Last updated June 27, 2020

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 Phone.com. 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.

173 comments on “Open U.S. Bank Account LLC Non-Resident”

  1. Hi Matt, Many thanks for the very detailed article
    It helps to clarify and confirm a lot of what I’ve been reading up about online regarding NON- resident LLCs.
    I’m building a Shopify drop shipping business that’s initially filed in Wyoming, as I’ve mentioned in another comment thread. For me, the 2 options are solid ones but due to the quirks of my situation, I’ll need a bit more direct counsel on how to move forward I believe.

    Option 1: Visit a local branch of an international bank:

    I live in the Caribbean, Kingston, Jamaica. W.I – The only American
    bank locally that I’m aware of is CITIBANK. I was at one point thinking about approaching them, however the catch would be that since I formed the LLC in Wyoming, and no CITIBANK branches currently exist in the state, the only way to be able to utilise this route would be to get a Florida qualification done, then coordinate between Florida and Kingston branches to open an account. While both WELLS FARGO and HSBC seem like good picks too, the same issue remains, HSBC has no Wyoming branches, or Local branches in Kingston, and WELLS FARGO (I’ve contacted them before) they said I’d need to have the business registered in Florida first) – Said they could only open the account if the business has a presence in the state the account would be opened in.

    Option 2: Appear in person in the U.S.

    As it relates to option 2, that was what I originally thought would be required, however pretty much like I mentioned in the comment on another page related to the LLC fees of different states, going to Wyoming from Kingston costs a lot of cash, (somewhere around $300,000.00 JMD) and feasibility wise to make trips for getting things done at the bank would make more sense if I could just go to the nearest state to the Carribean, which in my case would be Florida. (A trip could be like around $120,000.00 JMD if I’m popping in for 2 – 3 days)
    So again Qualifying in Florida would make more strategic sense.

    What do you think?
    Thanks so much for providing this site as a resource!
    And for all the help you’ve given me Matt.

    • Hi Jerome, you’re welcome! We like to get to the bottom of things, so we’re happy to help. Although sometimes going direct to Wyoming may be a good idea, it would really suck if you traveled all the way there to find out you were missing a certain document and the bank told you to come back later. Then you had to fly back home, do more research, gather more paperwork, then travel back to Wyoming. That would be expensive!

      For those reasons, no matter where you end up opening your bank account, we recommend staying in town for about 1 week to take care of everything and deal with any unexpected delays. In your case, qualifying/registering your Wyoming LLC as a Foreign LLC to do business in Florida sounds like a good idea. Also, in South Florida, it’s much more common to see non-residents opening businesses. There is much more “international acceptance” in Florida than in Wyoming.

      The big thing to look out for (and the hoop you need to jump through) is that some banks are now looking for more “proof of address” documentation, like a lease or utility bill. So for online businesses, this requires more creativity or finding a bank that has less strict requirements. The purpose behind all this is that banks are just trying to protect themselves and make sure you’re not laundering money in the U.S. or doing anything illegal.

      How to best deal with this proof of address stuff is to call a number of banks (and different branch locations if needed), ask to speak to the branch manager, explain your situation in detail, and ask for a list of documents you need to bring and if they require proof of address, and if so, what kind of documentation is acceptable. Some branches (and some branch managers) will be more flexible if you begin to establish trust and build a connection with them. If you have a good phone call with a particular branch manager, save their contact information and ask if you can make an appointment to see them when you come into town. This can make the whole process much easier. I would call a few locations of the banks below and make a document on your computer where you can save detailed notes during your calls. It’s also smart to consider banks that are within a 15 to 30 minute car drive from the airport you’ll fly into.

      – BankUnited
      – Fifth Third Bank
      – HSBC
      – PNC Bank
      – Regions Bank
      – Seacoast National Bank
      – SunTrust
      – TD Bank
      – Wells Fargo
      – Also try a few small/local banks by googling “community banks in {city}”

      I know it’s a decent amount of work to call all those banks, but we really don’t know any other way around it. If you’d like to share your findings with us, that would be greatly appreciated (and it’ll help other readers). And after you make a lot of calls, send a reply here and then we can figure out what’s the best address to use on your Florida Foreign LLC Qualification form.

      Note: For anyone reading this comment in the future, currently $10 Jamaican Dollars (JMD) is about $0.07 U.S. Dollars (USD), so for Jerome to travel to Wyoming would cost about $2,200 USD, and to Florida would cost about $900 USD.

    • Hi Jerome!

      I totally get the struggle with being in the Caribbean. I’m in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

      Which service did you use to open your LLC?

  2. Hi,
    I am in the process of forming an LLC as a non US resident as a partnership with US resident. I have a few questions and thank you in advance for any help:
    1. My US resident partner is from California. Do I need to take that into account while choosing a state to incorporate an LLC?
    2. Can my US resident partner open a business account in the name of our LLC?

    Thank you again

    • Hi Vojkan, yes, California is very strict state when it comes to the definition of “doing business”. They have corporate laws and tax laws regarding doing business. We recommend speaking with a few attorneys and accountants and consider forming the LLC in California. You may also owe a California tax return as a non-resident. Yes, the LLC partner can open an LLC bank account in the state where you end up forming your LLC. The bank may request a resolution signed by both of you (or they may not) – we recommend calling a few banks before and checking ahead of time. Hope that helps.

  3. We are leading Education company in India and we are keen to open LLC in USA. So can you please send more details on my email id?

    Also, I am there in US from 3rd to 15th December for Conference in Florida. So if we can meet up or we can talk over the phone.

    Thanks,
    Abhijit Zaveri

    • Hi Ahhijit, we don’t offer phone support at this time. As a non-US resident/citizen, you can pretty much pick any US state that you’d like for your LLC. You can file yourself by following our LLC guides or hire a filing services (we have recommendations on our website). After your LLC is approved, you’ll want to get an EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the the IRS and open a bank account. Please see getting an EIN for LLC without having SSN. Hope that helps.

  4. Hi,

    Did anyone try opening a business bank account with the POA (Power of Attorney)? I believe it is possible to open a bank account with the power of attorney without visiting the US in person. In this case, you’ll need someone to trust in the US because he/she will have access to your account.

