Against the backdrop of tougher checks by financial institutions of their potential clients and refusal of European banks to do business with offshore companies, new options for opening corporate accounts for non-residents have to be sought. Among them are banks in the CIS countries.
At the same time, there are few general characteristics of financial jurisdictions in this region. Banking systems in each CIS country should be considered separately. In some jurisdictions, you can select banks that agree to work with offshore and high risk businesses. But many banks in the CIS continue to follow archaic rules and traditions.
For information! As of 2021, the Commonwealth of Independent States includes Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Kazakhstan. The status of Ukraine within the Commonwealth is regarded by the international community as controversial. Ukraine can be considered a member of the CIS only conditionally.
Lawrange Law Firm provides a full range of services for opening corporate bank accounts for non-residents in the CIS. We carry out constant monitoring and analysis of financial jurisdictions in the region. Depending on the specifics of the business, we select reliable and profitable options for opening accounts.
General information on opening a corporate account in a CIS bank
The need to open an account in one of the CIS countries for a non-resident may arise in two cases:
- an account in a local bank is required for the full operation of a representative office or a branch of a foreign legal entity;
- we are talking about an offshore that fails to open an account in Europe or Asia.
Advice! Even if you have an account in the current conditions, it is better to hedge yourself and open an additional account. The story of the total closure of non-resident accounts in the Baltics in 2018 teaches prudence. To prevent international business from collapsing due to the refusal of the financial partner from cooperation, it is necessary to take care of a reserve account where it will be possible to redirect cash flows. Some banks in the CIS countries are excellent for this purpose.
For your information! The procedure for opening an account in CIS jurisdictions is not much different from a similar procedure in banks in Europe. The applicant is required to have a set of constituent documents for the company, personal documentation of the beneficiaries and management, licenses for certain areas of activity, and so on.
It is worth paying attention to such moments:
- account opening is often carried out in national currency, USD, EUR, RUB;
- a non-resident is required to register with the fiscal service;
- documentation is submitted with translation into Russian, another state or official language, with an apostille.
*** Note: When opening an account, some banking institutions still require a card with personal signatures of company executives.
Can I open a CIS bank account remotely? Yes.
How long does it take to open? From 14 days or more.
Can you help us in a comprehensive way with the registration of a representative office and an invoice? Yes.
The main advantage of cooperation with JSC Lawrange is a network of reliable partner banks, which is constantly being updated and expanded. Among them are Unibank Armenia (Armenia), BPS-Sberbank, Paritetbank, Zepterbank (Belarus), KSB Kyrgyz Swiss Bank (Kyrgyzstan) and a number of other banking institutions.
How to open a bank account in Armenia?
In the era of deoffshorization and total sanctions, Armenia can be considered a “safe haven” in terms of opening bank accounts for international business. Today it is advisable to consider Armenia as a very good alternative to such “points of attraction” of offshore projects as Latvia and Cyprus.
For your information! As a small country, Armenia strives to attract funds from abroad, developing its banking sector and bringing its level to international standards. According to analysts, in recent years, the country’s financial sector has been characterized by stability, adequate liquidity and good capitalization.
Lawrange JSC offers a beneficial package of services for opening an account with Unibank (Armenia). Representatives of this banking institution agree to open corporate accounts in most jurisdictions, including:
- for English and Scottish partnerships (LP and LLP);
- for companies registered in Hong Kong and Singapore.
For your information! Bankers are considering individually the possibility of opening an account for various offshores, as well as for some types of activities from the high-risk category.
Unibank was established in 2001 and today has 46 branches across the country. It is a universal bank with a wide range of modern services.
Key features of opening and maintaining an account in Unibank Armenia:
- accounts in USD and EUR available;
- often a personal visit of the beneficiary to Armenia is required, but due to quarantine, remote opening is allowed – an interview is conducted via Skype;
- active transactional clients are preferred;
- opening times – from 14 working days;
- bank rate for opening – 267 EUR;
- account maintenance per year – 89 EUR;
- to open an account you need to translate the documentation into Russian.
Documents and information from the client for opening an account:
- corporate documents of the company – the list depends on the jurisdiction in which the business is registered (the main documents in the package are an extract from the register of companies in the country, as well as the charter);
- completed questionnaire – reflects information regarding the directions and features of the company’s activities, counterparties, incoming and outgoing payments, estimated turnover of funds;
- CV of managers and beneficiaries of the company – education is indicated, professional work experience is described (preferably in the field of business project management);
- copies of identity documents of the directors and beneficiaries of the company;
- bank statement (if the company already has a bank account) – this document should contain information for the last six months.
