TikTok Business vs. Personal — How to Make the Right Choice

Is it better to have a business or personal TikTok account? If you’re a brand or influencer making the leap to TikTok, you want to set up your account for success.

Is it better to have a business or personal TikTok account? If you’re a brand or influencer making the leap to TikTok, you want to set up your account for success.

Like many, I believe that creators and influencers are business owners, which adds to the confusion about which to use. Both TikTok account types are free, so which is best?

I’ll answer all these questions and more with my definitive guide to TikTok Business vs. Personal.

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TikTok for Business vs. Your Personal TikTok

What is a TikTok Business Account?

Advantages of a TikTok Business Account

Disadvantages of a TikTok Business Account

What is a TikTok Personal [aka Creator] Account?

Advantages of a TikTok Personal Account

Disadvantages of a TikTok Personal Account

TikTok for Business vs. Your Personal TikTok

First, let’s start with what makes TikTok great for engagement and the similarities between business and personal TikTok accounts.

There’s a corner for every kind of content on TikTok, whether that’s ParentTok, FashionTok, PrankTok, or BookTok. I come to TikTok to laugh, learn, and discover, making it a plentiful space for creators and brands alike.

All TikTok users can engage followers through short-form video posts, stories, and going LIVE. Both business and personal accounts allow you to get verified, promote posts, and use the Branded Content Toggle.

That’s about where the similarities end.

TikTok business is designed for brands to launch campaigns and engage with audiences at scale, while TikTok personal is created with individual users and creators in mind.

Here is a breakdown of the feature differences between business and personal accounts, plus a deep dive into the benefits and limitations of each one:

Features

TikTok Business

TikTok Personal

Account privacy

Public only

Public and private

Music/Sounds available

Commercial sounds only

Full library

Analytics

Advanced (including reach and audience demographics)

Basic only

Ads Manager

Business Center

Action buttons (e.g., “Sign up”)

Messaging capabilities

Unlimited

Friends only

Email button in profile

Business creative hub

Lead generation

Auto-messaging

Post scheduler

Integration with third-party platforms

TikTok Shop

✅ (affiliate only)

Creator Next (Creator Fund, Live gifts and diamonds, Tips)

Creator Marketplace

Creativity Program Beta

Series

What is a TikTok Business Account?

A TikTok business account enables brands to share content, build and engage an audience, and sell online. TikTok business accounts come with additional tools for team access and collaboration, like Business Center and Ads Manager.

Advantages of a TikTok Business Account

What makes this mode great? TikTok designed business accounts for teams wanting to reach audiences and run campaigns on TikTok strategically. Here’s what you can do with a business account.

1. Personalize your profile.

A business account lets you add much more detail to your profile, including a website, industry, support email, and custom action buttons like “Sign up.”

Melissa Laurie, Founder of social media agency Oysterly, claims this is one of the features she loves the most for her business.

2. Run ad campaigns.

While personal accounts can promote posts, there’s no way to run strategic campaigns in that mode.

With a business account, you have access to TikTok Ad Manager, a command center for running video campaigns and analyzing your campaign performance.

You can draw inspiration from Business Creative Hub to create timely, engaging content.

3. Engage customers.

Business accounts let you run your business and communicate with customers in ways you are used to engaging as a brand on Facebook and Instagram.

For one, you have unlimited abilities to message any user on TikTok, which isn’t available in personal mode.

You can collect leads in videos and other content, making it a valuable sales tool and easier to organize for follow-up. You can also set up auto-messaging for when you aren’t online.

4. Collaborate across teams.

If you have more than one person planning or posting content, you likely need a business account. TikTok Business Center lets you manage team and agency access and collaborate with creators.

Here’s a very important distinction: TikTok business is also the only account type you can integrate with third-party social media management apps.

So, if you’re used to using Hootsuite, Buffer, HubSpot, or any other app to schedule and manage your content, you can’t do it on a personal account. As a former corporate social media manager, this would be a dealbreaker for me.

5. Sell online.

Did you know 70% of TikTok users discover new brands and products on TikTok, and three-quarters of users are likely to buy something while using the app?

Shoppable commerce is already huge in Asia and will be the next big thing in the rest of the world. With a business account, you can set up your own TikTok Shop for users to buy without ever leaving the app.

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Kate Ross, hair and beauty specialist for beauty brand Irresistible Me, notes that a business account is best for brands.

“It’s packed with features for businesses like putting your website link right on your profile, using TikTok’s ad tools, and choosing music you’re allowed to use without worrying about copyright issues,” Ross says. You also get amazing tools for understanding who’s watching and interacting with your content.”

Disadvantages of a TikTok Business Account

While TikTok business accounts are beneficial for brands, they have a few glaring cons. Let’s get them out in the open.