    On the other hand, I was able to open a bank account as a non-resident remotely 3 years ago. I have a SSN because I visited the US as a J1 student and worked in the US for 2 months. Although it was 5 years ago that I had the SSN for 2 months of working in the US, it doesn’t expire and I was able to use it opening a BOA bank account remotely like a US resident.

    Now that I have incorporated another company, I couldn’t open a bank account remotely just because the bank(BOA) was unable to verify my address info. I am using a commercial mail forwarding service and BOA flagged all those services and they don’t open you an account because as they as “It seems like your address is a USPS store. You can’t live in a USPS Store”. When I gave the address of a friend of mine as a home address, they couldn’t verify that information too. I don’t know what information they use to verify addresses.

    Long story short, I will try to open a bank account with Power Of Attorney.

    Will update with the result.

    • Hi Mehmet, thank for sharing your experience! Was this bank account a personal bank account or an LLC business bank account? Yes, many banks use USPS database verification (see SmartyStreets single address validation) to see if an address is a CMRA (Commercial Mail Receiving Agency). Nearly all USPS stores and mailbox rentals are CMRAs. So for a bank account, using an actual office address (co-working space may work) or a friend or family members address may be better.

      Now, for those reading this, having said all that, this is not a “universal” principal when opening a business bank account. While Bank of America (BOA) is usually more strict around address verification, you’ll want to call a few banks and speak with the branch manager. And just tell them the truth and the details of your situation and your business. Each bank has their own set of rules. Meaning, each company is different, and often, different branch offices (of the same company) are different. And many will still be willing to work with you. Hope that helps!

      • Hi Matt! It was an LLC bank account that I was able to open remotely in 2013. I need to update my address information with credit agencies and maybe USPS so that Bank of America (BOA) can verify it. Because banks compare the info yo entered with some database. I suppose BOA compares it with Transunion database and I will try to update my address with Transunion.

        Although many BOA rep approved that LLC bank account opening could be done with a Power of Attorney, I was informed by my friend that the branch manager did not take our application into process because he claims they don’t open business bank accounts with Power of Attorney. We will try another branch.

        • Hey Mehmet, thanks for the update. Bank of America and Wells Fargo are usually more easy to work with for foreigners. Feel free to reply back once you get your account open. Thanks.

  5. Hi Matt! It was an LLC bank account that I was able to open remotely in 2013. I need to update my address information with credit agencies and maybe USPS so that Bank of America (BOA) can verify it. Because banks compare the info yo entered with some database. I suppose BOA compares it with Transunion database and I will try to update my address with Transunion.

    Although many BOA rep approved that LLC bank account opening could be done with a Power of Attorney, I was informed by my friend that the branch manager did not take our application into process because he claims they don’t open business bank accounts with Power of Attorney. We will try another branch.

  6. Dear Matt, such a pleasure to read through your website. Thank you very much for all the information in your articles and in your replies to comments.

    I have a question.
    In terms of LLC’s liability protection – is there any difference between a local LLC Bank account and any “online accounts” like TransferWise? Do courts treat these differently for any reason at all?

    What’s the actual advantage of a local LLC bank account over TransferWise-like banks?

    Thank you for all you’re doing. Big fan already.

    Cheers from Poland,
    Zee

    • Zee from Poland, what’s up! Thanks for the nice comment. Glad to hear you’re finding the website helpful :) From a liability standpoint, there is no difference, as far as I know. They are actual banks. A common setup is that the “online banks” actually partner with a real “brick” bank, and the brick bank is the FDIC insurer. Since we don’t use TransferWise ourselves, I can’t speak on all the pros and cons. I’m sure there are, but you can grab a TransferWise account, use it, and see for yourself (please feel free to reply to this comment with your own review – I’m sure it’ll help others). If it’s really needed in the future, it’s best to hop on a plane and come open an LLC bank account yourself. Of course, call the bank ahead of time, speak to the branch manager, and make sure you have all the documentation they need. Regarding TransferWise, on a positive note, we have an account, and have emailed support a few times. They are fast to reply, knowledgable and friendly. And it seems like they’re trying to build something great. Let’s hope they can do it. Hope that helps!

      • Dear Matt,
        not only the banks! You also are fast to reply, knowledgable and friendly and you have built something great. Thank you for that.
        Ok, good.
        I will set up TransferWise company account – but IF they need EIN number, I will have a problem, as I registered my LLC recently and tried to call in to apply for EIN – BUT I can only do it per fax or mail and due to government shutdown it will not be processed!.. Damn. Any idea how to go around it, if possible at all?
        Thanks Matt. You’re awesome.
        Cheers,
        Zee

        • Hi Zee,

          did you get your fax tru the busy line? I have the same problem.

          Thanks,
          Ville

          • Ville,

            I haven’t tried yet. I need to find a fax machine first..? (I thought dinosaurs are gone! Lol)
            I only called and spoke to them on the phone (IRS website says it’s possible to use the phone for non-US residents like myself but – it’s not).
            When I manage the process I’ll update you guys.
            If you have another solution, I’d appreciate yours too.
            Cheers,
            Zee

          • Hi Ville,

            try now!
            I just got my fax thru today.

            Hope it works for you too.
            I used myfaxcentral website + tons of LLCuniversity’s help!

            Cheers,
            Zee

            • Zee, awesome to hear man! And thanks for sharing that you weren’t able to get an EIN by phone. Sooooo many websites still have this information and it’s just wrong. We try to explain this to people in our how to get an EIN without SSN lesson, but still… this has to be one of the biggest misinformations for US foreigners trying to get an EIN. Anyway, glad you got everything sorted!

              • Matt,

                I even paid for this mis-information! It was a part of a new course how to sell on amazon – funny, eh?

                Anyways. I’m more clever now thanks to you and the nice lady on the phone at IRS :)

                My next step is to understand all kinds of taxation I need to take care of. I am dreaming of one great international tax advisor. My situation is quite complex! Anyways, wish me luck :)

                Cheers!
                Your biggest fan – Zee

                • Well what happens is sites just copy other sites, not knowing it’s wrong. So it spreads like a mini virus of misinformation. Yea, crap like that drives us crazy! It’s a part of our mission to bring more transparency and accuracy to the LLC industry :) Oh man… taxes. Lol fun! I’d love to hear what you come up with. Feel free to send an email on that if you’d like. Thanks again man. Really appreciate your positive vibes and awesome comments!