*** Note: This list should be used as a rough guide only. In some cases, the bank requests additional documents and information.
At the request of the client or as required, Lawrange specialists are ready to open an account with another bank in Armenia. Among the available options are banks such as Ameriabank, Mellat Bank, Anelik Bank, Acba Bank, Armbusiness bank, Converse Bank, Evocabank, IDBank.
How to open an account with a bank in Kyrgyzstan?
The decision to open an account with a banking institution in Kyrgyzstan (Kyrgyzstan) cannot be called obvious. However, having studied the issue with all thoroughness, it can be concluded that the country is quite attractive as a financial jurisdiction. First of all, the option of opening an account in Kyrgyzstan is suitable for companies planning to develop the Asian markets.
For your information! Kyrgyzstan shares borders with China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. If there are counterparties in these countries, it is worth considering the feasibility of opening an account in Kyrgyzstan.
Kyrgyzstan is characterized by a developing banking system. Banks are actively attracting non-resident clients. In particular, some banking institutions are loyal to offshore companies and enterprises operating in the high risk category. According to the requirements of the country’s legislation, it is prohibited to open accounts only for non-residents whose activities are related to gambling, arms trading, providing loans and consulting services.
Among the advantages of a corporate account of a non-resident legal entity in a bank in Kyrgyzstan are affordable rates and commissions, multicurrency, and the presence of Russian-speaking staff. A bank account is opened in national currency (Kyrgyz soms), in rubles, dollars, euros, and other currencies
Lawrange JSC provides legal support for opening an account with KSB Kyrgyz Swiss Bank (Kyrgyzstan). The choice of this bank as a financial partner provides the following advantages for non-resident companies:
- possibility of remote account opening;
- providing a personal IBAN for USD, EUR, RUB;
- offshore loyalty.
Documents and information from the client for opening an account:
- an extract from the trade register or another document with information about the body that registered the non-resident legal entity;
- a copy of the charter or other similar document, including with amendments and additions;
- copies of documents confirming the authority of a person or persons to manage a bank account (in particular – a power of attorney, a decision of the governing bodies of an economic entity, an order, etc.);
- card with sample signatures and seal imprint;
- a copy of the document that proves the identity of the person authorized to manage the company’s funds;
- optional – a copy of the memorandum of association;
- optional – a copy of the license for the right to carry out activities subject to licensing in accordance with the requirements of the legislation of the country of origin of the company.
Documents are provided with a certified translation into the state or official (Russian) language; if necessary, documents are preliminarily legalized (apostilled) in accordance with the legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic or the relevant international agreement.
*** Note: At the stage of consideration of the application, the bank may request additional information and documentation from a potential client. If such information and documents are not provided, the bank reserves the right to refuse to open a corporate account.
How to open a bank account in Kazakhstan?
Since Kazakhstan is the largest country in the world (with an area equivalent in size to Western Europe), the interests of many foreign entrepreneurs intersect with this state. Opening an account in one of the country’s banks becomes a necessary step for business development in such cases.
Benefits of Kazakhstan as a financial jurisdiction:
- the country does not participate in the automatic exchange of tax information;
- banks in Kazakhstan work with the dollar;
- banking institutions do not practice restrictions for non-residents by type of company and by country of incorporation;
- some banks are ready to cooperate with high risk business;
- although a personal visit is required to open accounts with a number of banks, some institutions allow the procedure for opening an account completely remotely.
For your information! Along with the above advantages, when opening an account in Kazakhstan, you should take into account some nuances. Most of the country’s banks work closely with the state, therefore, relations with non-residents are strictly consistent with the instructions of the relevant state. structures. To open a bank account, a non-resident must go through the tax registration procedure and obtain a BIN (business identification number).
Documents and information from the client for opening an account:
- an extract from the commercial or other register in the country of origin of the company;
- notarized copy of the articles of association;
- notarized copy of the decision on the appointment of the director;
- certificate of tax registration of a foreign company (BIN);
- certificate of tax registration of the director of a foreign company (individual identification number, TIN);
- notarized copies of passports of beneficiaries and director;
- power of attorney for the right to represent interests in the bank.
As in other countries, the list of documents may vary and expand depending on a specific bank and a specific corporate client.
For your information! Among the banks that are popular with non-residents are Alfa-Bank, FORTEBANK, Zaman bank, Halyk bank, Bank RBK.
