U.S. LLC bank account for foreigners

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2024 update: Non-US residents can apply for an LLC bank account online. Check out Mercury.

Mercury is a financial technology company, and not a bank. Banking services are provided by Choice Financial Group and Evolve Bank & Trust®, Members FDIC.

Mercury offers up to $5M in FDIC insurance via partner banks and their sweep networks.

How non-US residents can apply for a bank account for an LLC

Make sure your LLC is approved and has an EIN Number (see how to get an EIN without SSN) before applying for 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 apply for a business bank account in the U.S.

2024 update for non-US residents: Mercury

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

Before Mercury, opening an LLC bank account was difficult.

You usually had to travel to the US (to the state where you formed an LLC) and open a bank account in person.

However, you can open a bank account with Mercury online. No need to travel to the US.

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 now free
  • receiving domestic wire (in US) = free
  • sending international wire = $20 now free
  • 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 the office location of your LLC, or your home address.

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. However, you should call the bank and check on their requirements. Some banks will require you to have an actual US street 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 city 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 balance 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. 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 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
Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz is the leading expert on LLC education, and has been teaching for 15 years. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC. He's cited by Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and was featured by CNBC and InventRight.
 
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.

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

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. @Matt Horwitz thannnnkkk youu very much. the website name llcuniversity.com is false, There is information, more than university.
    I am in Azerbaijan. I have a LLC in the Wyoming USA with name Energylogo LLC, I have also payonmer, EIN number for my company and also iPostal address. I am going to work as a freelancer in Upwork. For Upwork verification, I need a Mercury Bank statement.
    But I saw here are some peopl with negative review. They wrote Mercury don’t accept our documents wirhout any reason.
    Mr. Horwitz, what can I do now?

    • Tural, you’re very kind lol… thank you! Personally, I like Mercury. Yes, not everyone gets accepted, but most people do. So said another way, I don’t think there’s any harm in applying for an account. Hope that helps.

  2. Is it difficult for a US LLC and (non resident) to open a brokerage account with fidelity, vanguard etc ?

    • Hi Barry, I’m not sure. I recommend contacting the brokerage to see if they can open accounts for LLCs with non-US resident owners.

  3. Dear Sir,
    Please we have US LLC and EIN for our business in US, Mercury bank refuse to open bank account for our LLC as I belong to Pakistan, its is a humble request to allow LLC with EIN owner to open bank account with Mercury bank
    thank you in advance
    Asad Mahmood

    • Hi Asad, we have no control or influence over Mercury bank. You could try opening an account with Wise.

  4. Hello Matt. I just discovered your website. I wish I had found it earlier. There are a lot of essential pieces of information.

    There is something I would like. Can I also open my US bank account for my company in the USA from Citibank’s or Wells Fargo’s Frankfurt branch?

    Is it possible that from abroad branches?

    Thank you.

    • Thanks Utku! Yes, that is often times possible. However, you’ll need to contact the local branches and see if they can do it. My guess is there’s a higher chance it’s possible with Wells Fargo. When calling, ask to speak to the branch manager.

  5. hello Matt; First of all really appreciates you to discover this helpful platform and info for business persons regarding LLC based bank accounts, i registered my company formation in Texas by name of Baba Entrepreneurs and i am using transfer wise but its uk based account,i am interested for mercury bank or wells fargo kindly can you guide me that can i open an bank account in wells fargo if one of my some relative visit the branch in usa regarding my account and another question is that how i can get my Ein verification letter(147C) and i want to share one of my good experience that i have never seen friendly country like Azerbaijan when last year i was on my vacations in baku and i open an personal bank account just with my passport id in bank of Respublica they also helps me to install an app on my cell fone to utilize the online banking and most of amazing is that they provide me two account numbers one of in dollar currency and another one is their local currency Mannat,well at the end am again thankful for providing this helpful platform and awaiting for your best guideline ,stay blessed and happy always.

    • Hi Imran, to open an account with Wells Fargo, you’d need to visit the US. And you’d want to call the bank ahead of time before just showing up. It’ll be a lot easier to open an account with Mercury, since you can do that online. Hope that helps.

      • Hi Sir I have an LLC which option I should to choose in this options, for example, The option is that, Is your company of Any of the following

        • Hi Sami, I don’t understand your question. Can you please rephrase it? Thanks.

  6. Hi! I want to open a LLC account to receive my salary from a company in the US. However I’m a Mexican resident (currently living here) so I need to be able to send my money from the US to here with low fees (I do have a mexican bank account). And also need to send some money to Brazil (I’m a citizen and still have bank accounts there). I really don’t know how to do it. Need to find a bank that allows me to use wise or that gives me a debit card I can use in Mexico (with reasonable fees) and find a way to send money to Brazil without paying high fees. Do you recommend something? I feel very lost!

    • Julia,
      have you considered Paypal?
      “I want to open a LLC account to receive my salary from a company in the US. ” You may want to explain that a bit more? Sole LLC is your money any ways.

    • Hi Julia, I’d check out TransferWise (aka Wise) and see if that helps.

  7. Hi,
    Being non US resident, I am looking for some guideline in the TAXs. Like
    1) I would like to know about the Taxs charged to me being in Wyoming state as we have the foreign LLC. Also about the Tax brackets.
    2) Also i would like to know about the Taxs implemented on the owner of the company.
    (Self employment Tax).
    Also if anyone can recommend an accountant specialized in foreign LLC filing.
    Thanks alot.

  8. So…. I’ve been advised by Wells Fargo that LLC owners need to reside in US. You don’t have to be a permanent resident or citizen. You would however need a US address where you reside.

    • Thank you Lee, this is helpful to know. We added an update about it in the article.

  9. Thank you for detailed information. This is the best website that contains comprehensive information and thorough analysis of forming LLC in the US.
    Keep it up!
    Thank you!

    • You’re very welcome Henry! Thanks for the kind words :)

  10. I am from Pakistan. I have created a mercury bank. but he refuse my application. I already submit my LLC documentation and EIN Number. Butt Still Reject my Applicaiton.

    Will you please help me. What is the matter ?

    Regards
    Noman Butt

    • Hi Noman, Mercury does reject applications, but they don’t say why. Here are some other alternatives: Wise, Doola, and Relay.

  11. Can you open a mercury with foreign LLC such as Australian LLC? To avoid getting a US based LLC all together?

    • Hi Jake, I’m not sure, but you can contact Mercury and ask. I believe they only open accounts for US companies. Feel free to reply back with your findings as I’m sure it will help other readers. Thanks :)

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