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How to open a business bank account in the USA

The United States is the world’s largest economy and the leading global trader. Many international businesses decide to open a U.S. business bank account to make doing business with U.S. customers more convenient. Although opening a U.S. business bank account as a non-resident is a little complex, it’s entirely achievable. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to show you how to open a business bank account in the USA, including information on required documents and residency requirements.

Can I open a U.S. business bank account as a foreign entity?

It’s not possible to open a bank account in the U.S. as a foreign entity. U.S. business bank account requirements mean that your business needs to be registered in the USA and have an EIN (Employer Identification Number – a unique identification that is assigned to a business to ensure it can be identified by the IRS).

Can I open a U.S. business bank account as a non-resident?

As there aren’t any residency requirements for business bank accounts, opening a U.S. business bank account as a non-resident shouldn’t cause any issues.

Can I open a business bank account in the USA online?

Most banks will require you to hand in documents personally, which means that it may not be possible to open a business bank account in the USA online. You’ll probably be able to start your application online, but at some point, you’ll need to visit the bank and present your documents in-person. Some specialist banks may allow you to complete the entire process online, but these banks may not offer the same level of resources as major banking institutions.

Can I open a U.S. business bank account from abroad?

Because most banks require you to visit and present your documents, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to complete the entire process from abroad. There are a couple of exceptions; some specialists banks may be willing to make arrangements to help you open a U.S. business bank account from overseas, while there are agencies who can do the same thing, for a fee.

What is the process for opening a U.S. business bank account?

First off, you should discuss your needs with a range of banks to get a better understanding of their services and fees. After you’ve selected a bank, you can start the process of opening the account by going online or heading into a local branch. The specifics differ from bank to bank, but new customers are normally asked to come to the bank for an in-person visit and hand in their paperwork. Generally speaking, U.S. business bank account requirements mean that you’ll need to provide the following documents before the account can be opened:

  • Photo ID of the director who is opening the account

  • Articles of incorporation/organisation

  • EIN confirmation letter

  • Proof of personal address for the director

  • Proof of business address (some banks will require you to prove that your business address is located in the same geographic area and state as that branch, while others will not)

It’s also worth remembering that many banks will require a minimum deposit to open the account. Before you visit the bank to hand in your documents, you should check exactly what documents are required, as well as the minimum deposit amount.

Which bank should I choose?

There are an enormous number of national and local banks across the U.S., and if you already have an account with an international banking organisation that operates in America, you may be able to simply transfer your account across. If you’re opening a brand-new account, it’s probably a good idea to stick with one of the Big Four banks:

  • JP Morgan Chase

  • Bank of America

  • Citibank

  • Wells Fargo

What are the benefits of opening a U.S. business bank account?

There are a wide range of reasons why opening a U.S. business bank account could be beneficial for your business. First off, it will provide you with easy access to the world’s leading economy, with U.S. consumption remaining high despite recent economic downturns. It’s also important to remember that you’ll no longer need to pay hefty foreign exchange fees, and because U.S. banks are known throughout the world, you’ll enjoy easier access to global markets.

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