How can a foreigner open a business account in the USA?
If you travel to the US try opening a personal account. You will need and identification from the US such as a social security or an ITIN number. This number is issue by IRS in place of a social security number. Normally this number is given when the taxpayer will be generating profits or receiving income from a US source.
Verify Your Identity in U.S. Embassy
Some banks would accept I.D. verification through US embassy. A person in a foreign country looking to open a U.S. bank account could go to a U.S. embassy in their country, and someone there at the embassy could sign the I.D. verification form. Obviously, this is only practical for someone who lives close to a U.S. embassy, however if the only alternative is to travel to the USA then it could be a better solution. Of course, this is only meaningful if you verify first with the bank in the US that they would accept it.
A trip to the US would present you with the best opportunity to open a bank account. If you plan a trip anyway and have the financial ability (as well as spare time) to make a trip to the US, then it would probably be the best solution. Keep in mind that you need to bring all of documents, that would be required, both personal and business related. So, do yourself a favor and contact the bank directly prior to traveling to the US to ensure that you have all the documents the bank require. Below is an example of some of the documents that would be required:
- Articles of incorporation s or organization
- Letter from the IRS-EIN Confirmation letter
- Photo Identification or Passport
- Proof of address (Business owner home address)
- Business address should be a local address, so the incorporation papers should reflect this address
- Letter from the CPA/Accountant. If opening the bank account outside the incorporation state, the bank may or may not require this letter.
- Certificate of good standing, if your business has already been established more than a year.
- Certificate of Incumbency – A list of all the directors and its company position. It should also have the company seal on it.
- Operating Agreement or By Laws
- Bank Resolution documents
Other Option to a Traditional Business bank account
There is not a specific law on the type of business account you should have in order to comply with US law of having a business account. You can have any type of account that is a money exchange account. For example, you can use a Reloadable Prepaid Debit Card Account Instead of Traditional Bank Account. If you can obtain one of these accounts, it can serve your operating business account.
Although opening a bank account in the US might seem a complicated issue, it is not impossible. It only gets complicated by the requirement of personal appearance at the branch which can be deter by assigning an authorized person to open the account for you but if you don’t have a trustworthy person to do this then the other option may be considered. Plan ahead before forming the USA company and be advised. Consult with a professional. Call 813-319-5479
Good luck with your new business venture!