              • Just a small update, I checked again if finally I can link my transferwise account to paypal as apparently someone has succeeded (see https://www.paypal-community.com/t5/My-Money/How-to-connect-a-TransferWise-bank-account-with-PayPal/m-p/1609810/highlight/false#M22000) but now I get already stuck at the level of entering my transferwise data. … “We are unable to process your request at this time. Please try again later.” So it seems nothing has changed but maybe someone can try to phone the support of paypal

          • Hey Ville, the government shutdown is over now. You should be able to send the fax!

        • Thank you very much my friend :) I know, that government shut down was a major pain! Good news though, government is back online! The approval times may be a bit delayed since they’re a bit backed up now, but if your fax went through, then it’s in the system. Just have to be patient now ;)

          • Hey hey!

            I just received a fax with my EIN number innit! So cool and so happy!

            Thanks again Matt for all the help!

            Cheers from Poland,
            Zee

            • Heck yea man! Nice! Glad you were able to get everything done successfully. Congratulations :)

  7. Hi,

    Do you know if US banks can open multi-currency accounts (EUR/USD) for a foreign owned LLC?

    Thanks

    Mark

    • Hi Mark, that’s a great question. Not sure. Best to hop on the phone and make some calls. Feel free to share any of your findings if you’d like :) Thanks.

  8. Hi Matt,
    An existing LLC in business since 2009, is wholly owned by a foreign entity. None of those owners are in the US either. The business is registered as Manager Managed which is good. What happens if that manager leaves the company? How do we transfer all authority legally and if the bank account with Chase was opened incorrectly stating he is the owner what is the best way forward especially to avoid a bank account being put on hold or freeze.

    • Hi Anntajie, I’m afraid this question is beyond what we can answer at this point. You’ll want to look at the LLC’s Operating Agreement and it’s best practice to consult a qualified attorney. It’s also a good idea to call the bank and speak with the branch manager. Thanks for your understanding and hope that helps.

  9. Hi Matt, I plan to open an LLC and I’m trying to find out all the information I need and your advice is gold! Just wanted to thank you for the content. Cheers!

    • Hey David, you’re very welcome! Thanks for the awesome comment :)

  10. I am from Pakistan after doing some research I found CitiBank have branch in my country so, Is I told them I need to open a USA Bank account?

    • Hi Sami, you’ll want to tell them you are forming a U.S. LLC and specifically ask about a US business account for the LLC (not a personal account). Hope that helps.

  11. Hey Matt,
    Thank You for this informative article.
    Well, If I’ve seen this earlier, this could’ve saved me lots of time and money.
    I already formed an LLC in Delaware and they cost around USD 300/Year just to keep the LLC alive, regardless of the registered agent fee.
    Now I’m in the process of transferring my LLC to Wyoming.
    They server the purpose and they are cheap. Just USD 50/year

    I’m still trying to set up a US bank account for me and it seems if I need an account, I have to be there no matter what.

    Thank You again and Keep sharing the knowledge.

    Best,
    The Beard Guy

    • Hey Beard Guy, you’re very welcome! You can either dissolve the Delaware LLC and form a new LLC in Wyoming or you can “domesticate” (convert) your Delaware LLC into a Wyoming LLC (and then dissolve the Delaware LLC). Do you have a US social security number? If so, you can open an LLC business bank account online with Azlo. If not, then yes, you’d need to visit the bank in person. It’s best to call a few banks ahead of time and determine all the documentation that they need. Hope that helps!

      • Hey Matt,
        Thank You for the reply.

        Well, as per my Wyoming agent I have 2 options.
        1) Perform a formal continuance
        2) Create a new LLC in Wyoming with the same name

        I’m thinking of the options #2 as it is less expensive and literally take around 24hrs [As per them] to complete the whole process.

        And I’ve gone through the article you provided.
        Since I’m not planning to dissolve the LLC, should I be still paying all the taxes?

        I formed this LLC on 1/18/2019. Is that the reason I’m not being asked to pay any taxes, just yet?

        And I don’t have an SSN, sadly. So I called Wells Fargo, Chase, they needed my presence and even tried to reach out to community federal bank. It didn’t work.

        So far I’m using TransferWise Business borderless account. [EIN helped me to verify it and even a PayPal account as well]
        That account really helped me to get paid from clients in the US and also now I’m withdrawing my freelance earnings from Upwork to TransferWise. It really works.
        Recently I used to wire money from Upwork to my Local Bank account. It cost me USD 30/transfer and I usually do 12transfers per year. That’s 360 per year.

        But with TransferWise, it is less than USD 5 and for the whole year, it is almost USD 60.

        So forming an LLC, still a profitable thing for me :D
        Thank You for all your help Matt.

  12. Hey Matt,

    Your thread has been really helpful. So I got a c-corp set up in Delaware through stripe atlas. They even opened up an account for me. However they later disabled both the stripe account and bank account for me since it did not meet some of their terms and conditions.

    I spoke to a few banks and they suggested I fly to the US to get a bank account opened. However I have a question if the business does not have an address in the US is it still possible to get an account opened? I do have a registered agent though.

    Let me know what you think. Thanks

    • Hi Aditya. I am really curious about why did they suspend your bank account along with the Stripe account? Even if you were selling some products that come under the “restricted” businesses, your bank acc should not have suspended because Stripe and Silicon valley bank are 2 different companies. I request you to please clarify.

      Thanks.

  13. Hi Matt. thanks a lot for opening the comments section.
    I have 1 questions for you.

    Silicon Valley Bank is a FDIC member and is a real bank while Transferwise offers virtual bank account only. Then why do you prefer TW over SVB? Yes, i know about high price which Stripe charges but other than the price is there a reason?

    And my 2nd question is this.
    You said SVB account didn’t work for many of the customers. what was the reason and what probs did they face?

    I would be grateful if you can respond to these questions.

