A checklist for foreign companies opening a business bank account in the United States

Opening a business bank account is a great way to separate your finances from company funds. This way, you can manage company assets professionally. The United States is the world’s largest global trader and has the largest economy. Opening a corporate bank account in this country makes trading with US residents convenient and cheap.

In particular, opening an account in the United States as a foreign company is complex but achievable. It would help if you were prepared and equipped with knowledge about what you should have for a successful account opening. Below is a checklist of some of the things you need:

1. Know the types of accounts available

When you open a bank account, you need to know what types of accounts the bank offers its customers. From there, you can choose the type of account that suits your purpose. Typically, banks offer you three main account options:

  • Current account: This should be your company’s main account. Your business uses this account to receive payments from customers and send money for goods and services.
  • Savings account: This is a deposit account that you can use to save money separately from your transactions. The account earns interest as it grows.
  • Credit account: This serves as a backup and financial cushion account. You access it when you want extra cash for the business. Also, when you borrow on credit, this is the account you use.

You can select these main account types when opening a US offshore bank account. Know your business needs and choose an appropriate account to get the most out of it.

2. Identify a suitable bank

There is a large pool of US banks to choose from, including local and international banks. Some of the best known banks include:

  • hunting bank
  • Capital one
  • Bank of America
  • Wells Fargo
A checklist for foreign companies opening a business bank account in the United States

Each of the banks above has unique advantages; find out what they are and select the right one for you. For example, some are entirely focused on the US market with branch and ATM networks in various states. On the other hand, others are international and have chartered branches in other regions like Asia and Europe. If you are opening a US bank account from Australia, you can choose a bank with branches on the mainland, making it easily accessible for your business.

3. Check banking policies

Banks have different policies on opening accounts, especially from a foreign country. These policies vary widely and you shouldn’t assume anything. Instead, task your legal team with reviewing these policies, so you don’t get caught on the wrong side and lose your money.

Despite their respective policies, you should pay attention to state and federal regulations. Make sure the bank follows them to protect your money. If a particular bank has policies favoring your business, that’s your choice.

4. Online bank account opening

Unlike in the past, remote account opening is no longer typical. Today, US banks require a physical presence when opening your first account, but you can open other bank accounts online. Therefore, once you have selected a bank, you need to check their overseas account opening alternatives and make arrangements.

The good thing is that after opening the account, you can access online banking through a mobile application that can be accessed from your smartphone or laptop, or physically visit regional banks.

Beware of providers who offer to open a bank account for you, which could be a scam or illegal. Check the legality of any account opening before you risk jail time and lose your business money. Work with your legal department and contact a qualified attorney in the United States to ensure that you are not breaking any laws or being robbed.

To be able to open the bank account of the company, the banks will ask you for specific documents. You must have these documents prepared and ready. Typical requirements include:

  • Passport
  • Company identification (employer identification number)
  • Address in the United States
  • Shareholders’ agreements
  • Certificate of incorporation
  • Statutes and corporate charter

The bank manager will check these documents and ask you questions about your business. Be prepared and give correct and honest answers. This way you can speed up the process of opening your account.

6. US Contact Requirement

In addition to the above documents, the US bank may ask you to provide contact information for a US resident or citizen who is either a controlling officer or business owner.

Don’t panic about it; with a local, the bank becomes more accountable to you and can have someone around when needed. The party you select as your contact in the United States must own at least 25% of the company and have a significant responsibility in the company.

Be careful who you choose as your contact person; remember that they will have signing powers and can easily withdraw your money. Also check the laws around Power of Attorney before giving them the ability to make decisions for you.

However, other banks may allow you to create an account, excluding the need for a US person.

Opening a business bank account in the United States for your business has immense benefits, such as the ease of dealing with your US clients. This can only be transparent in a foreign country if you have all the required information and documents. With the checklist above, you can be sure to open your account smoothly within a short period of time and avoid any online scams.