Classic offshore account

Registering a company offshore is only half the battle. For the full functioning of the company, you will need a bank account, and opening one is difficult.


To open an account in a European bank or in a payment system for an offshore company, you need to find an experienced assistant. And Lawrange law firm is ready to become such assistants for business representatives.


Among our advantages are 10 years of experience in the market of legal services for international business, cooperation with many reputable financial institutions in Europe, constant monitoring of the rules and requirements for bank customers in different jurisdictions.


Opening an account for an offshore company – basic information

Our company works with a classic offshore business registered in island jurisdictions, as well as zones with a zero tax burden. These are Seychelles, BVI (British Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands), Belize, Panama and ect.


Notice! Over the last few years, it has become much more difficult for classic offshore companies to open corporate accounts in European banks. The reason is the introduction of a number of rules, restrictions and requirements. However, it is possible to open, as well as keep safe and sound, a non-resident account for offshore companies in European countries. Some banks do not lose interest in the inflow of funds, even if from high-risk sources. The main thing is to identify banking institutions that are ready for a dialogue, and then efficiently conduct it. Representatives of Lawrange law firm will provide all this for their clients.


What are the terms for issuing an account in Europe? From 2 weeks to several months.

Can I go through the procedure for obtaining an account and IBAN remotely? Yes.

Is confirmation of substance required to open an account? Often yes. 



Where can I open an account for an offshore company? 

Options for opening an account are constantly changing. We are constantly monitoring the conditions of banks and payment systems in order to offer our customers the best solutions. The following factors are taken into account when choosing a partner bank:

  • offshore company jurisdiction,
  • activities,
  • information about the beneficiary,
  • history of the company since its inception.


Among the current jurisdictions for opening an account are Switzerland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Montenegro, Kazakhstan, Macedonia. Alternatively, payment systems can be used. For more information, please contact our manager, who will be happy to answer questions and provide clarifications.


***Notice: If you plan to open an account in Switzerland, be prepared to make a significant initial deposit and keep a minimum balance, which in some banks is 1-3,000,000 USD. But as an example in Kazakhstan, bankers cover the risks of opening an account for offshore companies by setting increased tariffs for banking services.


Criteria for checking offshore clients by banks

Banking institutions today are forced to follow two trends:


  1. a set of measures Anti Money Laundering (AML) – combating money laundering;
  2. the Know Your Customer (KYC) rule.


Compliance departments of banks strictly check clients and individual transactions for compliance with national and international banking legislation. Due to the wide exchange of information at the international level, hiding money from taxation is becoming less and less realistic. Although there are still a sufficient number of legal tools for optimizing the tax burden.


For the information! The process of acceptance and further adaptation of new customers by banks is tightly controlled. In the future, it is also impossible to 100% exclude the possibility of closing or temporarily blocking an account in connection with the identification of a suspicious transaction.


When analyzing an applicant for opening an account, the following is taken into account:

  1. Application form for opening an account: correctness and completeness of filling, reliability of the information provided.
  2. The origin of the funds for the initial deposit and, in general, the origin of the capital of the company’s beneficiaries.
  3. The purpose of opening a bank account: where will payments come from and where will they go, who are the company’s counterparties, which countries are involved in the business.
  4. Presence or absence of politically exposed persons (PEPs) among the beneficiaries: if such persons are present among the owners or shareholders, the bank more carefully checks information about the origin of capital and the purpose of opening an account.
  5. Risks for the bank: reputational, from the side of the regulator, and so on.


Notice! Reasons for rejecting an applicant include:


  • failure to prove the origin of the assets of the beneficiaries;
  • the presence of negative information or lack of information about the company in Google and other search engines;
  • coincidence of the name of the applicant with the name of a well-known politician or public figure, the inclusion of a person in sanctions and other “black” lists;
  • complete absence of any history of the company.



Preparation of documents and description of the company’s business model for opening an account

To open a corporate account, the bank first requests a standard list of documents (it can be seen on the website of the banking institution). The package includes:

  • charter and memorandum of association of the company, protocol on the appointment of officials;
  • Certificate of Incorporation;
  • Share certificate;
  • Good condition certificate;
  • official information about managers and owners (passports, proof of residence addresses).


Additionally the following may be requested:

  • information about the day-to-day financial operations of the company;
  • certificates from a bank that already has an account;
  • information about investments, real estate transactions that are a source of income.


***Note: Some banks have launched passport verification applications. The check is carried out on a photo that is taken on a smartphone. For personal identification, video communication with representatives of the bank in the messenger is also used. Along with this current option for confirming the authenticity of documents, notarization remains.


In some cases, along with the documentation package, a description of the company’s business model is submitted, including the following data:

  1. company name, information about the jurisdiction of registration;
  2. information about the parent company, if any;
  3. target market sector, activities;
  4. description of goods, services or services of the company, commercial operations that are planned to be carried out;
  5. data on persons to whom profit, dividends will be transferred;
  6. sources of funds to the account;
  7. a list of clients, suppliers, partners (with company names, web addresses, a brief description of activities);
  8. resumes of the owners of the company, including details of business management experience.


Important! Until the final decision regarding the opening of an account by the bank has been made, it is very important to be in constant contact with bank representatives, answer any clarifying questions, and demonstrate openness and readiness for dialogue. It is necessary to calmly accept the fact that the process of opening an offshore account can take several months.



Ways of insurance when opening an offshore account


Based on experience, Lawrange law firm’s attorneys and lawyers offer two universal ways to reduce risks when opening an account for an offshore company



Opening two or more accounts at once

This is an effective diversification tool. Even if one account is blocked due to any changes in the non-resident customer service policy, the impact on the business is minimized by the presence of other accounts.


Pre-approval procedure – obtaining preliminary approval

Applications can be sent at once to several banking institutions that meet the selection criteria. Although prior approval does not guarantee 100% bank approval of the applicant with a deeper check, the probability of such approval increases many times over.



Opening an account for an offshore company in the payment system

As a fallback option, there is always the possibility of opening an account in one of the payment systems that work, among other things, with High-Risk activities.


Notice! Payment systems or Electronic Money Institution (EMI) have a number of differences from traditional banks. Often, customer identification requirements are more loyal. Payment systems do not provide services such as letters of credit, loans, deposits, which minimizes the cost of customer service. Moreover, EMI does not maintain large offices with numerous staff, which also has a positive effect on the cost of services. The cost of payment through EMI is always lower than in a traditional bank.


Upon request, you can get information from Lawrange law firm about which payment system is best suited for your business. We constantly update information about the offers of payment systems, successfully work with old ones, and select new partners.


Among the features and benefits of opening an account in the payment system:

  • the ability to do without personal presence at the opening;
  • a wide network of correspondent banks, which allows you to quickly make international payments;
  • account management personally by the director or by proxy;
  • convenient Internet banking 24/7;
  • two-factor authentication via SMS and mobile app – the highest level of protection, but without hardware passwords;
  • provision of the IBAN number of a multi-currency account;
  • tested by numerous users convenience.


Lawrange law firm is a consistently reliable assistant in resolving registration and banking issues for international business. We will help you too!



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