    Regards,

    • Hey Rock, we don’t recommend TransferWise more than a physical bank… it’s just that most of the non-US residents we speak with don’t want to (or cannot) physically visit the US to open an LLC business bank account. So one isn’t really better than the other… they can both work. Silicon Valley Bank usually only works for technology companies (“startups”) that are located in California and have raised private equity money. SVB usually requires a presentation and a business plan in order to open an account. It’s not that we don’t recommend them… it’s just that it’s difficult for most of our readers. Hope that helps!

      • Thanks for the reply. So, would paying $500 for Stripe Atlas be a good decision since we also get a real bank account?

        Stripe doesn’t put any condition that we can only start a tech biz, so i feel we can use them for Amazon.

        • Hi Rock, Stripe Atlas works well for many people who want a Delaware LLC (or Corporation). Feel free to share your experience after you sign up with them, get your LLC, and get an LLC bank account.

          • Hi
            as non resident, I contacted Stripe and their reply was that I need a SSN not only the EIN which evidently I do not have
            Cheers
            Jean

            • Hi Jean, thanks for sharing this! That’s very helpful to know.

        • Hi Rock,

          I was wondering how was your experience with Stripe Atlas. As a lot banks require a physical US address to open a business account (not virtual office), is difficult for a Non-Resident to get approved!

          Regards,

          Sarah

          • Hi Sarah. I didn’t use them but I perfectly know that Stripe Atlas is for those living abroad. You can simply use your non-US address. They will create a LLC for you and get a bank account opened for you.

            You should send them an email with all the questions and they’ll respond back..

            Once done, pls share your experience here.

  14. For all of those wondering about how to receive money via Transferwise, since my country was not on the list you can transfer to(in St Vincent and the Grenadines), I linked my Payoneer GBP account details to my Transferwise USD account so I transfer from USD to GBP and I’m able to withdraw using the card.

    This was for personal use.

    I’m now in the process of registering my LLC and I’m looking at my options.

    From what I see, I’ll probably go the Transferwise Business account route and just link it to my Payoneer Business Account (which ill open once I have my EIN).

    A bit of losses due to exchange rates here and there but it should work for the meantime.

  15. Hi Matt,

    Good day!

    Your blog is well documented and thank for this informative idea.

    I’d like to ask you about Transferwise Borderless USD account; Can it be use for Shopify Payments?

    Thank you bro.

    Best regards,

    • Hi Dinnes, thank you! We’re not sure about this as we don’t use Shopify. Feel free to follow back up and let us know if you find anything out. I’m sure this applies to many of our readers. Thank you.

  16. Hi Matt, thanks a lot for this article! It is very helpful.

    I am a non-US citizen and I’m planning to start an online business and form a US LLC in Wyoming. I’m concerned about one thing: If I set up a TransferWise account, does it means that the US Bank Account will be opened under my LLC’s name? If not, then can I still transfer the money from this US bank account through TransferWise, to my personal bank account in my home country, would I be “commingling” my assets and be on risk of loosing the “limited liability” from my US LLC?
    Another concern is, is it advisable to use the TransferWise US bank account as my only bank account for my business in the US? Is it good for book keeping / tax / annual report point of view?

    Thanks a lot!

    • Hi Saisy, if you open a TransferWise Borderless account, they have a “personal” option and a “business” option. You would choose business and open the account under your U.S. LLC. We feel the best solution is to visit the US in person and open an LLC business checking account. If that’s not possible/reasonable, we’ve found TransferWise is the next best solution. Bookkeeping doesn’t take place within a bank account, but rather outside of the bank account. For example, using Quickbooks, Xero, or even just excel spreadsheets. The Annual Report fees can be paid with any LLC debit or credit card. Or you can use a personal debit or credit card and have the LLC reimburse you for the expense. Hope that helps!

  17. Hi Matt, thank you very for your content, thanks to this article I opened a TransferWise bank account as a non US resident. I faxed the SS4 form to the IRS using Phone.com as you explained.

    So my question is, can I delete my Phone.com account now that I have used it to get my EIN number or will I need it in the future as the fax number used to send the SS4 form is the one from the Phone.com account?

    Thank you again!
    Jacob

    • Hi Jacob, you’re very welcome. The IRS only uses the fax number to send back your SS-4 (with your approved EIN Number written on it… they’ll also mail you another approval letter in a few weeks). They won’t use that fax number to send notifications or anything like that (they use mail for that). So you can cancel the account if you don’t need it anymore. Hope that helps.

  18. Hey guys,
    thanks for the cool content and tips.
    Just want to give my two cents.
    Even if not for a US LLC (which I will open soon) I’m fighting for remote banking for my UK Ltd company.
    I have many virtual accounts (Transferwise, Revolut, Payoneer, Monese, each of those both personal and business) just to discover a sad truth: Amazon doesn’t accept any prepaid accounts, so any of those is useful to sell on Amazon. And as a non UK resident, no traditional banks open business account, as they want company director to be UK resident, in order to open accounts.
    I think all these stupid requirements are killing more businesses than laundering scams.
    Oh the Reagan deregulation of the 80s, such a good thing…
    So before making plans of Amazon riches…just find a way to open a real business account…
    Good luck!

    • This is really helpful Mattia. Thank you! Our main recommendation for those who are serious is to call a few banks in the state where you’re forming an LLC. Make sure they are comfortable opening an LLC bank account for non-US residents. Ask to speak to the branch manager. Ask them what documents they require. Ask them if you can email the documents ahead of time for review. If all is good, get on a plane, fly over, stay for a few days, and open a real bank account. It’s more work upfront, but will make your life easier later. We’ve heard a few bad things about Chase (closing down accounts that get “flagged”). And in our experience, Wells Fargo seems to be a really good option. Hope that helps!

    • Hey Mattia, Revolute business account does not work with US companies … I tried opening it today but wasn’t able to. Transferwise says they’ll have pre-paid debit cards in the future, but it’s not available at this time.

      • Hey Greg, thanks for the advice.
        Regarding Transferwise, yes they have debit cards, I have two, one for business (as a freelance) and one personal. They are Mastercard debits.

