Open U.S. Bank Account LLC Non-Resident

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2020 update: Non-US residents can open an LLC bank account online. Check out Mercury.

U.S. LLC bank account for foreigners

How non-US residents can open a U.S. LLC bank account

Make sure your LLC is approved and has an EIN Number (see how to get an EIN without SSN) before opening a U.S. LLC bank account.

Foreigners (non-US residents) can open a U.S. LLC bank account.

You don’t have to be an American citizen or a U.S. resident alien to open a business bank account in the U.S.

2020 update for non-US residents: Mercury

Non-US residents can open an LLC bank account online with Mercury.

Before Mercury, opening an LLC bank account was difficult. You had to travel to the US (to the state where you formed an LLC) and open a bank account in person.

Additionally, many banks require proof of address, like a lease, utility bill, or phone bill. They want to see that you have an office in the US. And most don’t allow you to use your Registered Agent address.

However, Mercury is more flexible and works with online entrepreneurs. You can open a bank account with them without traveling to the US. And they let you use the address of your Registered Agent for your LLC’s office address.

Mercury features:

  • no monthly fees
  • no minimum balances
  • no transaction fees
  • no hidden fees
  • earn interest on your money
  • send and receive checks

Note: You cannot deposit cash into a Mercury bank account.

Sending and receiving money with Mercury:

  • sending money via ACH = free
  • receiving money via ACH = free
  • sending domestic wire (in US) = $5
  • receiving domestic wire (in US) = free
  • sending international wire = $20
  • receiving international wire = free

To open an account with Mercury, you will need:

1. LLC approval documents

Depending on the state where you form your LLC, this will be either:

  • Articles of Organization
  • Certificate of Organization
  • Certificate of Formation

You will need to send Mercury a stamped and approved copy of your LLC approval documents. You can upload these documents during the online registration process.

If you need help forming an LLC, make sure to follow our LLC filing instructions.

2. Identification

Mercury only accepts a passport for non-US residents.

They will also ask for your phone number and other contact information.

3. LLC address

You need to provide Mercury with your LLC’s address.

This can be:

4. Employer Identification Number (EIN)

If you need an EIN for your LLC, please see how to get an EIN without an SSN.

You will need to show proof of your LLC EIN Number (also called a Federal Tax ID Number).

Mercury accepts the following for proof of EIN Number:

a. Approved SS-4 with EIN written on it

If you applied for your EIN by fax, the IRS will fax you back your SS-4 and write your EIN Number on it.

b. EIN Confirmation Letter (CP 575)

Regardless of the method you choose to obtain your EIN Number, the IRS will always mail you an EIN Confirmation Letter (CP 575).

The CP 575 Letter will be mailed to the address you listed on 4a and 4b of Form SS-4. If you listed your Registered Agent’s address, your Registered Agent will notify you after they receive it.

c. EIN Verification Letter (147C)

An EIN Verification Letter (147C) is another official letter from the IRS that can be used as proof.

You will need to order one from the IRS. It’s free.

Here are the instructions: How to get an EIN Verification Letter (147C) for LLC.

5. Complete the Mercury application and verify your email address

After you submit your application to Mercury, make sure to check your email and click the verification link.

You’ll also need to:

  • enable 2-factor authentication for security
  • add any team members (if applicable)
  • and choose an address where you want your debit card mailed

Mercury approval time:

Mercury will review and approve your application in 1-2 weeks. You’ll receive an email notification from them after they review your application.

Traveling to the US and opening an LLC bank account in person

You can open a U.S. bank account for your LLC by traveling to the U.S.

You will need to open an LLC bank account in the same state where you formed your LLC.

The bank that is the most “foreigner-friendly” is Wells Fargo. They are used to opening accounts with non-US residents who don’t have an SSN or ITIN. And you can usually use your LLC’s Registered Agent address as your LLC’s office address.

Call the bank ahead of time

Since all banks have different policies, the most important thing to do is call ahead of time and ask to speak to the branch manager.

Tell them you have a U.S. LLC, that you are a non-US resident, and that you don’t have an SSN or ITIN.

Ask them for all the documentation they require to open an account and take detailed notes.

Ask the branch manager if you can email them your documents to review before you come in.

If everything is good, ask the branch manager if you can make an appointment to meet with them to open the account. This is much better than just showing up at the bank.

We recommend staying in the U.S. for at least 1 to 2 weeks just in case there are any delays or extra things you need to get in order to open your bank account.

Small local banks

You can also open an LLC bank account with any small or local bank.

