Having a US bank account is beneficial if you do business in the US, even when you are not a resident there.
A US bank account makes handling payments easier. It also allows you to avoid expensive foreign exchange fees. Furthermore, certain retail websites require you to have a US bank account.
Can a foreigner open a US bank account?
Unfortunately, opening a US bank account as a non-US resident can be rather difficult. Therefore, a workaround is to set up a US business entity first and then to open a corporate bank account.
Setting up a US LLC for your foreign business can be a good idea in general, as you can completely avoid US tax in many cases.
A US company is easy to set up, and the process takes about 1-2 weeks, depending on the state of incorporation. Once the company has been set up, you can start the process of opening a bank account.
Until recently you could open a corporate account remotely with certain banks, but lately that has not been possible. Currently you have to go to the US and visit the bank in person.
How to open a US bank account for non-residents?
To open a business account, most banks will request the following:
1) Articles of incorporation
The proof of registration of your US entity, issued by the state of incorporation.
The business entity’s tax ID, issued by the Internal Revenue Service.
3) Operating agreement
An agreement among the members of the company on the rights of ownership and how the company will be managed.
4) US business address and proof of address
A US address and a phone or utility bill showing the address. Usually the EIN letter can be used as a proof of address.
5) Passports and second form of ID of all signers on the account
A driver’s license can be used as second form of ID.
6) Bank letter of good standing
A letter of good standing from an existing bank, required for all signers on the new account.
7) Professional letter
A reference letter from an attorney or accountant for each signer on the account.
While we cannot help you open a corporate bank account remotely at this time, we can help you prepare all documents you may need to get your account approved when you go there. Please note that we cannot help with personal US bank accounts, only corporate accounts!
At Online Taxman, we have helped hundreds of non-US residents set up a US company and open a bank account for the company in many locations.