  19. Hi Matt

    Thank you very much for detailed points for non US residents opening business in US. I am currently in process of research how to set up my Amazon seller business in US being non US resident and come across your article which really great. Thank you for the job done. I come to decision to open WY LLC and then move on with transferwise and Payoneer as I will not be able to visit US until 2021. After I will be able to travel to US I am going to open CHASE bank account . Meanwhile I need one more advise, if you are aware in my situation after some history with my Amazon business LLC is there possibility to apply for business financing or I am required to be US resident?

    Thank you for your help,
    Siranush

    • Hey Siranush,
      be aware that Amazon doesn’t accept pre-paid virtual accounts (like Monese, Revolut, Payoneer, etc).
      You would be able to sell, but then you wouldn’t be able to take out money.
      AMZ only works in two ways for payouts: wire transfers to real bank accounts and checks via postal mail.
      Maybe, you can try with Transferwise but I’m not really sure, as I can’t open my Transferwise because I’m into Nutra (also be aware that all those virtual accounts won’t accept your application if you are into high-risk markets as nutraceuticals, pharma, gambling, adult, mobile games, travel).
      Also you would need a credit card to pay AMZ fees (they won’t accept debit cards).
      All this makes things really complicated.

      I’m now trying with World Pay, after I read I comment here.
      Good luck!

      • Hi Mattia

        I want to try with transferwise and then link to transferwise Payoneer to get money to my home country. In my home country I actually have HSBC account so will try to write a question to them regarding LLC account in US HSBC. Thank you very much for your advises I will keep you updated with my research. How do I solve. I am not able to visit US until 2021, so the last option will be to start with my home country account and then to open LLC in US when I will visit US.

        Thank you again for support and advises
        Good luck
        Siranush

      • I really don’t know where this wrong info is coming from.

        Amazon DOES accept Payoneer’s Global payment service bank accounts. I know this because i am using it and most of my friends also using the same. In fact, Amazon has partnered with Payoneer to make payments to it’s international sellers.

        • I didn’t mention that it doesn’t accept Payoneer. Borderless account from Transferwise and Global by Payoneer are maybe the only virtual accepted, cause they mimic real accounts, where in reality they are sub-accounts of the company’s account.
          But you have then to factor in other things: for example, while I have Transferwise for my freelance business, they denied me a new business account for the company cause I’m selling Nutra, between other things.
          I’m still waiting for Payoneer but it seems I have some issue cause the company is.in.the UK and they would prefer locally based director. My address is in Italy and the process is kinda in stall.
          I’m trying with World First.
          Anyway, I think Amazon could have made it simpler.

          • I saw this line in your msg and then i had to clarify. You wrote above: “be aware that Amazon doesn’t accept pre-paid virtual accounts (like Monese, Revolut, Payoneer, etc).
            You would be able to sell, but then you wouldn’t be able to take out money.”

            Amazon not only accepts Payoneer but have partnered with them too.

    • Hi Siranush, you’re very welcome. We don’t know much about financing for non-US residents, so we’re not sure. And like Mattia mentioned, it sounds like you will actually need to visit the US to open a bank account in order to properly sell on Amazon.

  20. Hi Matt, Could you confirm if I should open the bank account in the same state where I set up my LLC? In a few weeks I will be in Miami but my LLC was set up in WY. I am non-US resident. Thanks.

    • Hi Jacky, you’ll need to call the bank ahead of time. Most banks will only an account if the LLC is registered in that state. However, Wells Fargo will often open an account in any state. Again, we recommend calling and asking to speak to the branch manager. Ask them what documents are required and ask them if you can email them your documents ahead of time for review. That should save you some time.

      • Hi Matt, as always, thank you so much for your early response. Best regards

  21. Hi,
    I incorporated an LLC in Wyoming, registered agent is also in Wyoming but my Office address is in Europe, it is home based.

    Because I dont have any business or client in the US, most of the banks do not accept to open a business bank account… How can I do ?
    I tried with 5 different NY branches of Wells Fargo, 5 of Bank of America, 5 of Chase…
    only 1 branch of Citibank seemed to be more flexible but without be “garanteed” (first filter). So as I had only one, I cancelled my flight.
    Do you know any other bank or branch that would be more flexible?

    Thanks & Regards,

    • Hi Nico, it may be possible to use your Registered Agent address as the bank address. You may also want to try calling a few branches in Wyoming. In our experience Wells Fargo has been the easiest to open LLC bank accounts. But again, make sure to call and speak to the branch manager before any visits, so you don’t waste any time… or money on flights. Hope that helps. Feel free to keep us posted on your progress.

  22. Hi Matt and all,

    I have opened a TransferWise business account using my Registered Agent address in the US. Then I proceeded to verify my account which required me to upload a government issued document, so I submitted my ID from where I live (Hong Kong). Then TransferWise contacted me by email, asking me for the address where the business work is done, so I provided a HK address. However, they replied that my business account will be restricted to have bank details for a USD account, so I will not be able to receive any balances in this currency, which sucks because I intended to use for receiving money from Amazon.
    Can anyone recommend an alternative for receiving money from Amazon US and transfer it to my home country in an efficient and cost effective way? i.e. WorldFirst? OFX? something that works like TransferWise? no need to have debit or credit card. Please advise or give some recommendations. I will appreciate it very much.

    Thanks!!!

    • Most of the Amazon sellers, including myself, use Payoneer for this purpose. Once the money is in your bank account (provided by Payoneer), you can transfer it to your own bank account that you would have added to your payoneer account. In addition to that, you’ll also be able to spend $ using debit card.

      The only drawback with Payoneer is that unlike Transferwise, We can’t send money from our Payoneer account to a Third party bank account.

      Hope it helps.

  23. Hey Saisy,
    yes that sucks, cause bureaucracy stills behind modern workflows. Being location independent is mostly misunderstood.
    When you outsource tasks, how can you state where work is done? This is silly.
    Anyhow…

    Worldfirst seems a good alternative, but I am in a similar position as you, and it’s taking ages of scrutiny and documents back and forth. Their customer service isn’t really up to date with modern standards.

    I have found peace in Starling Bank (UK) which is really good; Paysera (Lithuan) which is also accepted by Amazon; and Monese (UK).
    They are all good services, but while the former two are real accounts (even if virtual,.not high street banks) with European Iban and the likes, the latter is essentially a pre-paid card.
    So Amazon accepts both Paysera and Starling but not Monese.