You can google: “business bank account + {name of town that matches LLC address}“.

Again, just make sure to call the bank to check on their requirements.

Documents needed to open U.S. LLC bank account

  • LLC approval (Articles of Organization, Certificate of Organization, or Certificate of Formation)
  • EIN Confirmation Letter (CP575) or EIN Verification Letter (147C) from the IRS
  • LLC Operating Agreement
  • 2 forms of identification (foreign passport and foreign driver’s license)

There may be additional documents that some banks require. Make sure to call the bank ahead of time and ask.

Proof of address

With some banks, you may be able to use your LLC’s address as listed in your state documents and EIN Letter from the IRS.

However, other banks require additional documentation to show “proof of address”. Things like a lease, utility bill, or phone bill are sometimes required by certain banks.

Make sure you call and fully understand what’s needed before you visit the bank.

If you need to open a bank account in person and need proof of address, Northwest offers a Virtual Office service that includes a business address and lease.

U.S. phone number

Having a U.S. phone number will make the bank feel more comfortable doing business with you.

You can get a U.S. phone number and use it as both your cell phone number and your LLC’s business phone number.

You can get a U.S. SIM Card when you visit or you can get a digital phone number that forwards calls to your cell phone (a U.S. cell phone or a non-U.S. cell phone).

The service we recommend is They have good customer service and their plans are only $10-13 per month. You get a U.S. telephone number, call forwarding, and get voicemail messages sent to your email.

You can also use Google Voice or any other VOIP provider.

Beneficial Ownership

In 2018, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) rule about “Customer Due Diligence Requirements” went into effect.

This rule (also called Beneficial Ownership Rule) is required for all banks opening business bank accounts. They must identify the true owners of business before they can open a bank account.

The purpose of the Beneficial Ownership rule is to prevent illegal financial activity, like money laundering, fraud, and tax evasion.

The bank will provide you a Declaration of Beneficial Ownership form to complete before they open your account.

OFAC Restricted Countries

Because of U.S. sanctions, you won’t be able to open a bank account if you reside in:

  • Belarus
  • Burundi
  • Central African Republic
  • Cuba
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Nicaragua
  • North Korea
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • South Sudan
  • Syria
  • Ukraine/Russia (Crimea)
  • Venezuela
  • Yemen
  • Zimbabwe

The U.S.-sanctioned countries list changes from time to time, so you will need to check the Sanctions Programs and Country Information issued by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

LLC Banking Resolution

A Banking Resolution is a document that describes which LLC Member(s) have the authority to open a bank account.

The bank will provide you with their own Resolution form, so you don’t have to prepare one ahead of time.

Tip: If you see a website charging extra money for a Banking Resolution, it’s not going to be very helpful, since the bank will just use their own form.

Monthly banking fees

Most banks have different “levels” of business bank accounts. They all have different names (depending on the bank), but they are usually as follows:

  • basic account (works for most people)
  • intermediate account
  • advanced account (for large commercial businesses)

The intermediate and advanced accounts require you to keep more money at the bank (deposits) and they charge higher monthly fees.

Most of our readers just stick with a basic business checking account for their LLC.

Usually, banks will not charge a monthly fee if you keep a $1,000 – $2,500 in the bank at all times.

If a bank does have monthly fees, they are usually $10 – $15 per month.

Initial deposit amount

Ask the bank ahead of time about the initial deposit requirement is. This is how much money you must put into the account when you open it.

For non-US residents, we recommend using cash (USD) when making the first deposit. However, if you already have a US checking account, then you can write a check to your LLC for the initial deposit.

Some banks want $500 or $1,000 for the initial deposit. However, other banks only require you to deposit $100 to open an account.

Minimum balance requirements

Some banks charge a monthly fee if your balance goes below a certain amount.

For example, for most LLC bank accounts, you must keep $500 to $2,500 in the account (at all times) to avoid monthly fees.

This minimum balance requirement varies among banks, so just call the bank ahead of time and ask.

Again, if there are monthly fees, most banks charge $10 – $15 per month.

Note: Chase and CitiBank have higher balance requirements; $2,500 or $5,000. These banks also also have higher monthly fees. On the other hand, Wells Fargo and TD Bank have lower monthly fees, or no fees at all.

Business debit card for your LLC

Call the bank and ask when you will get a debit card for your LLC bank account.

Most banks will give you a debit card right after they open your account.

However, some banks will mail your debit card in 1 to 2 weeks.

If the bank will mail the debit card, ask them which address it will be sent to. Make sure you can receive mail there. Or ask the bank if they can mail your debit card to your address outside of the U.S.

