How to open your first corporate US account
13 May 2021
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.
Should I open a business bank account in the United States with my current company?
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 the US, you must have a business that is registered to do business there. 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.
OK, if I need a US company, what kind would it be?
US law recognises several different types of corporate entities. You can have one of the following company types:
Limited Liability Company (LLC)
Corporation — B/C/S/Non-profit
What’s the process for opening a business bank account in the United States?
Fewer banks require an in-person account opening process these days. Most likely you will be asked to submit some of the information listed below, so it's best to gather this in advance. You will need to upload documents and may need to send originals:
Photo ID for the director opening the account
Proof of personal address for the named director
Articles of Incorporation/Organization. (You’ll have to prove that your business is properly registered. The accepted documents will vary according to the type of business entity you run)
EIN (Federal Employer Identification Number) confirmation letter. This is required for tax reporting purposes
Proof of business address. Some banks will require you to prove a business address in the same geographic area and state as the bank branch. Others are more accommodating
General questions about business purpose (and how it makes money)
Banks may also ask for a minimum deposit amount to open an account.
How much will it cost me?
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 not look insignificant by themselves but 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. Check what exchange rates you might be getting on international fees too; this is a common way banks make money. Banks do a great job of making the true cost of the transfer higher than it needs to be.
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.