    Another good solution I know is Tide, but it’s restricted to UK limited companies.

    I have both Payoneer and Revolut but they really suck (tresholds, policies, timeframes, customer service).

    If you can, just get a classic bank account, which in Asia is not that hard to get,.from what I remember (but 10 years ago).

    Hope this helps.

    Best

    If youc

    • Hi Mattia,
      Please help me out I have few confusions.
      Amazon seller account requirements include US bank account + International Chargeable Credit/Debit card. My question is does Payoneer Global bank + Payoneer debit card works fine for this purpose?
      Since, you have successfully opened amazon account I have one more question being non-US resident how did you cope with amazon’s requirement for USA driving license + USA Utility bill? or did you contacted them giving your home country passport/driving license (ID) and explaining them that you are actually non-US resident having US LLC?
      Thank you.

      • Hey Atif,
        sorry but I’m not of help here, as I still use Amz with my UK company account, even to sell on the other marketplaces.
        I’ll be setting up the US company soon, after xmas I guess.
        Best of luck

  24. Hi there,

    I will open soon an LLC in Wyoming, and want to open a bank account. Can it be different state that the LLC is created right? Because I am flying from Europe so a cheaper flight would be great.
    Physical address can it be a virtual office where the bills will go?
    Thanks!
    Sarah

    • Hi Sarah, we strongly recommend speaking to a bank (or a few) before visiting. And we don’t know everything about every bank, however, you may be able to open a bank account for your Wyoming LLC in another state with Wells Fargo. But you’ll need to call ahead of time, ask to speak with the branch manager, and go over the details with them. Banking rules in the US are not “black and white” (things vary). Wells Fargo is the only national bank that we’ve known to do this… however, not every location will do this (again, you’ll need to call around). And most other banks will only open a bank account in the state where the LLC is formed (or registered as a “foreign LLC“). Hope that helps.

      • Thanks for your reply Matt!

        I have several Wells Fargo brunches and all require a physical address for opening an account. Even if I explained that I am a non resident and the business is online, they don’t accept virtual offices, or registrant agent address!

        Anyone can recommend what to do?

        Regards,

        Sarah

        • Hi Sarah, you’re welcome. We recently opened an LLC checking account at Wells Fargo using the Registered Agent address as the physical address. We have a few bank accounts set up like this.

  25. Hi Matt,

    Awesome article thank you! We are a UK business with an LLC based in Delaware, the issue we have is that we are paid in checks, do you know a bank that will open buisiness accounts for non residents and who will also process posted checks?

    Do you need an EIN number? If so, how do you go about getting one please?

    Thank you in advance.

    Graham

    • Thanks Graham! You’re very welcome. Yes, you need an EIN for your LLC to open an LLC bank account. Here are instructions on how to get an EIN: Get an EIN for LLC without SSN. And all traditional banks (not “online” banks) will deposit checks for your LLC. Hope that helps!

  26. Hello Matt,
    Not a question, but a statement of extreme gratitude!!!
    I have followed your advice since I found this website and you have helped me save money AND clearly structure the process of running an LLC in the US.
    Forever grateful,
    E

    • Hi Eze, you’re very welcome :) Thank you for the awesome comment. Best wishes with your business!

  27. Hi Matt,
    I read some of the above replies and i am having a problem now with Paypal.

    Last December i connected my payoneer bank to it and they confirmed the bank and i collected an amount of money 1300 USD to pay back the investment i out in the business locally

    The situation now is as follows

    1- Paypal asks me for USA physical address to approve my account. Even when i told them about the idea of supporting my business account with copy of my LLC articles they refused
    2- Paypal converted my business account to individual account due to the same reason

    How to go over this physical address problem as i need to resolve it for both wallets.
    Transferwise is not a good solution for me as it doesn’t provide debit card to receive funds through

    • Hi Mahmoud, dang, that really stinks. Sorry to hear that. Which address did you tell Paypal was your physical address? As of the time of this reply (things could change in the future), there are two potential solutions.

      First, Northwest Registered Agent offers a virtual office service which includes a real physical address (and a lease). However, this service is currently only available in a few states.

      Second, take a look at Mercury. They allow non-US residents to open US LLC bank accounts online. You don’t need a Social Security Number (SSN). You can open the account online using your LLC approval documents (Articles of Organization, Certificate of Organization, or Certificate of Formation), your passport, and a physical address (they let you to use your Registered Agent address). Hope that helps!

      • Hi Matt,

        Thank you for your kind support

        I used my agent address but the problem they are asking to get proof of address like a bill or driving license which I don’t have
        They need to verify my address in the USA through a bill, so any clue to this dilemma?
        For the mercury bank, thank you i will give it a try

        • Hi Mahmoud, did you try Mercury? They let you use your Registered Agent address as your LLC’s address. You don’t need a bill or driver’s license to open an account with them. If you don’t have actual proof, it will be very difficult to open an account with that bank. Hope that helps.

  28. Hello Matt,

    I am so happy i found this forum! I am a Canadian purchasing a business in the USA. Dallas, TX to be exact. We don’t plan on moving there till spring time, but i need to have my LLC Bank Account set up, so money’s can be transferred. I am also doing work within the USA even though I am in Canada. This is what I have so far. I have an ITIN number as i had to pay tax for 2018 to the IRS for personal income. I also received my EIN number and have an LLC registered in the State of Texas.
    I currently have a personal bank account with Bank of America, but when i called them to set up an appointment to open up a Business Account, they told me that since i don’t live in the USA, i would have to have a US partner with a SIN number to open a Business account. Is there any truth to that?
    My ITIN and EIN have my Canadian address, but my LLC shows the address of the Agent that filed it for me in Texas (Austin to be exact). As of right now, all i have for a US address is a mail forwarding service that gives me a physical address with a suite number. They forward any mail that is addressed to my LLC.
    Hope this all makes sense. I was thinking of maybe trying a Credit Union in Texas or a different Bank.
    Let me know your thoughts.

