The US is one of the best countries for doing business. It has some of the best resources for operating online businesses including e-commerce and other financial services. This has led many foreigners all across the world to opt to migrate or their businesses to a more progressive jurisdiction.
The capitalist environment in the US promotes an environment where businesses can thrive and they make it very easywhen compared with other countries to open bank accounts. The laws of the US make operating a business as a non resident just as easy as it is for a citizen. This includes opening a business bank account.
This article will take you through the process of opening a business account in a bank in the United States. We will outline all the requirements and the documents needed to complete the process.
Can you open a business bank account without registering a business?
No, a business bank account, as the name implies, is a bank account that is attached to a particular business name. To set up an official US bank account for your business, you need to incorporate (i.e. register) in the United States.
Businesses registered in the US are eligible for an Employer Identification Number (EIN), issued by the IRS. To open a bank account, your business must apply for and obtain an EIN, this will be required by your bank when you open an account.
Can I open a business bank account as a non citizen without an SSN?
Yes! Business bank accounts are not restricted to customers who have a social security number (SSN). Your company's EIN will be more than adequate. An EIN is available by request from the IRS.
Why do you need a Social Security number for a business account?
The Social Security Administration, has declared that "although many companies, such as banks and credit companies, may ask for your SSN, you generally aren't required to provide one if you don't have one." The banks make their own policies on what is required to open an account, some require an SSN and many do not.
Which bank does not require SSN?
There are many banks that do not require an SSN to open a business account, the policies around this differ based on the bank you visit. We have created a list of the best banks for foreigners that do not require an SSN or ITIN.
How do I get a US business account?
You can open a business bank account at any major bank in the US. You can choose to apply online or walk into one of the branches with the document that they require. The process generally takes little over an hour to complete. After you are done, you will be handed the documents for your account and a debit card will be mailed to your business address.
What documents are required to open a business bank account?
The documents required to open a business bank account vary across banks. We applied across multiple banks and made an exhaustive list of all the documents and information that may be required of applicants in all cases. This is should not serve as a checklist but to show the types of documents that you may be expected to present. Check out any of our best banks for non residents, to see their requirements.
- Government-issued Photo ID (passport, driver’s license, national or US state ID)
- Passport Number [Non-U.S. residents] or Social Security Number (SSN) [U.S. residents]
- Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) Verification letter (required by some banks for non residents)
- Proof of Personal Address of Beneficial Owner
- EIN Verification Letter
- Articles of Organization/ Certificate of Formation
- Articles of Incorporation
- Company Bylaws (for Corporations in some states)
- Operating Agreement (for LLCs in some states, not for single owner LLCs)
- DBA (Doing Business As) [if applicable, usually for sole proprietor]
- Proof of Business Address
- US Telephone Number
- Email address
- An opening cash deposit
If you need any of the documents listed above, we have information on how to obtain get them in our article on this website.
Can I open a business account with just my EIN number?
If you own a registered US company and you are not a US citizen, you do not need an SSN to open a business account. All you will need are your company documents (see section above), a government photo ID and a US address.
Can you open a US business bank account with no money?
Some banks require an opening deposit either as cash, check or transfer from another bank account. The amount for the deposit is specified by the bank. You can find bank that require no initial deposit and will allow you to create an account with a zero balance.
Can you open a US business bank account online?
Yes! There are a number of banks that support opening a business bank account online, even if you are not a US resident. You can apply for your new bank account from overseas once you can produce all the required documents.
How can a non US resident open a US LLC
Anyone can open open a US company, even while living overseas. For small companies, it is usually recommended to create a Wyoming single person LLC since it has the least hassle and lowest fees for regstration.
Once your LLC is ready and you have your EIN in hand, you can commence opening a US business account.
Can a foreign LLC open a US bank account
No, only companies incorporated in the United States can be used to open a US business account.