Offshore corporate accounts in Puerto Rico provide a scope of good opportunities for businesses and investors looking for diversification or expansion, financial security, and supportive terms of cooperation with the bank.
You can find out in this article what conditions must be met to open the right type of account in Puerto Rico for your non-resident legal entity. You will also learn how you can apply for the account remotely, without time-consuming efforts. Moreover, we will recommend a private bank with exceptional banking products meeting your expectations. For more details and to order the set-up services of our experts, please send your questions to email@example.com.
Overview of the Puerto Rican banking sector
The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is a self-governing unincorporated territory of the U.S.A. It has over 143 islands (only 3 of them are inhabited), cays, islets, and atolls.
The main island of Puerto Rico is often called an island of opportunities where any business can successfully start, continue, or expand its operations and contribute to this high-income economy. The business-friendly environment is often attributed to tax incentives, a strong legal framework, the highly skilled bilingual workforce, technological advancements in many fields, and modern facilities.
Under the jurisdiction of the U.S. bodies, Puerto Rico has developed the infrastructure many other territories in the region don’t have: highways, schools, hospitals, public services, and financial services, high-speed internet, and fiber optic cable services, state-of-the-art medical facilities, the largest aerial transportation hub in the Caribbean, 9 sea-ports, and easy access from the mainland.
Besides, Puerto Rico is famous for its variety of tourism attractions, comfortable hotels, excellent cuisine, tropical climate, pristine beaches, vibrant culture, many other blessings that draw many expats to this Caribbean paradise.
Despite the default of 2016 and the devastating hurricanes of 2017, the economic and financial situation in the region quickly leveled off. Thanks to the long period of preceding reforms in the island’s banking sector, together with the protocols and backup power and communication systems established in 2017, many of Puerto Rican banks reached profitability levels in 2018 and continued the financially sound operation in 2019 in terms of reserve requirements, borrowing limits, and other solvency related mandates.
As reported by the World Bank rankings in 2020, Puerto Rico maintains the best business climate in the Caribbean. According to a survey recently published by the WB ‘Doing Business’ magazine, the country ranks fourth in the world in terms of the ease of obtaining credit and tenth in resolving insolvency.
Services and products
A standard set of conventional banking services is available to clients in Puerto Rico, including the multi-currency bank accounts, debit cards, credit cards, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), Trading services (Forex trading, bonds, Equities, CFDs, etc.), etc.
At the same time, the banking system of the state is in line with global trends, developing electronic financial services, and offering new internet-based services. The coronavirus pandemic has prompted many banks in the region to invest even more in technology: Internet banking, Electronic Funds and Transfer (EFT), Mobile banking, E-Cheques, Telebanking,
Stars and Stripes
All banks operating in Puerto Rico are part of the United States banking system, therefore they ensure their deposits with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. They are thus subject to the Federal Deposit Insurance Act and comply with the rules applicable to the U.S. financial institutions.
Financial privacy and tax incentives
Puerto Rico does not have a central bank. At the same time, Puerto Rican banks are supervised by the Puerto Rican Comisionado de Instituciones Financieras.
Compliance with the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEoI) / Common Reporting Standard (CRS) is not required. This makes these banks ideal for clients’ financial privacy.
Moreover, compared to other nations or even the mainland USA, Puerto Rico has the most alluring tax incentives provided in the constitution. Its business-friendly tax policy attracts foreign companies and investors open accounts in this country.
Puerto Rican banks are very much customer-oriented and strive to meet their clients’ needs. They have no strict limitations (except for Venezuelan citizens for whom the U.S. regulator has imposed sanctions) related to the asset storage and movement in client accounts operating in different currencies and metals. The banks do not issue mortgages. Instead, their focus is on offering their clients the most favorable scope, rates, and terms of cooperation.
Advantages of the recommended bank in Puerto Rico
For opening your corporate account in Puerto Rico we can recommend a reliable private bank licensed in Puerto Rico as an international bank (IFE). It is much appreciated by both offshore and onshore corporate customers.
The recommended bank operates as an international financial group in the banking, brokerage, mutual fund, and financial services industries. Its subsidiaries hold licenses in brokerage and investment businesses. Their geography stretches from offices in the Caribbean to the global investment markets. This expansion has become possible due to the 24/7 online multi-channel access provided to account holders wherever they are.
