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What Foreign Entrepreneurs Should Know When Opening a U.S. Bank Account

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It is common for businesses that operate internationally to open a U.S.-based bank account. This allows for more convenience when doing business with U.S. customers and eliminates the need to exchange foreign currency. Maintaining a separate bank account for business purposes is also recommended by the IRS to keep better records. Having a dedicated account also allows for better management of company cash flow.
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What Foreign Entrepreneurs Should Know When Opening a U.S. Bank Account

It is common for businesses that operate internationally to open a U.S.-based bank account. This allows for more convenience when doing business with U.S. customers and eliminates the need to exchange foreign currency. Maintaining a separate bank account for business purposes is also recommended by the IRS to keep better records. Having a dedicated account also allows for better management of company cash flow.

To open a business bank account for a foreign business in the United States, foreigners must provide documentation that verifies their identity. This is to make sure that the person opening the account is who they say they are. The most common way for banks to check identity is by having an employee compare the photo on the I.D. to the person in front of them.

Every so often, banks offer the ability to open an account remotely. You can check this post to see what options are currently available. Otherwise, you can read this article to find out how else you can open a bank account.

How One Can Open a Business Bank Account for a Foreign Business in the United States

If You Already Have a Personal Bank Account 

Opening a business bank account for a foreign business in the United States is quite a simple process, more so if you already have a personal bank account with a U.S. bank. You will only need to provide some basic information about your business, such as your business name, address, and contact information. You will also be required to give your Social Security number or your Employer Identification Number (EIN). Once you have given all of the required information, you can usually open a business bank account online or in person at your bank.

Consider Online Banks

It can be challenging to choose the right bank for your business, but if you're based in the United States, some things need to be considered when opening a business bank account. One option is to go with an online bank.

There are plenty of online banks to choose from, and they all have their perks. For example, some online banks have lower fees than traditional banks, and some have higher interest rates on savings accounts.

Another thing you must consider is whether or not the online bank has physical locations. Some online banks are purely online, while others have physical locations as well. If you think you might need to visit a physical bank location at some point, it might be worth choosing an online bank that also has physical locations.

Hire a U.S. Manager to Handle These Things

Setting up a business bank account in the U.S.  can be a daunting task for foreign business owners. You might want to consider an American manager to handle such things for you. This person will be responsible for setting up the bank account and managing all of the banking transactions. They will also be the one responsible for filing the necessary paperwork with the U.S. government.

There are a number of different banks to choose from, so you will need to do some research to find the best one for your business.

Once you have chosen a bank, the manager will need to fill out an application and provide the institution with all of the necessary documents. This will include copies of your company's articles of incorporation, your business license, and your tax I.D. number.

The bank will also need to know the name of your company, the address of your business, and the name of your company's contact person in the U.S.

Once the bank has all of this information, they will be able to open a business bank account for you.

Conclusion

Foreigners can open a business bank account in the United States, but there are a few extra steps that need to be taken. The most important thing to do is to complete all of the required documentation in order, such as a valid passport, business license, and articles of incorporation. Once you have all of that, you can approach a bank, and they will help you open an account. There may also be some fees associated with this, but it is generally not too difficult to do.

Doola is one of the DAO experts in the U.S. and a trusted expert that helps global entrepreneurs form their companies in the United States. From incorporating to accessing payment systems, and ensuring the business is legal every year, we can provide the support that you need. Get in touch with us to know how we can help you!

Doola's website is for general information purposes only and doesn't provide official law or tax advice. For tax or legal advice we are happy to connect you to a professional in our network! Please see our terms and privacy policy. Thank you and please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions.
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BIO
Arjun Mahadevan
CEO and Co-Founder
Co-founder at doola, previous Product Manager at Dropbox, and an alum of the Wharton School of Business. He’s personally processed over 100 applications and spoken to 500 customers.

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