    • Hi Don, no, that is not the rule. The information you received may just be a particular policy at that branch office. You can trying calling another Bank of America branch location, ask to speak the branch manager, and explain your situation. We also recommend checking out Wells Fargo (again call ahead of time and speak to the branch manager) or Mercury, an online bank that is used to working with non-US residents. On another note, we also recommend speaking with a tax professional since Canadians operating US LLCs are often “double taxed” (once by the IRS and again by the CRA). Hope that helps. Best wishes with the business :)

  29. Great!
    Thank you. I will comment on here again within the next month or so, once i have the Business Account figured out.

  30. Hi Matt,
    thank you for the useful infos in your website. In my business I have to do many international wire transfers every month. Called Wells Fargo, TD and they told me they don’t offer international wire transfers service through online banking. Other banks don’t accept non residents applications such as HSBC. I got a recommendation about this company: tax-usa.net, anyone ever heard of them? they claim can assist you in opening a bank account without going to the US and my tax advisor told me that 2 of his clients successfully open the account with them. As an alternative anyone has any experience with Mercury Bank? Is it a reliable company? I can’t find many reviews about it. Regards
    Dave

    • Hi Dave, to prevent fraudulent activity, many banks require a wire to be sent from inside the office. I know Wells Fargo allows online wires after you create some history with your account (I’d recommend calling again to check on that). Some other banks may too, but you’d have to call around. We don’t recommend that website you shared. I don’t trust it at all. We’ve seen a lot of these types of companies and have heard REALLY bad stories. PLEASE, anyone else reading this: read the information above on this page and look at all the federal regulations that are in place. We’ve NEVER found a company that says they can open a bank account for you to be legitimate. And would you really trust this?? Think about it. You are putting your money at risk. How do you even know who has control of your account (and your money). Maybe things are fine for 6 months, maybe even a year. But imagine one day you wake up and your bank account is empty. You are totally screwed! The only options that we recommend are in the article above. We STRONGLY RECOMMEND not hiring a company to open a bank account for you. They are not safe. Hope that helps :)

      • Hi Matt,
        thank you for your reply. Do you or anyone here have experience with Mercury? Would you recommend it to receive and make international wires ?

        • Hi Dave, we have heard good things about Mercury. We will be updating this article very shortly to make Mercury our main recommendation for non-US residents. They do allow international wires from inside your account. If you search the word “wire” on their FAQ page, you’ll find it. Hope that helps.

  31. Hi Matt,
    Im non-resident and I have LLC in Delaware, I plan to fly to the USA to open a bank account in person, a problem that I found is that many banks ask for some bill to proof address, as I don’t live in US I can’t prove it, any suggestions?

    • Hi Bane, unfortunately, many physical banks have made this address verification a part of their requirements. There are a few solutions:

      1. Call multiple banks, speak to the branch manager, tell them your LLC’s only address is the Registered Agent address and see if that’s acceptable.

      2. Hire the services of a virtual office provider that isn’t a CMRA (commercial mail receiving agency) aka PMB (personal mailbox). For example, The UPS Store and most “pack, ship, mail” locations are a CMRA. Most banks are able to “validate” an address through the USPS (United States Postal Service) and they can tell if it’s a CMRA/PMB. And most banks don’t accept CMRA/PMB addresses since they know they are just mailboxes and not real locations. If you have an address you want to test, you can do a search using Smarty Streets: Single Address Verification to see if it’s a CMRA. Also, if a virtual office provider asks you to complete Form 1583, then it’s a CMRA. So you can always call a service provider and ask if they require a Form 1583 and that’s another way to know if it’s a CMRA.

      Northwest Registered Agent offers a nice service (it’s not available in every state though): US Virtual Office. The benefit of this service is that the address is not a CMRA. Additionally, they will provide you with an office lease that you can use as a proof of address. The only negative about virtual offices (most of the time), is they can be expensive for some people.

      3. As long as your business doesn’t need to deposit physical cash, you can open an LLC bank account online. Mercury works with non-US residents with US LLCs. You can do everything online and they allow you to use the address of your Registered Agent as your LLC’s location. They provide a debit card and they have no fees (except fees for wires). And Mercury is an actual bank, unlike most other “online banks” which are really just payment processors.

      Hope that helps!

  32. Hi Matt,

    First of all thank you so much for all the information you have given through your articles and comments.

    I live in India and want to start Wyoming LLC for my online software business. However, I have my uncle who is US resident but he lives in Massachusetts where LLC filing and renewal fee too high including other taxes.

    What if I hire a registered agent and form Wyoming LLC and then ask my uncle to open LLC bank account in his state(MA)? is this all fine?

    Or, if I ask him to go to Wyoming and open LLC business bank account there, would they open it while he is MA resident?

    Thanks,
    Farmi

    • Hi Farmi, if you made your uncle a Member (owner) of the LLC with you, then most banks will require all owners to be physically present because of the Beneficial Ownership Rules and other regulations. There may be an exception to this, but you would need to get on the phone, speak to the branch manager and be very specific about what you’re trying to do and what paperwork would be required. Alternatively, if you don’t need to deposit physical cash, there is a solution to open an LLC bank account online with Mercury. In this case, you wouldn’t need to use your uncle and you wouldn’t need to travel to the US. Hope that helps.

      • Hi Matt,

        I don’t want uncle to be member (to avoid his headache), I just wanted to know if there is any benefit of his presence in US, MA I may get to open account?

        Remember, he is in Massachusetts and I want LLC in Wyoming.

        Thanks,
        Farmi

        • If you were going to form an LLC in Massachusetts, he could be your Registered Agent and save you money. But you already mentioned you’d rather form in Wyoming. So I can’t see much of a benefit to him being in Massachusetts. Banking regulations are very strict. I don’t think you’ll be able to have him open a bank account for your LLC without you also there. So then, my original reply still stands. You can form a Wyoming LLC, hire a Wyoming Registered Agent, and open an online business bank account with Mercury. Mercury will allow you to use your Registered Agent’s address as your LLC’s address. Hope that helps.

