One of the best places to collect your business money is on a US bank account.
Would you like to keep your money safe on a bank account?
Need a business banking that’s reliable?
Want to open a bank account remotely (online)?
Then, consider opening a business account at a risk-free bank in the United States.
Here’s what you’ll now discover:
US Bank Account Benefits
Having opened your US business bank account, you can:
- Avoid high currency-exchange fees of online payment systems;
- Get SWIFT and routing numbers of US bank;
- Enjoy online banking on your mobile, laptop, and desktop right away;
- Receive business debit cards for any corporate purchases;
- Deposit money into your business bank account;
- Accept payments (wire transfers) in US dollars from American and other clients all over the world;
- Make electronic payments (ACH debit);
- Receive incoming domestic and international wires;
- Send outgoing domestic and international wires;
- Open merchant accounts with PayPal Business, Stripe, and other payment gateways;
- Transfer money from accounts with Payoneer, TransferWise, Revolut, Brex, and other online payment systems;
- Open an Amazon business account;
- Get checkbook and deposit checks via mobile banking app; and
- Open a corporate credit account and get a credit card to build your credit history.
Business Bank Account
Starting an American business requires opening a business bank account (aka corporate account) in the US.
Opening a business bank account is, in turn, one of the reasons for you to register a company in the US in the first place.
As you likely know, business account allows your company to receive and pay money for your business activities. This tool is also a handy tool for your internet banking. Besides, your commercial bank account is a safe place to keep your enterprise money.
Notably, the US bank accounts are FDIC insured for $250,000.
What accounts can you expect to open in the US?
Types of Accounts
There are 3 main types of accounts:
- checking account;
- savings account; and
- credit account.
Each account has its own designation. The checking account is your main business account. You can use it to receive payment for your goods or services as well as pay for goods and services of others.
The savings account, in turn, is essentially your deposit account. It saves your money in a separate place. The savings account also earns you a bit of interest.
Finally, the credit account is your backup account. Should your business need some extra funds, you can borrow them via your credit account. It can thus provide you a financial cushion.
Having opened a credit card account, you can build your credit history. This is a big deal. Very few people, nonetheless, understand the essence of credit history in the US. Even fewer realize its importance.
As a matter of fact, your credit history is probably the most important factor in determining your chances to get a loan in the US. Your credit history largely determines whether a bank would grant you a loan and, if so, on what terms, especially the interest rate. Surely, the higher your credit rating (on a scale of up to 850 points), the better off you are.
Small Business Accounting
Your US business bank account is very useful not only for your money keeping, but also for your small business accounting. Your business account can, in particular, facilitate your financial and tax reporting.
Using your bank account statements, your CPA can, for example, run over your transactions, determine your tax liabilities, and then file your US tax returns and forms.
There are many American banks for you to choose from. They range from small local to large international banks. Some of the most popular are Bank of America, Chase Bank, Citibank, HSBC, Wells Fargo, TD Bank, Capital One etc.
Which bank can provide you the best business bank account?
As you might guess, it depends. Each bank has its own advantages. Some focus on the US market, offering a wide network of branches and ATMs around the states. Others operate internationally and have branches in Europe, Middle East, Asia, and other regions of the world.
Still wondering which bank is best?
For your reference, check out the largest US banks here.
We can also recommend you a bank that may fit you well.
At the end of the day, the choice is yours.
By the way, which of the following banks would you prefer?
Upon your vote, you’ll discover how your preference compares with others’ here.
Banks have their own policies for opening business bank accounts. Those policies can vary significantly. Banks have different rules on opening business bank accounts.
Regardless of their policies, however, every American bank must comply with strict federal and state regulations that protect your money. This is your cornerstone safeguard.
Online Bank Account
In the past, some US banks used to open business accounts online. This means that an individual did not have to visit the bank. Such a remote account opening covered both personal and business accounts. Specifically, opening a corporate account remotely required an incorporation or registration in a certain state.
That remote account opening practice is no longer common, however. Instead, American banks now normally require a physical presence in the bank when opening the first account. Having opened your first account physically, nevertheless, you may open your subsequent accounts online.
Still need to open a US bank account online?
While personal presence is normally required, it may, under certain conditions, be possible to open a bank account remotely. Such an online bank account — either personal or business — might, for example, be openable if you deposit over $100,000. Such a deposit may serve as your online savings account in America.
As you can see, online account opening still works in the US. To make use of this opportunity, you better hurry up as it may end soon.
Setting up your account is quite quick. Visiting a US bank to open business and personal bank accounts usually takes just less than an hour.
During your visit to open an account, an American bank provides an access to its online banking, including a mobile app. Online banking service is normally free and user friendly. So, you can efficiently operate your accounts from your laptop, tablet, or smartphone anywhere in the world. This is highly convenient.
Online Account Opening Scams
You may encounter providers who offer to open bank account online (remotely).
Beware, however, that this may turn out to be a scam.
Many entrepreneurs all over the world want to open business account online. At the same time, we advise our clients to check the legality of such account opening. When they question some providers whether opening business account in Bank of America online would actually be legal, the providers occasionally disappear. In response to your inquiry, for example, you may get the following auto-response:
This response doesn’t look to be promising. Does it?
In this case, the email address could not be misspelled where the client simply hit “Reply” in her previous email thread. So, the email address suddenly disappeared just because the client inquired deeper into the service legitimacy.
Even if someone opens a bank account online (remotely), this may be illegal (in violation of the bank policy). In such a case, the bank may close the account at any time. This may happen even right after opening the account. Also, the bank would highly likely not explain the reason why it closed the account.