As a full-reserve bank, it maintains a 100% ratio of reserves to deposits, issues no loans, and provides very affordable banking services. It develops technically advanced customer-oriented transactional banking and investment services.
The bank openly states that its internal policy is based on honest and trustful relations with the client. The bank earns on commission, does not speculate on clients’ funds, and does not engage in proprietary trading.
The minimum initial deposit with the bank in Puerto Rico is USD 500, and the amount must be deposited within 30 days of opening an account. This sum will not be frozen, but by leaving funds in the account, the client shows one’s financial stability. Transactions are made in the SWIFT system.
Of all the bank’s institutional counterparts, the following ones should be mentioned here:
- Deloitte – as the best-known auditing firm providing the bank with the right level of liability
- EastNets – a leading global provider of compliance and sanctions screening, the SWIFT Service Bureau
- GlobeTax – provides tax services and solutions according to the FATCA requirements
- Temenos – a sustainable and reliable provider of software for bank customers’ remote access to their accounts
- Perth Mint – a reliable and guaranteed storage of precious metals.
To protect the clients’ funds stored in accounts available for remote management, this bank has introduced all possible safety measures. It uses 256-bit SSL encryption certificates. The software is PCI compliant and meets the latest online security requirements. To protect the data yet more, the bank communicates with its customers via PGP encrypted email or internal virtual messaging.
Bank transactions at the recommended bank are processed manually, unlike the standard strategy in giant banks with direct processing (STP). This is an additional level of protection against electronic hacking, as all transactions are checked by specially trained staff.
Restrictions by country
The recommended private bank does not participate in operations related to money laundering and terrorist financing, so it will not cooperate with nationals of OFAC and FATF blacklisted countries. For the above reasons and security reasons, the Bank of Puerto Rico will not open accounts with residents, organizations, or enterprises operating in the following countries:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Central African Republic
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Equatorial Guinea
- Myanmar (Burma)
- North Korea
- Territories of Palestine
- Russian Federation
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- South Sudan
- Sri Lanka
- Sudan and Darfur
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Trinidad and Tobago
Note: As can be seen from the list, people from Moldova, Belarus, Russia, Ukraine will not be able to open a personal or corporate account in Puerto Rican banks. However, this restriction can be eliminated by, for example, issuing a residence permit of a loyal country. To find out what options are available, please contact our experts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each offshore bank can have its specific list of prohibited countries for opening bank accounts. Therefore it is recommended to ask experts about the suitability between your nationality and the bank policy.
Restrictions by activity type
As for bans on cooperation with companies engaged in undesirable and prohibited business operations, there are no straightforward rules, except for the activities globally qualified as illegal. In each particular case, the business of a potential client will be carefully studied.
Non-residents’ applications for opening an account with the recommended bank in Puerto Rico will receive a 100% refusal if their companies are engaged in any of the following types of businesses:
- arms trade
- cash-based investment activities
- charitable activity
- commodity (over-the-counter) trade
- financial services (accepting deposits, processing payments)
- gambling business
- illegal activity
- internet pharmaceuticals (prescription drugs)
- payable-through accounts (PTA)
- PEP (politically exposed persons/enterprises)
- real estate transactions (unless advance approval is obtained)
- virtual currency.
With a corporate account with the recommended bank in Puerto Rico, you can hold and transfer 13 different currencies, including US dollars (USD), euros (EUR), pounds sterling (GBP), Australian dollars (CAD), Swiss francs (CHF), Hong Kong dollars (HKD), Japanese yen (JPY), Norwegian krone (NOK), Polish zloty (PLN), New Zealand dollar (NZD), Swedish krone (SEK), Singapore dollar (SGD), Australian dollar (AUD), as well as gold and silver. You will discover that the exchange rates are very competitive if you compare them with what other banks charge.
Types of accounts
The recommended bank is a pioneer in bank safety, having launched the Full-Reserve Banking, a policy of no lending of or speculating with your deposits.
