How to add a setup fee to a subscription without using a button?


I do see that I can create a subscription button which is saved as a product plan to be used by a JS subscription button.

But I need to add a "setup_fee" using a standard form like:


<form action="" method="post">  
<input type="hidden" name="business" value="YXZABCSAMGS"> 
<input type="hidden" name="cmd" value="_xclick-subscriptions"> 
<input type="hidden" name="currency_code" value="USD"> 
<input type="hidden" name="rm" value="2">
<input type="hidden" name="lc" value="US">
<input type="hidden" name="no_note" value="1"> 
<input type="hidden" name="no_shipping" value="1"> 
<input type="hidden" name="return" value="1">
<!-- Set the subscription. --> 
<input type="hidden" name="item_name" value="Product Name : Plan"> 
<input type="hidden" name="item_number" value="123456">
<input type="hidden" name="a3" value="20.00"> 
<input type="hidden" name="p3" value="1"> 
<input type="hidden" name="t3" value="M"> 
<!-- Set recurring payments until canceled. --> 
<input type="hidden" name="src" value="1"> 
<input type="submit" name="submit" value="Subscribe"> 


Current docs provide no such option but I am hoping that they may be outdated. I did try this:


<input type="hidden" name="setup_fee" value="10.00">


But it didn't work. It would be a most useful option... does such a thing exist?

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PayPal Employee
PayPal Employee

Good day @WilliamK2,


Thank you for posting to the PayPal community.


Yes, PayPal Website Payments Standard (WPS) is a legacy integration. 


Please refer the below guide link to locate the available HTML variables. 


We recommend merchants to integrate our latest PayPal Checkout (Smart Subscription button) product soon.

Guide link :


If your still facing any issues, please create a MTS ticket via -  with the detail information and error details.




PayPal/Braintree MTS


If this post or any other was helpful, please enrich the community by giving kudos or accepting it as a solution.

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Thanks, but the documentation does not provide an option for adding "setup_fee". In fact it doesn't even include a3, pt, t3 variables.

As for the NEW subscription button, the concept is useless for our projects for several reasons, the main one being that it requires creating product/plans offsite.

As for the suggestion of our current method being "legacy" which suggests that it is outdated and insecure, I find that claim baseless. Why discontinue using something that is still the best solution for shopping cart integration?

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The /cgi-bin/webscr/ API may be old, but it works well and I am sure that there are 1000's of developers who still use it because they prefer it... programmatic control over all variables instead of being dependent on what is stored off-site as "button data".

So why not add a new variable for "setup_fee"?

That would not be difficult, especially when considering that a3, p3, t3 variables are already supported with "_xclick-subscriptions" even though they too are not included in the documentation for the /cgi-bin/webscr/ API .

Can you please pass this request onto your developers, or provide a contact for me to do so?

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