If you live overseas and would like to start a business in the USA, you’ll need a US bank account. This is relevant whether you plan to have a physical presence in a particular state or conduct sales online.
Do I need a US bank account if I live abroad?
In order to benefit from the limited liability status LLCs afford, you’ll need to open a business bank account for your company. While there’s no law requiring LLCs to have domestic bank accounts, having a US bank account makes business much easier for you and your clients. (Otherwise, you’ll face complications with foreign exchange rates and IRS record-keeping requirements.)
How do I get a US bank account as a non-resident?
Obtaining a US bank account as a non-US resident is not simple, but the process is a little easier for businesses than it is for individuals. Before reaching out to a bank, you’ll need to complete a few crucial steps:
- File formation documents with a US state
- Secure a Registered Agent
- Obtain an EIN from the Internal Revenue Service
After you set up your LLC, you’ll want to contact the bank with which you intend to do business and make sure they’re willing to open bank accounts for non-US citizens. If they’re onboard, you’ll need to provide the following information:
- Passport and an ID card/driver’s license from your home country
- Articles of Organization
- LLC Operating Agreement
- Proof of your LLC’s US address. Some banks may also require you to list your address from your home country.
The bank you choose may require additional documents, so it’s a good idea to call ahead and ask.
Do I have to be in the US to open a US bank account?
Not necessarily. It used to be the case that anyone living outside the U.S. needed to be in the country to open an American bank account. (In many cases, that meant making an international trip just to get a bank account.) However, some online banks (Mercury, Silicon Valley Bank, EverBank, among others) may allow you to open an account without leaving your living room, which means you won’t have to travel to the US to bank here.