Advantages of the recommended bank in Puerto Rico:
- safe and amazingly efficient online services
- the utmost financial confidentiality
- multi-currency accounts
- a licensed bank that can work with both commercial companies and trusts
- a round-the-clock call center
- access to a variety of investment opportunities, offered along with an investment account
- transactional accounts
- flexible money transfer options, including simultaneous transfers to multiple accounts and/or beneficiaries
- issue of the corporate MasterdCard
- remote opening of accounts
- minimum activation deposit of 500 USD or equivalent in other currency
- multi-user & multi-account access
Customers are encouraged to open the following accounts:
- current account
- metals storage account
- multi-asset brokerage account
- mutual fund accounts
- separately managed accounts
The recommended Puerto Rican bank offers a quality and secure service of remote account maintenance with the non-resident clients’ direct access to their assets from anywhere in the world. They can have access to all transactions online via a mobile app and contactless payment option, as well as generate automated reports to manage their finances and spending. Their access to corporate funds has never been easier or more secure.
Bank cards can be issued in any of the 13 above mentioned currencies. Cards are accepted in 210 countries and territories worldwide – online, at points of sale, ATMs, cash points, and bank machines.
Please note that the bank cards are not available for all jurisdictions. For more details, please contact our experts.
Fees and rates related to bank cards:
Disclaimer: Please note that the prices quoted hereby are for your general information only, as they are subject to revision by the bank. For the valid updates, please refer to our experts.
|Withdrawyal / ATM||1.5% + 3 £ (€,$)|
Charges related to corporate accounts with the recommended bank in Puerto Rico
Corporate current account (in USD)
|Corporate account opening||FREE|
|Additional currency accounts and maintenance||FREE|
|Blocked Amount (mandatory balance)||360.00|
|Access to online banking||FREE|
|Corporate account closing||FREE|
|Investigation of a SWIFT transfer||75.00|
|Recall of a SWIFT transfer||75.00|
|Repair of a SWIFT transfer||75.00|
|Password reset (by bank employee)||5.00|
|Security key reset||10.00|
|Wire return fee||75.00|
Please note: Charges are subject to review.
The sum of 360 USD is withheld from available balance on an ongoing basis for payment of maintenance fees.
Investment account (in USD)
|Online brokerage account (multi-platform)||FREE|
|Gold/Silver backed account||FREE|
Please note: A minimum deposit of 2,500 USD is required to open a brokerage account. In case of opening a precious metals account, the minimum deposit is 500 USD.
Reporting Fees (in USD)
|Automated email notifications and digital statements||FREE|
|SWIFT message copy||20.00|
|Account confirmation statement||25.00|
|Courier delivery of reports (if requested)||10.00 + courier cost|
Internal Transfers (in USD)
|Transfer between accounts (same customer)||FREE|
|Transfer to another Euro Pacific customer||$ 5.00|
|Transfer to another currency account||$ 5.00|
Wire Transfers (in USD)
|Transfer Amount||1-15,000||15,001-60,000||60,000 +|
Please note: Outgoing wire payment charges do not include the cost of intermediary bank charges. To ensure the beneficiary receives the full amount, the wire should be sent with an additional fee of 20 USD to be charged and the “our” charging instruction.
The bank can charge any accrued fees on multicurrency accounts to whichever account has the highest available balance. (However, you can negotiate about other currency account options).
Foreign Currency Exchange
You can convert between currencies directly from your account at no additional cost if you open a multiple currency account with the recommended bank. By combining your foreign exchange and banking needs you will avoid excessive exchange rates offered by other banks.
How to open a corporate account with the recommended bank in Puerto Rico
To open an offshore corporate account in Puerto Rico, you need to disclose information about the beneficial owners, the key individuals who ultimately own or control the legal entity. This is a requirement imposed by the government as part of efforts to combat financial crime.
The information on trading accounts provided by clients will be reported to the Financial Services Commission (FSC) of the British Virgin Islands, as a subsidiary of the bank has a trading license in the BVI. However, Puerto Rican banks do not report accounts to the United States.
Who should provide information to the bank?
This is the responsibility of the person authorized by the legal entity to submit on its behalf an application for opening a new account or to follow any of the bank’s requests for the provision of information related to the beneficial ownership rights. The following forms of ownership are defined as the legal entities:
- LLC or Limited Partnership
- general partnership
- another legal entity established by filing a public document with the Secretary of State or a similar registration office.
Important: Legal entities do not include private entrepreneurs, unincorporated associations or self-employed individuals who open accounts on their own behalf.