  33. Hello, good night I have some doubts, I would like to create a llc together with a commercial bank account, but I am alive in Venezuela :( according to OFAC, nor with Mercury would it be possible to register a bank account? I have two brothers who live in the states of new york and texas, could any of them help me? would i have to register everything in their states? excuse my english … from google translator

    • Hi Javier, yes, you are correct. You cannot be on the bank account at this time. Your brother (or brothers) can create an LLC in the US and open a bank account with Mercury if they have a US passport or a US driver’s license. Then in the future, if the OFAC list changes, they can add you as a Member (owner) of the LLC and add your name to the bank account. Hope that helps.

  34. Hi Matt,
    Thank you for the information on your site been very helpful guide.
    I have a few questions about Mercury as a non-resident LLC owner which i could not find on their site;
    1) Do they require a US tele # to open a business account?
    2) is there a limit on the amount of $ you can send or receive via wire transfer internationally? (my business require me sending and receiving wires over $10,000.00 per transaction.

    • Hey Victor, you’re very welcome. No, you don’t need a US telephone number to open a bank account with Mercury. You can use a phone number from any country. We just checked on the wire limits with Mercury and made an update. Please look for “Mercury wire limits” towards the top of the page. Hope that helps!

  35. Hi Matt,

    I see you recommend Mercury a lot. Is it the only online bank that accepts foreigners that own LLC’s?
    In any case, what sounds weird to me about Mercuryis that they don’t offer a phone number where to call them and speak to some human being.
    Besides from that, do you know if they accept checks to be mailed for deposit to them? Most of my clients deposit checks into my personal bank accounts so that they can keep the carbon copies for their record.
    Thank you,

    H. Grimberg

    • Hi Grimberg, at this time, Mercury is the only online bank (that we know of) that is friendly towards non-US residents with US LLCs. They offer email support. We’ve found them to be helpful and quick to respond. Yes, you can deposit checks in your Mercury account. You don’t mail the checks in, however, you can deposit them from inside your account (it’s similar to making a mobile deposit). However, it’s not always turned on by default. So once you open an account, just send Mercury an email to enable check deposit from within your account. Hope that helps!

  36. Hi Matt,

    Just another question: when I formed my Delaware LLC, I set up my address, or mailing address in Argentina. The registered address is a PO box in Delaware. But can I change the mailing address or the operating address and tell the IRS it is in the US at some friends address? Some banks like TIAA Bank doesn’t let me open an account if my operating address is outside the US. Can this workaraound work?
    Thank you!

    Grünberg

    • Hi Grünberg, to clarify, a Delaware LLC has only one address on its Certificate of Formation. That is the Delaware Registered Agent address. The other address you’re talking about sounds like the address on file with the IRS for your LLC EIN Number. The IRS considers this address a “mailing address”. The mailing address with the IRS can be a US address or it can be a non-US address. However, you are right. Most banks want to see a US address on your EIN Confirmation Letter (or EIN Verification Letter). You can change your address at anytime with the IRS by filing Form 8822-B. We have instructions here: change LLC address with IRS. Hope that helps!

      • Hi Matt,

        Thank you for all the energy you put on helping all of us foreigners that try to survive after this Patriot act.
        So, you said we can change the mailing address that the IRS has on file for us and maybe that will help when applying to a business account on an American bank, but if you do that, would you loose your condition of non-resident and therefore, you’ll have to pay a lot more taxes in Delaware?
        Thank you

        • You’re very welcome. We plan to launch a comprehensive guide on LLC formation for non-US residents soon. We’ve been wanting to put something out for a while, but there wasn’t a solution for a long time to make banking easy. No, changing the LLC’s mailing address with the IRS doesn’t make you a US resident. Residency happens by actually being/residing in the US. Please see IRS: Substantial Presence Test for more information. Hope that helps.

  37. Hi Matt,

    I’ve seen that Andreesen Horowitz is a venture capitalist that is investing money in this Mercury bank you are recommending. Do you have any affiliation with them considering your last name?
    Thank you,

    • Haha, that would be cool ;) But nope, no affiliation with Andreessen Horowitz. His last name has has two “o”‘s instead of one “o”.

  38. hey there, just an additional info…

    they also accept US drivers license or US id if valid for non-residents…
    it is useful for those that lived in US for some time and got one of those and of course did not kept the bank account open as myself… and now require that…

    another good alternative is Payneer too, work 100% EIN… they even ship the debit card overseas if u provide proof of address, but it is a virtual bank account, it is not possible to do direct debit

    • Hey Thiago, thank you for that tip! That’s very helpful to know.

  39. Hi Matt,

    It’s me, Grimberg again. I followed your advise and opened an account at Mercury. You mentioned before that if we are foreigners and we are not residents in the US, if we formed a Delaware LLC registering an address in Delaware for the registered agent, then the LLC address is that same DE address and our foreign address is just the mailing address, right? So, in the invoices we give out to our US clients, we should use the address we are physically located which is our mailing address as well or we should use the Delaware address of the registered agent we are paying to?
    Thank you,

    Grimberg

    • Hi Grimberg, invoices are pretty flexible documents, so you can use any address you’d like. If people will be physically sending payment, we recommend having that sent directly to you.

    • hi grimberg,
      can u share ur experince with us plz, how was it to open an account with mercure for u as a foriegner?
      THANKS
      THANKS TO THE LLC UNIVERSITY

  40. Hi Matt

    Thank you for your previos answerings, they are very helpful!

    I am concering about – Can Belarusian citizens incorparate an LLC and bank account in US. Is there exist any barriers ?

    thanks
    Ilya

    • Hi Ilya, at this time, Belarusian citizens cannot open a US bank account because Belarus is listed on the OFAC Restricted Countries list.

      • Thanks, and what’s about mercury, as I was informed they don’t have any restrictions for Belarus citizens. Is that true ?

  41. 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!

    Best,
    Herman

    • 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 Phone.com or Sonetel. Phone.com provides a bill, which may be accepted by banks. Sonetel may provide a bill, but I’m not sure. I know that Phone.com 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.

      TransferWise
      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.

      Zenus
      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!

  42. 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?
    Thanks!
    Herman

    • 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.

  43. 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.

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

    • 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?

      • 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.

      • 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.

  44. 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.

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

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

        • 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.

  45. Hi Matt,

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

    Grimberg

    • 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.

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

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

  47. 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.

    • 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.

  48. 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!

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

  49. 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

    • 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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