How to open an account in the USA
One of the success factors in introducing a business to the US market is opening a bank account in that country. At the same time, the banking system of the United States is characterized by certain nuances, therefore it is difficult for a non-resident to open an account in the USA . In the absence of experience to achieve a result, you can lose a lot of time and suffer many failures.
To prevent all this from happening, the Lawrange team is ready to help. We have developed the necessary algorithms for the selection of banks that are potentially loyal to non-residents, and have accumulated the skills of productive communication with American bankers. By entrusting us with the solution of the issue with the account, you will not have to postpone starting a business in the USA until later.
How to open an account in the USA: general information
The need and feasibility of opening a corporate bank account in the United States arises in the following cases:
- you are in e-commerce (for example, on Amazon and Ebay), your customers are located in the United States, and it is convenient for them to transfer funds domestically;
- you buy goods or services in the USA, but paying via SWIFT is long and expensive;
- you have business interests and counterparties in the United States, you need to accept and send payments in USD.
Important! A non-resident can open a US bank account only for a company registered in the United States.
Choosing the United States as the jurisdiction for founding a company and opening a US bank account for this company is a strategically beneficial step to attract investment. Most investors perceive this country as a market with transparent and understandable rules of the game.
Note! An important detail in favor of the United States as a jurisdiction is the lack of automatic exchange of financial information with foreign governmental and non-governmental organizations as of 2021.
*** Note: The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) developed the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) for the automatic exchange of data to combat tax evasion back in 2014. The overwhelming majority of the developed countries of the world have joined it, which leads to the leveling of banking secrecy. The United States is among the few states that have not yet ratified the CRS accession treaty.
Along with this, the conditions for tough counteraction to abuses in the financial and banking spheres have been created within the country. In 2001, following the devastating 9/11 terrorist attacks, the so-called “Patriot Act” was passed (“America’s Unification and Strengthening Act 2001 by Implementing the Appropriate Instruments Needed to Suppress Terrorism (USA PATRIOT)”).
The business climate for non-residents in the country has changed radically. Banking services in America for foreign companies, available since 1964, were limited. Non-resident accounts and any international transactions began to be subject to rigorous checks. Financial and banking market participants in the United States are required to report any transactions that show signs of money laundering. In addition, a course was taken to prevent corrupt foreign officials from using the US financial system for personal gain.
To the general difficulties for non-residents with opening accounts and participating in monetary transactions in the United States for immigrants from the CIS countries, especially from the Russian Federation and Ukraine, are added the troubles associated with international sanctions. Not only Russians, but also Ukrainian citizens living on the territory of Crimea fell under the sanctions. It is easier for banks to immediately refuse to open an account of a company whose founders are citizens of the Russian Federation or Ukraine than to understand the nuances.
Subtotal: opening a US bank account online and even with a visit is difficult for non-residents. This should be taken into account. However, the task of opening an account in an American bank for a non-resident company has options for solving it. Lawrange experts are ready to offer such options, taking into account the specifics of your business.
How to improve the chances of successfully opening a US bank account?
Important First, banks’ requirements vary from state to state, from branch to branch. Secondly, the information on the website of the banking institution is relevant only at the time of publication. Based on this, having previously outlined a specific branch for opening an account, before visiting it, you must contact the manager in advance. The situation is similar with online banks, whose requirements for potential customers also need clarification.
Clarifying questions for the bank manager:
- Can I use the LLC registration address (provided by the registered agent) as my account opening address?
- If you need to verify a real US address, how do you do it? Will the bank accept the lease agreement as such confirmation?
- What is the minimum deposit required to open an account?
- When opening an account, do you need to confirm the source of income or not?
- Will the bank accept this or that document that is planned to be provided?
*** Note: As part of the Patriot Act and other anti-money laundering programs, most banks require customers to have a physical address, residence or business office.
Important! Regardless of differences in banking policies, the common denominator for US banks is the requirement for non-residents to provide an EIN (Employer Identification Number).
Based on the above, the algorithm for opening a corporate account is as follows:
- business registration in the USA;
- obtaining an EIN tax number;
- opening a US bank account without attendance or with a visit.
Lawyers and lawyers of Lawrange Lawyers will help you to go through these stages promptly and without complications. From the point of view of American law, registering your own company in the United States, in order to then obtain an EIN for it and open an account, is much easier than trying to find a bank that will agree to open an account for a foreign company. At the same time, there is no guarantee that this account will not be blocked after the first state check. regulator.
