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UNKNOWN_EXCEPTION:portal users cannot own partner accounts


  • When you try to enable an Account as a Partner Account and any of the contacts associated to that account are owned by a Partner User, you would receive this error message.
  • If It was allowed to enable Account as Partner where Contact is owned by already a Partner User, it could result in Partner Users owning Partner Contacts which is not allowed by design.
  • You are changing owner of an Account (having external users – user where account id is equal to this account) to a Portal User then you will get this error message.


  • The only way to enable the Account as a Partner Account, when this situation is encountered, is to update the ownership of the associated Contacts so that they are owned by internal, non-Partner Users.
  • OR use a beforeInsert trigger/flow to change the contact ownership to an internal Salesforce license user.

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