As you can tell, selecting and verifying the right banking service provider is crucial. Before you spend a few thousand dollars opening your US business bank account, make sure to conduct a legal due diligence on the service provider. Otherwise, you may lose your money.
It is important to entrust your financial matters to professionals with high reputation. This, for example, includes US qualified lawyers or law firms. At the same time, avoid companies having no professional license.
Opening Corporate Account
As noted above, before opening an account, American banks want account owners to come to the bank. In other words, a personal visit of a responsible party (i.e., owner and/or manager) is usually a must.
If visiting an American bank is a challenge for you, we might be able to work out a solution. It would, though, depend on your particular circumstances. For instance, you may designate another corporate stakeholder to visit the bank. That is practicable.
Besides, if you know any US bank opening accounts without a physical presence, please let us know. In such a case, we might be able to help you open your account with that particular bank remotely. So, there may be no need for you to visit the American bank before opening a business bank account.
Which way would you open your US business bank account?
Once you vote, find out the total results right here.
Documents & Information
To open a business bank account, you would need constituent documents of your company incorporated in the US. These may include a filing receipt along with:
- certificate of incorporation and, possibly, shareholders’ agreement and bylaws for a corporation; or
- articles of organization and, possibly, an operating agreement for an LLC.
Additionally, a bank would request your passport, company EIN (federal tax ID number), and US address.
Furthermore, a bank may require you to provide a US taxpayer identification number (TIN). The latter may, for example, be a social security number (SSN) for US residents or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) for nonresidents.
On top of all, the US bank may require you to provide contact details of a US person (citizen or permanent resident) being a business owner or controlling manager. This topic is described below.
The bank manager would first consider your account opening application. The manager would then ask you questions about you and your business. So, prepare to answer in advance. Importantly, respond honestly and correctly.
US Person Requirement
The US banks normally require one of the business owners or controlling managers to be a US citizen or resident.
This US person requirement is understandable. First, American banks prefer to deal with local (rather than remote) business. Second, the physical proximity of the US person makes the American company more accountable. Third, American banks wish to have someone around to contact if a need arises. Differently put, the US banks need to avoid searching for someone across the globe.
Who are those corporate stakeholders (i.e., business owners or controlling managers) whom the US banks want to know?
First, a business owner, for instance, is a person who owns 25% or more of the equity interest in a legal entity. The ownership may be direct or indirect.
Second, a controlling manager is a person with significant responsibility to direct, manage, or control the entity. The controlling manager may, for example, be:
- chief executive officer (CEO);
- chief financial officer (CFO);
- chief operating officer (COO);
- managing member; or
- other individual performing similar functions.
US Contact Benefits
On one hand, you may treat the above US person requirement as a burden. This is particularly so if you wish to be the sole owner and manager of your US company. You may indeed be the single shareholder and director of your American company under the corporate law.
On the other hand, you may treat the US person requirement as your benefit. This is because the American contact person may perform useful roles for your US company. For example, an American resident may meet offline not only with the bank managers but also with your leads and clients in the US. This way, the US person may market and sell your products or services. Alongside, the US person may help you develop your business way more efficiently.
Isn’t that what you actually need?
Lack of US Person
As a matter of fact, we managed to open business bank accounts for American companies wholly owned by foreigners (nonresidents) without any US person. Some of those companies still have no US person to date. Thankfully, banks occasionally provide exceptions to their policies, depending on their risk appetite.
Notwithstanding that, engaging a US person for your American company would be the best practice. This is for you to be on a safe side. Otherwise, there is a risk that the US bank will reconsider its compliance sensitivity against you. As a result, the bank may ultimately close your business bank account at any time. In this case, you may never find out the account closure reason.
As you can see, the more diligently you approach your US bank account opening and maintaining, the better off you will be.
Ideally, the US person should be your bank account signatory. This normally works best for American banks. If this approach does not fit you well, nonresident signatory may still work as well, depending on your circumstances.
Bank Account Signatory
Last but not least, answer this crucial question: Do you want momentarily to lose all your money on your US business bank account? Of course, no!
To be on a safe side, never entrust your money access to any third party. For example, some providers offer to take a controlling manager position in your American company. In this role, they may act as your company signatory at the US bank. On one hand, this may look attractive. Such a signatory substitute may eliminate the need for you to visit the US to open a bank account.
On the other hand, the account opening service may simply turn out to be sham. In no time, you may lose all your money if the person transfers it somewhere and disappears. Strikingly, can you imagine how many accounts such a controlling manager may “manage”? His/her temptation to defraud you may hence be huge.
So, never risk losing your money due to someone else. Ideally, be the controlling manager. Access and operate your money only by yourself. This wisdom may help you avoid plenty of worries and frustrations.
As a rule of thumb, if somebody (even a lawyer or accountant) offers you to act as your company controlling manager, beware. Engage only reputable professionals.
As a matter of fact, we frequently receive requests to open a US business bank account remotely. People, particularly, ask us to act as a bank account signatory or representative under power of attorney. Although we could easily do that, we warn that such a substitute signatory practice is risky from a legal perspective. Instead, we advise clients to open US business bank accounts safely.
Now, whom would you prefer to be a signatory for your US corporate bank account?
Once you vote, check out what others prefer right here.
US Banking Experience
American banks widely differ in how they approach business clients. Furthermore, even managers in one bank may treat certain things differently. This lack of uniformity may affect your experience with US banks. To boost your chances to succeed, consider engaging attorneys or other professionals.
Now, it’s your turn. Which American banks do you work with? Do you know a real (physical) US bank that opens business accounts remotely? Just leave your comment below.
To get help with opening your US bank account, feel free to contact us.