1. Limited Sound and Music Options

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What would TikTok videos be without the music?

Since TikTok considers business accounts to be using music for commercial use, a major downside is that you can’t use trending songs in your content.

Instead, you have to use royalty-free (aka stock) songs from their Commercial Music Library. You also can’t use stitch or duet options for music.

While they’ve worked to improve the music available in the library, it just isn’t the same as being able to hop on any music trend that comes your way. On the upside, though, you don’t have to worry about any copyright infringement.

2. No Ability to Monetize Content

While you can make money from the products and services you sell through TikTok engagement, there’s no way to monetize the content itself from a business account.

That means that you can’t participate in programs like Creator Fund, LIVE gifts and Diamonds, or Tips. You need a personal account to make money on TikTok.

What is a TikTok Personal [aka Creator] Account?

That brings us to a TikTok personal account, previously known as a creator account. A creator account is an account for individual users and creators.

If you are an individual user wanting to use TikTok for simply personal use, this is where you should be. Personal accounts also offer many tools and ways for you to monetize your content as a creator.

Advantages of a TikTok Personal Account

TikTok personal accounts are the top choice for musicians, artists, and influencers. Here’s why.

1. Use trending music.

With a creator account, you have access to TikTok’s full library of music and sounds, letting you jump on the latest music video trends.

2. Keep your profile private.

If you want to use TikTok for individual use and only post content for friends or select groups, you need a personal account. Business accounts don’t have a private mode — for privacy, personal is best.

2. Make money on TikTok.

As a creator, the absolute best benefit of a personal account is the ability to make money from your content. Many creators have successfully built a business this way.

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Here’s how it works: Creators make videos that they hope will go viral. When videos do well, creators earn money in a few ways:

  1. Earn Tips of up to $100 from fans.
  2. Receive LIVE gifts and diamonds directly from fans, which can be converted to cash rewards.
  3. Participate in the Creator Fund or Creativity Program Beta, which pay you out of a general fund based on the performance of your content (don’t miss our breakdown between the two).
  4. Set up Series, a service where users pay a subscription for premium content.

3. Collaborate with brands.

As a creator, you connect with brands and run influencer campaigns with brands through the Creator Marketplace. When you share products you love, you can also earn affiliate compensation from attributed sales on TikTok Shop.

Disadvantages of a TikTok Personal Account

While TikTok personal offers great incentives, there are a few frustrating limitations.

1. Limited Analytics

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With a personal account, your analytics are more basic than a business account. You can view key video metrics like post views, profile views, comments, and more.

There is also follower analytics showing you your viewers’ average age, gender, and geography.

While these metrics are available in-app, you can’t download them or run your own analytics through a social media management platform from a personal account.

2. Limited Commerce Abilities

As a creator, your ability to sell directly and drive viewers to websites outside of TikTok is severely limited. You can’t include a link in your profile until you have over 1,000 followers, for instance.

You also can’t set up custom call-to-action buttons in your videos.

As a creator, you can use TikTok Shop to promote shoppable videos and earn as an affiliate, but you can’t set up a shop for your own merchandise, for example, without a business account.

So, what’s best?

Is it better to have a business or personal TikTok account? I’ve got a definitive answer for you.

First, you need to decide your goal on TikTok: making money within the platform or building an audience for a business outside of it.

If your goal is to monetize content, a personal account is the absolute best choice. Artists and individual content creators benefit from TikTok’s tools to help them build a personal brand and content business.

Plus, you can’t beat the authenticity that comes with a personal account over a faceless brand.

“If you’re an influencer on TikTok, stick with a creator (now called personal) account,” advises Ross. “It lets you use all the trendy songs and sounds, plus you can interact with other videos through duets or stitches.”

Beyond that, Ross notes that you get to see how well your videos are doing with analytics. You can push certain videos more with promotions and even earn money through the TikTok Creator Fund.

But, for businesses with ad budgets and teams, where TikTok is just one part of a multichannel marketing strategy, you need a business account.

“A business account is the way to go if you’re a TikTok brand,” explains Diana Zheng, head of marketing at Stallion Express. “A business account allows you to take advantage of TikTok’s full marketing capabilities.”

Zheng notes that you’ll get access to powerful analytics enabling you to tailor your content strategy and track your performance.

“Plus, with features such as TikTok Ads Manager, you can target ads and promote your brand in a way that drives engagement and conversions,” Zheng says.

Fortunately, it’s easy to switch back and forth between TikTok business and personal modes, so you aren’t locked into your decision forever.

If you make a mistake or scale your business to the point where you need to switch from personal to business — you can switch with a single tap.

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