The USA is an important market for a lot of companies and can be a very attractive place to expand into. It still retains its position as the largest economy and the simplicity of currency and language makes it an exciting proposition for many companies. That being said, the process of opening a bank account isn’t always simple. Here is our short guide on opening a business bank account in the United States.
If all you need is a business checking account to send and receive USD, without having to translate into another currency, you could have a USD based account for your foreign entity, such as with a domestic UK bank if you have a UK company. This may incur significant transaction fees (sending and receiving), so worth considering the need behind the account.
To open a business bank account in America, you must have a business that is registered to do business in the USA. You’ll be asked to provide proof of this when you open your account.
You may want to open a US company, and bank accounts for recruitment of US-based staff, or to keep your US and non-US taxable income separate. This is particularly important since US corporate tax rates (federal and state), can be significantly higher than those in the UK or Ireland.
US law recognises several different types of corporate entities. You can have one of the following company types:
Due to the pandemic, fewer banks are requiring an in-person account opening process. Most likely you will be asked to complete an online questionnaire with the below information, so it's best to gather this in advance. You will need to upload documents and may need to send originals.
Lots of banks may also ask for a minimum deposit amount to open an account.
You may also be asked general questions about what the business does and how it makes money.
When you are choosing your bank to open an account with in the United States, read the terms and conditions carefully and ask, if you can, for a total charges list. We suggest reading the section on banking fees and charges, as the fee structure might be a lot higher than you expect.
It’s pretty common to find lots of banks charge monthly account handling fees and fixed fees for making payments. These may look insignificant by themselves but they can build up over time and the last thing you need when growing your business is to have to keep track of spiralling payment fees.
Don’t forget to check what exchange rates you might be getting on international fees too. If banks look too good on the surface, they will probably be making money in another way. Banks do a great job of making the true cost of the transfer higher than it needs to be.
If you've already created a start up bank account or you're interested in startup banking, we recommend you check Rebank out.
You get one complete view of your checking accounts, savings accounts and business credit cards across dozens of financial institutions.
You can also make fee-free payments at the best exchange rates when you open a Rebank account, choosing from dozens of currencies.
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