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US Business Bank Accounts

US Business Bank Accounts: A Resource for Foreign Businesses

People who are not residents of the US who own LLCs or Corporations may face particular challenges when trying to open a US business bank account. These challenges are caused by the banks not being able to verify the individuals identity. As a result new banks have developed systems which more traditional banks are reluctant to do. This was in part caused by covid during which, travel to the US may have been restricted or was too expensive. The pandemic caused banks to change their procedures and now non-residents of the US can open a business bank account using an online form, providing a passport, and a photo or video to verify their identity.

This development in bank technology is beneficial because every business should have a bank account for practical reasons. One of these reasons is to separate personal and corporate finances. It also has several advantages such as: dealing with clients and collecting payment is easier, asset protection is provided and it can potentially reduce tax. It is also important to point out that if an owner or a manager is based in the US, they will be able to visit a US bank in person and open an account. This also applied to business owners who travel to the US. Some people also use friends and family who they trust. 

US Bank Account Requirements for Non-Residents

Each banking institution will require identical  information from a business and what will differ is how an individual’s identity is verified. 

Business Formation Document

These are sometimes called Articles of Organization and/or Certificate of Incorporation. Every state names these documents differently. This document should be the original document filed with the government to create the company. 

Federal Tax ID Number

This is the number which the IRS issues to a business entity and it is similar to a social security number but for a business. This is also called an EIN, FEIN, Tax ID and Employer ID. 

Operating Agreement or Bylaws 

These documents are so that the bank can see who is an owner of the business and so that they can make sure that the individual opening the account has the authority to do so. 


This document is used to verify the identity of the individual. The banks will not accept a national ID because the document must be a passport. 

US Business Address 

This can usually be found on the Articles of Organization and most banks will not accept the address of a registered agent. They want a distinct address at which the company is located. Some services will provide this to their clients however. 

List of Owners who Own More than 25%

The bank needs to know who the Ultimate Beneficiary Owners of the business are and these details are necessary to remain compliant with the bank. Additionally, if the company is owned by another company the banks will want to know a person behind the company. A real person must have their details with the bank. 

These banking requirements are proof that the business is in good standing as well as proving who owns and operates the business. It is no longer possible to hide behind shell corporations and nominees. Thankfully banks have adapted with the times and now allow non-residents to open accounts online. 

Anyone who owns a US business but does not live in the US can now register for a business bank account online. Not every bank will offer this and it is important to take note of all the information which the bank will request. 

Final Thoughts 

Business owners who are not US citizens now have an easier time opening US bank accounts for their businesses thanks to technological advances and covid. Non-citizens can now open their business bank accounts online and avoid having to go in person to do this. Business owners should be aware of the requirements they will need to meet in order to be able to open a business bank account. These requirements function as proof of identity to the bank as well as proof of ownership. This allows the bank to know who they are dealing with and also if the individual opening the account has the ability to do so.

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