US Business Registration
At the request of the client and in accordance with the specifics of the business, Lawrange specialists, with the involvement of an authorized registration agent, will prepare and submit documents for registration of a C-Corp or LLC in any American state. The package of services includes payment of the registration fee and the solution of the issue with the address. In confirmation of the registration of the company, the client receives a Certificate of Incorporation (indicating the name of the company, address, number of shares / shares).
Receive EIN Notice
Based on the Certificate of Incorporation, an application is submitted to the federal tax service IRS, which registers a taxpayer with the assignment of a unique number. A formal request to the IRS is sent online or by fax. In case of correct registration, there will be no problems with obtaining an individual tax number. If you have an EIN, you can reasonably expect to open a corporate account with one of the American banks.
*** Note: It is not mandatory to visit the United States to register a business and obtain an EIN. These procedures, with the support of Lawrange lawyers, can be completed remotely.
Requirements and documents for opening a corporate account in America
Banks’ requirements for potential clients vary. But under any circumstances, one should prepare for a truthful and clear description of the company’s activities, prompt response to additional questions and requests for documentation.
Basic list of documents for opening a US bank account
- Articles of Organization, Certificate of Organization or Certificate of Formation – LLC approval depending on the state of registration;
- Operating Agreement – an operating agreement (an internal document governing the work of the company);
- EIN Verification Letter (147C) or EIN Confirmation Letter (CP575) – EIN confirmation letter from IRS;
- identity documents of the applicant.
Additional documents, information and requirements for opening an account
- proof of address, with requirements varying from bank to bank:
– sometimes the address of the LLC shown in the official documents and the EIN letter from the IRS is suitable;
– in other cases, a lease agreement for the premises, utility bill, telephone bill is requested;
- completed Declaration of Beneficial Ownership form – as part of the Customer Due Diligence Requirements, which have been introduced since 2018 to combat financial crime (FinCEN), banks determine the true owners of the business before how to open an account;
- availability of a phone number in the USA (to access online banking) – to get such a number, you can: a) buy an American SIM card when visiting the country, b) issue a digital number with call forwarding to the current number;
- Banking Resolution form – a document describing which LLC members are entitled to open a bank account (the form is provided to a potential client by the bank).
Note! Some banks require an initial deposit to activate your account. At the same time, for deposits over several thousand USD, confirmation of the legality of receiving funds may be required. An example would be an account statement with another bank or certified tax returns for the previous several years.
Opening a US Online Banking Account
Based on the experience gained by the Lawrange team, the most rational option for opening a corporate account in the United States is to contact one of the so-called neobanks (online banks). We are talking about banking institutions of an innovative format that provide a full range of online banking services. An account in such a bank for a non-resident makes it possible to fully solve all the tasks related to doing business in the United States.
Lawrange has experience of successful cooperation with banks such as FV Bank International Inc. (FV Bank) and Mercury.
Opening an account with FV Bank (USA)
Bank International Inc. (FV Bank) is a banking institution that offers companies hybrid solutions, including payments using fiat currency and digital assets in one account, as well as the ability to seamlessly convert digital assets to fiat currency.
Important! The bank is suitable for international business of any size due to its competitive exchange rates, online access to multicurrency banking, convenient payments in US dollars and other currencies, and support for international trade settlements.
Key information on how to open a US bank account remotely at FV Bank with the support of AK Lawrange:
- the cost of our opening services is 1650 EUR ;
- account activation time – about 10 working days;
- an interview with a bank manager and verification with the ultimate beneficiary (UBO) take place online;
- an account is opened in US dollars and other currencies upon request;
- an account is opened in the American format, individual for the company, not in the IBAN format;
- bank commission for activating an account – 750 USD;
- monthly service – 200-700 USD.
Opening a Mercury (USA) bank account
Mercury Bank has become very popular among start-up owners from around the world. Clients are offered scalability with real bank accounts combined with customized service tools. This online bank attracts with no monthly service fees, overdraft, minimum balance or hidden fees. An account for a client is opened free of charge.
Among the advantages of the bank is the ability to open an account in the USA remotely for American companies founded by citizens of different countries of the world. Currently, accounts are not opened only for founders living in the following countries: Belarus, Burundi, Central African Republic, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Nicaragua, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen and Zimbabwe.