Do I need an SSN to open an LLC bank account?

No, you don’t need a Social Security Number (SSN) to open a U.S. LLC bank account.

Do I need an ITIN to open an LLC bank account?

No, you don’t need an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to open a U.S. LLC bank account.

In fact, you can’t even apply for an ITIN unless you have a U.S. tax reporting requirement. If you do need an ITIN or have questions about U.S. taxes, we recommend talking to GW Carter. They specialize in working with non-US residents.

Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
Forming an LLC shouldn't be so complicated. Our step-by-step guide will make the process a breeze – and no complex legal jargon! LLC University® teaches people how to form an LLC for free in all 50 states. We hope you find our free guides and resources helpful in your business journey.
Disclaimer: Nothing on this page shall be interpreted as legal or tax advice. Rules and regulations vary by location. They also change over time and are specific to your situation. Furthermore, this comment section is provided so people can share their thoughts and experience. Please consult a licensed professional if you have legal or tax questions.


  1. H. Masen January 10, 2020

    Hello Matt,

    Just found this website today and seems to be quite helpful to complete my U.S. business entity. Especially the Q&A section contains a lot of information!
    I actually have multiple topics/ questions I would like to discuss in this comment.

    1: U.S. Bank-account:
    I formed my LLC in Wyoming, obtained my EIN (IRS), Tax ID number (Wyoming Department of Revenue), got a U.S. phone number (toll free) & obtained a U.S. Address (iPostal1). This is a Virtual Mailbox though or a PO-Box number. Next step was opening a U.S. business bank-account. So I called a couple of branches of several banks and got the information I needed before going to the U.S. Opening a bank-account in the same state wasn’t a demand, so I choose to fly into New York (from Europe).

    Once I stepped into a branch from Capital One, they couldn’t open an account, as my phone number wasn’t correct. So I obtained another number through Google Voice. Second time I went to the branch, all was okay and they opened the U.S. business bank-account for me. A basic account, but okay.

    After a couple of weeks and back in Europe, I discovered it wasn’t possible to transfer money through my online account, so called my branch. They told me the address (virtual address) I provided wasn’t verified by their systems. I was disappointed that they didn’t inform my as their client and need to find out myself when I tried online banking through my account. Through my registered agent in Wyoming, where I formed my LLC, I also singed a lease agreement for a business address (which is an additional service of them). I send the signed lease agreement to the bank and asked them if they could let me know if the address is correct this time. After 1 month of silence I called the branch myself and got told that my U.S. business bank-account will be closed due to an incorrect address. In was both surprised, disappointed and angry, as I asked them to let me know. I think that should be a service from a bank when you’re a client. Without any explanation! So, now I’m looking for different options to open a U.S. bank-account. I cannot take the risk ( as well time & money) to fly again and have the same experiences as the first time.

    That’s the introduction. I asked a lot of people how they didi it and it comes down to having a physical address within the U.S. This address can be a proof for a bank, for example with a utility bill, lease agreement of a rental apartment or a phone bill.
    Problem is, I really have no clue how I will arrange those documents. I don’t live in the U.S. so how will I get a utility bill with my name on it? How will I get a lease agreement for an apartment if I don’t live there? How will I get a phone bill with my name on it, if I don’t have a U.S. phone subscription? I really hope you or someone else can help me with this issue.

    2: TransferWise
    I heard a lot about TransferWise, also in this Q&A. I do have some doubts about creating an online. If I’m right, TransferWise isn’t a bank itself, but actually a ‘connection’ between 2 bank-accounts. So, if I’ll create an account I need to link it to my own bank-account.

    If I create a TransferWise-account and link it to my bank-account then:
    a) It would be my personal bank-account, with the risk it’ll be seen as ‘commingling’ with the risk of loosing the limited liability.
    b) As I don’t have a business-account with my Bank in Europe, I need to create one, and therefore need to go to the local, European Chamber of Commerce. But then, there’s no sense of having a U.S. business entity.
    c: Or am I completely wrong about this part and the service of TransferWise???

    3: Zenus Bank:
    Does anyone heard about Zenus Bank yet..?
    I’ve heard they’ll open in Q1 of 2020. So I signed myself in on their waiting list. However, I’m number 23.000 something. Which means it can last till summer 2020 before it’s my turn, without knowing if I’ll be accepted.

    So, it seems OR a Mercury-account will be most practical, or need my information right this time before going to the U.S. again. The last one is what I feel unconfident/ insecure about. As I told, can’t take the risk, time & money again to fly to the U.S. without knowing it’ll be successful this time.

