It is hard to imagine a world without banking services, such as instant transfers, debit cards, and other possibilities. The United States is the home of the world’s largest banks, including entities like JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup.
Is it possible for foreigners to open a business bank account in the United States? Read on to discover.
Can a Foreigner Open a Business Bank Account in the US? – A Realistic Overview
While foreign nationals and non-residents can open a bank account in the name of a US business, it is often the most challenging step involved in the process of forming a company in the United States.
Since the Patriot Act was enacted, foreign nationals must go through a more complex process to open an account in any US bank. The Act requires banking entities to thoroughly verify the identity of individuals applying to open bank accounts, which includes heavy scrutiny with anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism tools.
Depending on the applicant’s country of origin, opening a bank account in the US can result in a frustrating experience.
For example, entrepreneurs from Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Burma, and some countries located in the Western Balkans will likely have a hard time opening a business bank account.
Can a Foreigner Open a Business Bank Account in the US? – Feasible Solutions
Opening a business bank account in the name of a foreign company is not the ideal approach, as it will certainly result in a time-consuming process. Hence, the only reliable way is to open a bank account in the name of a company registered in the United States.
Please note that opening a business bank account from abroad is not ideal, as most banks require in-person identification. Some agencies and virtual banking services offer help to foreign entrepreneurs seeking to open bank accounts from abroad.
This type of service is available in some US states, but potential customers must proceed with in-depth research into the agency’s reputation before signing any papers.
The ideal approach is to consult with an expert business attorney to find a strategy tailored to each case. This way, it is possible to ensure full legal compliance and speed up the process as much as possible.
Can a Foreigner Open a Business Bank Account in the US? – Requirements
The requirements to open a bank account for a foreign-owned business in the United States are not as complex as the process of background checks and identity verification. Each bank has its requirements, but the most common documents include:
- The company’s formation documents (e.g., Articles of Organization, Articles of Incorporation)
- A valid Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- A proper photo identification (e.g., a Passport or ID card)
Please note that it is fundamental for foreign-owned businesses to have separate bank accounts from their owners. This primary step not only ensures full compliance with the regulations of the International Revenue Service (IRS) but also helps optimize cash flow management.