few times when registering students in my day job. I tell people to just write their first name in both boxes, or if it allows 'special characters' to write 'n/a' in the surname field (though that might then show up in a profile as the surname). Would be so good if they didn't have to do either though!