If you have a business company that is registered in an offshore jurisdiction, opening a corporate bank account can be challenging. Some banking institutions will be reluctant to take an offshore company onboard. However, there are banks and other financial service providers that will be happy to set up an account for an offshore-registered company if certain conditions are satisfied. Let us discuss how you can choose a bank for your offshore company.
Banking options available to offshore companies
Offshore Pro Group offers a variety of opportunities to set up a foreign bank account – for offshore-registered companies in particular. We will be happy to help you open an account without leaving the comfort of your home. Our experts have vast experience in the field and we have established partner relationships with various banks located all over the world.
Our experience shows that banks can be generally divided into the following groups depending on their accessibility to offshore business owners:
- European banks are often reluctant to open accounts for offshore-registered companies especially if these are registered in the sanctioned jurisdictions. It is true that having a bank account in the SEPA zone allows making instant inexpensive transfers in euros. However, European banks often require substantial initial deposits from their client companies as well as large security deposits.
- Swiss banks have the toughest requirements: setting up a bank account for an offshore company in Switzerland would be the most challenging enterprise. There are exceptions, however, and our experts will gladly consult you on setting up an account with a Swiss bank. It should be noted, however, that Swiss banks are best for opening investment accounts and protecting your capital. They are highly secure and they guarantee personal information confidentiality.
- Banks in post-Soviet states such as Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, etc. are quite available: it is easy to open bank accounts for offshore companies there. It can be done quickly but the service fees are high and the service quality does not always meet the expectations. Banks in these countries will probably suit you if you are engaged in business operations locally. The level of security of the banks depend on the regional economic and political situation and this can be quite unstable.
- Neobanks and payment systems differ greatly depending on where in the world they are registered. Asian neobanks are most multifunctional. European ones usually have clear specializations. Their distinctive features are low commissions, fast transaction processing, and large spectrum of banking services. Neobanks and payment systems are very much like traditional banks but they do not pay interests on deposits.
Please note: We specialize in opening bank accounts for offshore companies and we closely cooperate with banks in various jurisdictions. We will gladly recommend the bank that will suit your business purposes better than others will. Please apply for a consultation.
A corporate account in an offshore bank
There are also banks stationed in offshore jurisdictions and they have several advantages that may be valuable for an offshore company owner:
- An account with an offshore bank provides for the confidentiality of the ultimate beneficiary company owner’s personal information. Most offshore-registered banks do not exchange their clients’ information with fiscal bodies of other countries.
- Offshore jurisdictions allow lessening the tax burden and thus, having a bank account in such a jurisdiction can let you save on taxes.
- There is no currency control in some offshore jurisdiction and only light currency control in others. Thanks to this fact, banking services are more accessible there.
- Offshore banks are not susceptible to economic risks (as much as this is possible).
- The requirements to the prospective clients are lax and the cooperation conditions are flexible.
- The procedure of setting up an account in an offshore bank is quite simple.
How can an offshore company open a bank account?
Many banks require personal presence of the prospective client at the moment of establishing a corporate account. However, there are some opportunities to set up a bank account remotely. Offshore banks in particular accept online applications for services and implement remote client identification procedures (via videoconferencing applications).
What benefits do these practices bring? More freedom and less time! Borders are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic but you can still open a bank account for your offshore-registered company without leaving home.
At the same time, the most reliable banks (Swiss and British ones) have not made their requirements any more relaxed: the prospective client’s personal visit is still necessary. Some European financial institutions are prepared to send their representatives to the client’s home country to arrange for a personal meeting with him or her.
An account with a neobank or a payment system
The risk of service denial is going to be low if you apply for services to a neobank or a Payment Service Provider (PSP). Offshore Pro Group cooperates with the most reliable and the most successful neobanks and PSPs in the world. Their distinctive features are short account opening timeframes, instant money transfers, flexible cooperation conditions, and low service fees.
The main advantage that neobanks boast as well as their main difference from traditional financial institutions is the absence of physical offices. All services are provided via online and mobile applications and this concerns opening an account for an offshore company as well.
Unlike traditional banks, payment systems are not so demanding in terms of the required application documents and they have few restrictions on the applicant company activity types. Our experts will be happy to help you choose the most suitable neobank or PSP.
How to choose the bank for an offshore company?
We suggest that a list of criteria should be applied to determine which bank or payment system is preferable in your particular case. Checking these criteria will allow selecting the most suitable financial institution that will serve the needs of your offshore-registered company very well.
Financial institution selection criteria:
- Find out if the type of business activities that your company is engaged in is acceptable for the bank. Traditional banks will have restrictions. Neobanks will take you inboard provided that your business is fully legal.
- Find out if the bank provides the types of services that you require (investment, commercial, fiduciary services, and so on).
- Find out if an initial deposit and a security deposit are required. If they are, what are their amounts? Normally, PSPs do not have such requirements.
- Find out if remote account opening is possible.
- Does the bank require detailed personal information? Is it confidentiality going to be secure? If too much or too little information is requested by the financial institution, suspicions should arise in both cases.
- Find out about the commissions and the service fees. European investment banks charge the highest service fees but they are the most reliable banks in the world. Banks in Cyprus, the Baltic countries, and Panama are more affordable. Neobanks and payment systems, in their turn, are the least expensive financial institutions where you can apply for services.
- Find out about the range of banking and financial services available in the bank that you are considering (pay cards, Internet banking, broker’s accounts, FOREX accounts, acquiring opportunities, letters of credit, bank guarantees, salary schemes, and so on).
The stages of opening a bank account for your offshore company
- Apply for our consultation and we will help you choose the bank or the payment system (we will make several recommendations).
- Fill out a questionnaire and collect the necessary application documents.
- Apply for services to the chosen bank(s) and wait for a reply.
Please follow the bank officer’s instructions when going through the client identification procedure. The officer will tell you in what form the application documents should be submitted. Some banks require a personal interview via a video conferencing application as an alternative to a personal meeting. We will gladly help you prepare for all the stages and procedures in the application process.
Please note: Banks normally require that the application document copies be notarized and sometimes apostilled too. The standard company registration document package will be sufficient in most cases. However, you must be prepared to submit some additional documents if the bank’s compliance department requests them.
Please write to us to the email address that you can see above the article or contact us by phone or live chat. We will gladly consult you on setting up a corporate bank account for your offshore company and help you choose the best financial institution.
In which banks can an offshore company set up an account remotely?
Banks in Cyprus, Baltic states, and Panama are more welcoming to offshore clients. Besides, remote account opening is 100% possible with various European and Asian neobanks and payment systems. Request a list of these financial institutions from us.
What types of bank accounts are available to offshore companies?
Every bank will have its own line of products. The standard service package includes a current account, a savings account, pay cards, and Internet banking opportunities. Besides, some banks have special offers such as investment services, for example. Neobanks give access to commodity exchanges, provide for acquiring opportunities as well as other financial services.
What is required to set up a bank account for an offshore company?
You have to collect and submit the application document package, fill out the bank forms, and have a video interview in some cases. Most banks will be satisfied with the standard offshore company registration document package. When setting up a bank account remotely, you usually have to submit scanned copies of the documents first and later, when the account is opened send some document originals to the bank with a courier.