Also, the advantages of opening an account with Mercury bank include:
- the ability to use the registered agent’s address as the LLC address to open an account;
- no transaction fees;
- favorable conditions for domestic and international bank transfers;
- ACH payments are domestic payments in the United States through an electronic network, the so-called Chamber of Automated Settlements.
To open a US account remotely at Mercury Bank, you need the following information and documents:
- Documents confirming the operation of the LLC.
Depending on the state of incorporation, the company will need Articles of Organization, Certificate of Organization or Certificate of Formation (downloadable online).
- Details of founders and directors.
Passports for non-US residents, phone numbers and other contact information.
- LLC address.
You can use the company office address or the registered agent’s address.
- Tax number (EIN).
This item may include:
– Form SS-4 indicating EIN;
– letter with EIN (CP 575). Also from the US Internal Revenue Service;
– EIN confirmation letter (147C) – can also be used as evidence (you can order this letter free of charge).
- Completed Mercury bank application and email confirmation.
After submission of the application, the address is confirmed through the link in the letter from Mercury.
When opening an account with Mercury Bank, you need to take into account the following nuances:
- when applying for an account, it is worth emphasizing the intention to do business with American companies, otherwise the application may not be approved;
- The term for consideration of the application is 1-2 weeks, upon opening an account, the necessary confirmations and instructions will be sent to the email;
- for account security, two-factor authentication is additionally connected, if necessary, you can configure access to the account for company employees.
Important! If for some reason the option of opening a bank account cannot be implemented, an alternative remains in stock. We are talking about opening a merchant account in one of the US payment systems. It will be easier and faster compared to opening a bank account.
Opening an account with Payoneer
This is a good option for doing business in the United States, in particular for IT and e-commerce projects. Among the advantages of opening an account with the international payment system Payoneer:
- easy registration and account setup;
- the ability to work with more than 28 currencies around the world;
- get unique US bank details (local US companies will be able to send payments directly to Payoneer to the account);
- incoming payments – free, outgoing – 1.5-2% (it is possible in the future to reduce tariffs on an individual basis);
- availability of a bonus program for clients working with large amounts;
- no restrictions on incoming bank transfer transactions;
- partnerships with the world’s leading marketplaces (example, Amazon);
- opening period – 5-7 business days.
*** Note: Payoneer accounts are held with First Century Bank. The account holder’s name is Payoneer, not a proper name.
Opening a bank account in Delaware
Among the services provided by Lawrange AK is support in the procedure for registering a company and opening an account in the state of Delaware (USA). We are talking about one of the most popular offshore companies, where, thanks to loyal corporate legislation and exemption from the tax burden, excellent conditions have been created for the development of international business. State laws provide for a high level of protection of business, company assets.
For your information! A company engaged in any type of activity can open a bank account in Delaware, after registration, in accordance with the established procedure. The invoicing procedure is the same as in other states. A prerequisite for opening an account is a registered agent in the state and the presence of a physically located office in the state. Requirements for the minimum authorized capital for opening a bank account are not determined, which makes it possible to get an account of a company that has just entered the market and expects to receive a small income. On average, it takes about a month to open an account in Delaware.
Customers opening accounts in Delaware often have to pay an annual fee for using the bank’s services – the amount of payment depends on the amount of the deposit. It is important to keep in mind that tax exemptions only apply if the company does not operate in the state. In case of carrying out any economic activity in the territory of the state, it is necessary to pay a tax, the value of which ranges from 0% to 34%.
For your information! If you are interested in other offshore companies in the United States, then in addition to Delaware, you can also consider the states of Nevada, Wyoming and Florida.
Opening an account in the USA is a promising step in the development of international business. But due to sanctions restrictions for residents of Ukraine and the Russian Federation in recent years, it has become more difficult to solve this problem. If there are citizens of Ukraine or the Russian Federation among the founders of the company, many banks automatically refuse to issue a corporate account without going into details.
Along with this, Lawrange experts are constantly looking for new opportunities to open accounts for business in the United States. Among such opportunities is cooperation with neobanks, banking institutions of an innovative format. Despite a number of nuances, you can open an account in the United States remotely, within a short time – about a month.
How long does it take to open an account in the United States?
From 5 days to two months.
Want to know more about opening a US account?
If so, write or call us – we will be happy to answer your questions.
Which is the safest bank in the US?
The main criterion for selecting a bank in the United States is the specifics of your business. The reliability and good reputation of banks in this country is guaranteed by default.