Specifics of opening bank accounts in some other CIS countries
The banking sector is inevitably influenced by the situation in the international arena, as well as the internal political situation in the CIS countries. Opening accounts in countries such as the Russian Federation, the Republic of Moldova and the Republic of Belarus is a task that requires an individual approach. It is worth dealing with such issues for non-residents only in cases where it is appropriate, meets business interests, or does not allow alternatives. For example, a strong argument for opening accounts in these countries is the presence of counterparties there.
Opening a bank account in Russia
Among the main conditions for opening an account for a non-resident company is confirmation of the real presence in the country of registration (substance). Before opening an account, a foreign company must obtain an individual taxpayer number – Foreign Organization Code (FOC). The procedure can be completed at the tax authority at the location of the banking institution where you plan to open an account. Moreover, if business activities are not related to Russia, tax liability does not arise.
To open an account, the applicant must submit to the bank copies of passports of the beneficiaries and company managers, corporate documents, KIO and certain documents at the request of the bank. Services for non-residents are provided by a considerable number of financial institutions of the Russian Federation, among them – Sberbank, VTB24, Raiffeisenbank.
Opening a bank account in Moldova
For non-residents, such banks of Moldova as Moldova Agroindbank, Mobiasbanca, Energbank, Moldindconbank are well suited. The procedure for opening an account is similar to similar procedures in banks in other countries. At the same time, it is necessary to take into account the need to submit in the package of documents a card with samples of signatures and a seal imprint, which is certified by a notary in the Republic of Moldova, abroad or in a bank branch.
The card with sample signatures and seal imprint should contain the following information:
- address and full name of the account holder;
- names and patronymics of persons appointed to manage accounts and sign payment documents;
- directly sample signatures of the persons concerned.
Non-resident legal entities that do not have tax obligations on the territory of the Republic of Moldova must provide, in addition to the document confirming state registration from the country of origin, a copy of the certificate of assignment of the fiscal code.
Opening a bank account in Belarus
Lawrange has its own algorithm for opening an account in the Republic of Belarus. To maximize the chances of achieving the result required for a non-resident, applications are submitted to three banks at once: BPS-Sberbank, Paritetbank and Zepterbank. The best option for the client is chosen after negotiations with representatives of banking institutions.
Belarusian banks are ready to open accounts for companies registered in the EU, Hong Kong, as well as in offshore zones (including classic offshore zones). Remote account opening is allowed. The following currencies are available for work: USD, EUR, RUB. It is important to take into account possible changes in the situation. If you are interested in opening an account in Belarus, then you should consult with one of the experts of the Lawrange AK team on this issue.
How can a non-resident company open an account in a bank of Ukraine?
The opportunity for non-resident companies to open accounts in banks of Ukraine was provided by the National Bank in 2019. At the same time, the purpose of opening such accounts is indicated in the corresponding Resolution of the NBU. This is an entrepreneurial activity on the territory of Ukraine.
Important! The key requirement for non-residents wishing to open accounts in banking institutions of Ukraine is the presence of documentary evidence of the origin of capital (regardless of whether it is received on the territory Ukraine or transferred from a foreign bank account).
For information! In Ukraine, an authorized person can open an account, as well as manage this account on the basis of a power of attorney. There is no longer a mandatory requirement to submit cards with sample signatures and seals to banks. A change in the name of a legal entity does not lead to the closure of the existing accounts of that entity.
Documents and information from a non-resident:
- application and questionnaire in the form of standard banking forms;
- extract from the commercial, banking or court register from the country where the company is located;
- order of appointment or minutes of the general meeting of founders on the election or appointment of a manager (to confirm the authority to open and manage the account);
- schematic representation of the company’s ownership structure;
- optional – a power of attorney in the name of a person who has the right to open and manage the account (legalized or certified copy by means of an apostille);
- a copy of the document on the registration of a non-resident with a supervisory authority;
- passport of a foreign manager or other identity document.
*** Note: The scope and list of documentation requested from non-resident applicants varies from bank to bank.
Important! Opening a non-resident account in Ukraine is subject to registration with the fiscal services. If a non-resident is not the owner of immovable property, a land plot in the country, such an arrangement is carried out in the region where the bank branch is present.
The procedure for opening accounts in CIS banking institutions for non-residents cannot be reduced to a single algorithm. Legal requirements and banking rules differ in each jurisdiction. Use the services of lawrange lawyers to get the desired result without excessive financial costs and without wasting time.