    I’m really looking forward to any kind of help, advise or experiences from one of you!


    • Matt Horwitz January 10, 2020

      Hi Herman, thanks for letting us, and the readers, know about the crazy experience you had with Capital One and an iPostal1 address. We don’t recommend these services.

      Commercial Mail Receiving Agency (CMRA)
      The address used for banking cannot be a Commercial Mail Receiving Agency (CMRA). If you completed a USPS 1583 Form when signing up for a mailbox, then the place is a CMRA. You can also use Smarty Streets address validation, enter an address, and it will tell you if a place is a CMRA. You don’t want to use a CMRA address for any banking or financial activities because these institutions have address validation automatically built into their software. Instead, you’ll need an actual physical address that is not a CMRA. At this time, Northwest offers a virtual office service, but it’s not available in every state. This service, or any other virtual office provider whose address is not a CMRA can be helpful for banking (if you choose to fly to the US to open a bank account). Most places that are a CMRA (which is pretty much every mailbox provider/mail forwarding service) don’t tell you about all the pros and cons. This is unfortunate, but pretty common in that industry.

      US phone number
      And you were thinking correctly about having a US telephone number when visiting banks in person. It makes things a lot easier. If you need a US phone number, we recommend or Sonetel. provides a bill, which may be accepted by banks. Sonetel may provide a bill, but I’m not sure. I know that does.

      Proof of address
      If you want to visit a US bank in person, Northwest provides a lease if you use their virtual office service. Regarding a utility bill, you can tell the bank you don’t pay for utilities and it’s included in the lease. Either way, we definitely recommend calling the bank ahead of time, talking to the branch manager, and asking if you can email your documentation for review before flying to the US.

      Wells Fargo
      If you want to visit a bank in person, we recommend calling Wells Fargo and speaking with a branch manager. In our experience, we’ve found that Wells Fargo usually requires less documentation than other banks. However, it’s important to realize that banking in the US is not “black and white”. Rules and policies change and can vary from bank to bank and from office to office. Again, just call ahead of time and get as many details as possible.

      You are correct about TransferWise. It’s not an actual bank, but more like a cross-border payment service. However, the account is a business account that is in the name of your LLC. It’s not a personal account.

      On the other hand, Mercury (which is more flexible regarding documentation, address, and phone number… and is friendly towards non-US residents), gives you an actual US bank account.

      Mercury vs TransferWise
      Regarding Mercury vs. TransferWise, we recommend opening both accounts. Then over time, you can learn all the things you can do (or cannot) do with each type of account.

      We have not heard of Zenus, so thank you for letting us know. We’ll keep an eye out. At first glance, it looks like they charge a membership fee. We’ll make an update to this page if Zenus looks like a good option in the future.

      Conclusion: Mercury
      For now, we feel best recommending Mercury to non-US residents for a few reasons. It’s an actual bank account. They are friendly towards non-US residents. They don’t require a physical office location (you can use your Registered Agent address). You don’t have to fly to the US to open an account (it’s all done online). And you don’t need a US phone number to open an account.

      Hope that helps!

  2. Herman January 20, 2020

    Hello Matt, maybe you or other persons on this forum might know. I recently heard about Radius Bank, which should be quite similar to Mercury Bank. I’m curious if someone heard about Radius Bank?

    • Matt Horwitz January 20, 2020

      Hi Herman, Radius Bank will not work for non-US residents. For all account types, they require that you have a Social Security Number and that you either be a US citizen or a legal US permanent resident.

  3. Graham bradley-gallagher January 20, 2020

    We have successfuly opened a Mercury account, the added benefit to us is that we can can digitally upload checks to the account which should be processed in a week. This is amazing.

    Does anyone know any merchant accounts to MOTO payments (card holder not present), but not Paypal. Thank you.

    • Matt Horwitz January 20, 2020

      Hi Graham, that is great news! We don’t do a lot with merchant accounts, so we’re not sure about that part.

    • Grimberg January 20, 2020

      Hi Graham,

      I also opened an account at Mercury. How do you digitally upload checks? Do they send you the checks on the mail and then you take a picture of them and upload or you tell your client to do it for you without mailing it physically to you? Do you give them an API Token?

      • Matt Horwitz January 20, 2020

        Hi Grimberg, if you search the words “checks” on this page, you’ll see my other reply dated December 31, 2019. You just need to email Mercury and they will enable the check deposit feature in your account. Then if a client pays you by check, you can upload a photo of the check into your account to deposit it. The client will need to mail the check to you. There isn’t an API used for this. Hope that helps.