What data need to be provided?
Beneficiaries (non-residents of the USA) need to provide details of their full name, address, date of birth and Social Security number (or passport number or similar information). The applicant will also need to provide documents related to the legal entity (client company) and fill in the bank forms. You can learn more about this from our experts.
Potential customers no longer need to send hard copies of documents to the bank in advance. Accounts are opened through electronic exchange of documents (scans, but not photos). It is important that they are 100% readable (high resolution). Puerto Rican banks reserve the right to request physical documents if necessary.
Procedure for opening a corporate account with the recommended bank in Puerto Rico:
To open a corporate account with the Bank of Puerto Rico, you cannot do without the help of professional consultants. All documents must be submitted in English or Portuguese. In addition, they will need to be certified by a notary.
Steps to be taken:
- Please sign an agreement for our expert services in opening a corporate account with the bank of Puerto Rico. Send us a request to email@example.com.
- Pay the cost of our services – from 3999 EUR. We accept payments by any of the methods: WebMoney, payment card, bank transfer, PayPal, or Western Union.
- Fill in the provided forms, prepare the documents. At this stage (Pre-Approval) we will study them thoroughly and give our feedback with professional recommendations.
Tip: Please note that the bank may require additional documents that will need to be submitted as soon as possible.
The set of document for opening a corporate account with the recommended bank in Puerto Rico
To open an offshore corporate account in Puerto Rico with this bank, a foreign company will need to prepare a portfolio of the following documents:
- RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS regarding the account opening
- A notarized copy of the CERTIFICATE OF INCORPORATION
- Notarized copies of the MEMORANDUM & ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION/BY-LAWS
- A notarized copy of the DIRECTORS REGISTRY or of the CERTIFICATE OF INCUMBENCY
- A notarized copy of the CERTIFICATE OF GOOD STANDING (however, if the company status is publicly available in online registers, this document is not required)
- One BANK REFERENCE LETTER for the company with some banking experience (References need to be issued not earlier than 6 months before the application date, must be executed on the letterhead of the referring bank and clearly state the length of the relationship and refer to the most recent transactions within the last 6 months.) If the company does not have any banking history, the bank reference letter for each signatory or some other approved format of a bank transcript can be submitted.
- Companies whose business address is different from the registered corporate address need to submit the PROOF OF BUSINESS ADDRESS (must be no older than 3 months).
- PROOF OF THE ACTUAL ADDRESS: extract from the corporate register or utility bill (rental agreement, business license, bank statement, reference letter from the bank).
The list of documents to be submitted by companies that are older than one year:
Original copies of corporate papers
1) CERTIFICATE OF GOOD STANDING
2) CERTIFICATE OF INCUMBENCY
3) EXTRACT OF REGISTRY.
Notarized copies of corporate papers
- MEMORANDUM AND THE ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION
- ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION AND BYLAWS
- THE SHARE REGISTRY AND THE DIRECTORS REGISTRY
- RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS regarding the account opening, authorizing signatories to submit the portfolio of documents and perform all necessary activities in the corporate account with this bank
Notarized copies of private documents of all beneficiaries of the account, signatories, directors, nominees, officers of the company who will be authorized by the Resolution of the Board of Directors to act on behalf of the company in matters relevant to the account opening and use:
- a notarized copy of the legible internationally valid PASSPORT OR ID of each authorized signatory, beneficial owner and director on the account
• a notarized or the original copy of the PROOF OF ADDRESS of each authorized signatory, beneficial owner and director on the account (the document needs to state the full name and the details of the residence address, this can be a recent utility bill, credit card statement, mortgage statement, local authority tax bill or some transcript from the passport)
- One BANK REFERENCE LETTER for each beneficiary (certified) or a bank statement/ transcript for the recent 6 months
Important: All these documents are submitted remotely. No visit to the bank is required.
Timelines for opening a corporate account with the recommended bank in Puerto Rico
If the bank does not have any more questions or does not require additional documents during the verification of your business, the term of opening an account normally takes up to 7 days (excluding the travel time of documents mailed).
To find out if the inspection can take longer, please consult us in advance. We can pre-assess the risks of your business and forecast the period of clearance by the bank.
To find out more specific details on how to open an account in Puerto Rico, please consult our expert team. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.