Any company owner targeting foreign markets needs to learn about ways of bank account opening for a legal entity abroad. If planning is not based on up-to-date information and sound advice, you will almost immediately face some discouraging challenges along the way. Therefore, it is important to learn in advance how you can open an account abroad no matter what, where you can turn for assistance, how you can save your efforts, time, and money.
When would a non-resident (foreign) company require an account abroad?
There can be different situations and reasons.
- Your company enters new markets and needs an account in the country for the convenience of mutual settlements with suppliers and customers.
- Your company diversifies risks and opens several accounts in different countries to protect assets.
- Your company has entered into a favorable agreement with a foreign partner who is not ready to work directly with the account in the country of registration and asks for an intermediate account in a more familiar jurisdiction (for example, in the EU).
Whatever your purpose may be, the question is: Where should you open a foreign account for your company? On what terms? How long does it take?
How to open a bank account for your business abroad in 2021
First, you should choose the country. The choice of the jurisdiction depends on the company’s objectives. If you are going to enter a particular market, it would be a wise and ideal plan to open an account in the relevant destination.
In some cases, it is reasonable to open an account with a bank that is accustomed to working with companies of your profile. For example, if your business is in the field of investments, it needs an account of a particular kind, which not all banks are ready to offer you. If you are engaged in international trade, you will need another type of account and other banks specialized in such services.
In any case, geography, politics, and economic trends should be taken into account when selecting a destination for your account. We recommend that you should not rely only on your judgment. You can take advantage of a free consultation with our professional experts and analyze all pros and cons of several options.
We are ready to suggest dozens of jurisdictions and banks around the world and customize our recommendations to your needs. We cooperate with credit institutions of different profiles: some work only with deposits of at least a million dollars, some set minimum restrictions, some do not even specify the amount to be maintained on your new accounts, many are ready to open accounts for foreign companies, and quite a few agree to do so remotely.
How long does it take to open an account abroad for a legal entity?
Time is money, and therefore opening an account should be as fast as possible. Unfortunately, in most cases, the procedure takes weeks or even months.
There are fast-track options, though. We will explain this later in this article. But let us put it straightforwardly: you can register a company in less than a week in many places, but its account set-up will most likely require a long waiting time and painstaking efforts if you act on your own.
The reason for this is that banks have to play by the rules set by international regulators: scrutinize all clients, the new and the old, for compliance with the AML/ATF principles and practices. Non-resident companies that are foreign to banks are generally considered as potential high-risk customers. So, the due diligence procedure to determine the suitability and trustworthiness of applicants is often a long process, especially if the submitted documents are incomplete or do not meet the criteria.
The issues of compiling the right application portfolio of documents deserve a dedicated topical article.
Whatever the requirements, you should not be discouraged.
- First, if you are serious about involving a professional consultant, you will be prepared to avoid many common mistakes, and your application will take less time and effort.
- Second, you can look for information about banks that process applications within days, not weeks.
- Thirdly, nowadays, many companies open accounts abroad with payment systems that are much more flexible and prompt than banks. Fintech solutions offered by such providers of banking services are often more affordable and faster.
To learn more about opening an account in payment systems, including accounts for high-risk businesses, please click here.
Is it possible to open a corporate account abroad remotely?
The need to personally visit the bank abroad for opening a business account can be yet another challenge. This is particularly true this year due to the travel bans, cross-border restrictions, and other measures taken to curb the novel coronavirus pandemic.
However, many of our clients have opened their foreign accounts remotely. Our experts actively cooperate with banks that are ready to review applications submitted online, conduct web-based interviews, and use advanced technologies of internet banking.
To successfully apply at a distance, you need to be very attentive to all requirements set for application documents.
The most reliable way to find them out is to book a free private online consultation with our expert. You can discuss the jurisdictions, banks, their requirements, and get down to filling out the application form.
What should an applicant do if the application has been rejected by many banks?
We are frequently approached by representatives of companies that have already been rejected by foreign banks. How do we help them?
To begin with, we encourage them by reminding them that the number of potentially suitable banks in the world is much more than the list of those that have refused the applicant.
Besides, we help them clarify the reason for all previous failures. In our experience, the most frequent mishap is due to routine errors in documents.
Moreover, as we said above, banks are looking very closely at all new customers. It is easier for them to reject the company that seems too vague to them, rather than to try to understand the nuances. That is why any typos and inconsistencies (for example, mixed up and wrongly spelled names, unanswered questions about owners, directors, or vice versa), are perceived by the bank as a reason to refuse. Even the wrong choice of the ink you used to sign documents can alarm the bankers.So, our experts first try to find out the reason for the rejections and give recommendations on how to improve your application.
Quite often, the mistakes are caused by the applicant’s minor negligence or ignorance of the bank-specific requirements set for the issue, translation, notarization of documents. In such situations, the drawbacks can be quickly offset, and the application may even be re-submitted.
If the fallacy turns out to be more substantial, you should consider other banks and try to be more transparent to them. Banks are likely to reject applications when they do not understand the nature and scope of the applicant’s business or if the company is engaged in activities that are not relevant to the bank.
That is why we recommend ordering a free consultation with our experts – to choose those banks that would be ready to cooperate with you, and then to apply for opening a corporate account abroad for your company.
Documents required for bank account opening for business abroad in 2021
Regardless of the bank, the following documents will be required:
- copies of the company owner’s and director’s passports
- proof of the actual residence address (a recent utility bill will do) of the director and the owner
- incorporation documents of the company
- the Certificate of Good Standing of the company
- a brief outline of the business profile
- the company’s financial statements
- some contracts with suppliers, customers, partners.
They can also request a bank statement and testimonials from another financial institution where the company has an account (if any). A description of the ownership structure, a list of the main customers and suppliers, the turnover of the company, and other specific information may be requested too.
At first glance, the task of a bank account opening for business abroad may look simple and clear. However, the scope and nuances of the requirements for the translation and certification of documents are often underestimated by applicants, and this negligence or ignorance often causes the bank’s refusal. That is why our consultants will carefully check your documents before you send them to the bank if you order such services.
Moreover, we value your time and money so much that we recommend the PRE-APPROVAL service – to get preliminary feedback from the bank before the application portfolio is submitted. If the sample papers and descriptions of your business seem quite convincing to the bank, you can proceed with your formal application. In case of the bank’s preliminary concerns, you can turn to another bank or payment system. Rerouting does not mean your destination has changed.
Anyway, you should never give up. Making new things can be hard sometimes and that’s ok. Our services have proved useful for many companies.
The first step is to choose the right jurisdiction and prospective banks for your business. To book a FREE private online consultation, just send your request to our e-mail address given at the top of this page.
You are here to act. Why not now?