      • Graham January 21, 2020

        Grimberg, click add funds, select deposit check and follow instructions. Yes you send a picture of the endorsed check and should credit into your account within the week, which is awesome.

  4. Roth January 22, 2020

    I have contacted Stripe, and even if you have LLC, if you are from a non supported country (not restricted), you are not officially accepted by Stripe. Meaning you would have more chance of having your money held especially if you do dropshipping.

    • Matt Horwitz January 28, 2020

      Hi Roth, that is a bummer to hear. Thanks for sharing your findings though.

      • Roth January 30, 2020

        Hi, Matt. Is there an update guide for a non US resident to start a business in the US? Including Tax and Stripe account?

        • Matt Horwitz January 31, 2020

          Hi Roth, not yet, but it’s on our list. Unfortunately, from a writing perspective, it’s extremely complicated as the taxes vary tremendously and depends on a multitude of factors, such as industry, business model, and the country or residency. There are so many conditionals and “branches” to sort out and interconnect. We will soon have the definitive guide for non-US residents forming LLCs in the US. We just need some more time. It’s a beast to tackle. Thanks for your understanding.

  5. Grimberg January 24, 2020

    Hi Matt,

    How do you know if your DE LLC is a C corp or a S corp?
    Thank you,


    • Matt Horwitz January 30, 2020

      Hi Grimberg, an LLC is neither a C-Corporation or an S-Corporation. An LLC is an LLC (at the state level). The IRS looks differently at LLCs to determine how they are taxed. By default (meaning no special form is filed), a Single-Member LLC is taxed as a Disregarded Entity. This means the IRS “ignores” the LLC and looks at the owners to see how they should tax the LLC. If there is one US owner, the LLC is taxed like a Sole Proprietorship. If there is one non-US resident owner, the LLC is taxed as a Foreign-Owned Disregarded Entity. If there is one owner that is another company, the LLC is taxed like a branch/division of the parent company. And by default, a Multi-Member LLC (regardless of the Member’s citizenship or residency), is taxed like a Partnership. All of those are default statuses with the IRS. Meaning, you don’t have to do anything to get them. They simply exist. If desired, you can “override” the default tax classifications and ask the IRS to have your LLC taxed as a C-Corp or an LLC taxed as an S-Corp. You’ll most certainly want to speak with an accountant if that was something you are considering. Furthermore, non-US residents (aka non-resident aliens) cannot be shareholders (owners) of an S-Corp. Hope that helps.

  6. Dusant93 January 27, 2020

    If am from a restricted country can i open a Mercury Bank Account for my LLC in US?

    • Matt Horwitz January 30, 2020

      Hi Dusant, at this time, you cannot open any type of US bank account if your country is on the restricted OFAC list.

  7. Gleb January 28, 2020

    Hi I was wondering something about Russia:

    In the list above it says Ukraine/Russia (Crimea)

    But does that mean all of Russia, or just Crimea that is in Russia? Thanks.

    • Matt Horwitz January 30, 2020

      Hi Gleb, we are not 100% sure on this and it may depend. The sanctions placed against Russia, Crimea, and the southern part of Ukraine are complicated. We recommend contacting the bank you are thinking about doing business with. Or if you are thinking about opening an account with Mercury, please send them an email: [email protected] to check. Feel free to share your findings. Thank you.

  8. Bradley-Gallagher January 30, 2020

    Just uploaded a large check in excess of $20,000 and Mercury website said I was over the daily balance of $4K and to contact support. I did and they requested an invoice and contract information, so we supplied the PO and quote too. The account was increased within 24 hours – fantastic service!

    • Matt Horwitz January 31, 2020

      Hey Bradley, thanks for sharing the details. I do like that their support team is very quick to reply.

  9. Adrian February 5, 2020

    Hey Matt, thanks so much for this and all other articles. They are lifesavers!
    In regards to a bank account for a Foreign-owned Single-Member LLC, what would be the difference between Payoneer, TransferWise and Mercury? Which one would you recommend? I operate only in EU currently.
    Thank you in advance

    • Matt Horwitz February 5, 2020

      Hey Adrian, you’re welcome! This isn’t a comprehensive answer since we don’t personally use these services in great detail, however, how we understand it is that Payoneer and TransferWise are not actual bank accounts, but Mercury is. I think it’s a good idea to open an account with all (or at least 2) to see which features your business needs. Hope that helps. And feel free to report back any findings.


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