Your Own US Corporate Bank Account for Your Delaware Corporation or LLC
Go through your local bank:
HSBC: If you already have an HSBC account in your local HSBC, and have had for at least a year, you should be able to get them to open an account for your Delaware LLC or Corporation in HSBC USA. Tell your local banker that HSBC does have an International Division.
Citibank: If you already have a Citibank account in your local Citibank, and have had for at least a year, you should be able to get them to open an account for your Delaware LLC or Corporation in Citibank USA at a branch in Vilanova, Philadelphia.
Your own bank: If you don't have relationships with either of the banks mentioned above, go to your local bank and ask them if they can help you to open an account in the USA.
Explain to your banker that you have a US business and wish to have a US Corporate bank account. You have all the qualifications: US Corporation/LLC, EIN, US address and US telephone #. Your local banker, having met you in person, can certify your documents and verify you are who you say you are (Passport etc) and pass this information on to the US banker. If your banker is helpful, it can be done.
Option for Canadians:
Beware of Nominee Banking Services.
Although this service may feel like your only available option you should only think of it as temporary at best, until you can come to the USA and open an account properly. If you're thinking of opening a bank account with someone else controlling it, take this into consideration: When a lot of accounts are all opened with the same signor, and 1 account happens to go wrong in the eyes of the government (which is pretty easy these days), what do you think is going to happen? I see two possible scenarios: 1 (and this is the good one). That all the accounts are closed and refunded (this is pretty common with foreign related accounts anyway), or 2. The government seizes all the accounts (this is more likely) and all the funds in the accounts for an indeterminate amount of time (you know the government doesn't do anything quickly, especially when they have your money).
Bank of Montreal (BMO Financial): If you already have an account with BMO Financial they can setup a US Corporate bank account for you in their US subsidiary: Harris Bank.
TD Canada Trust: If you already have an account with TD you can get an account at TD Banknorth.
Royal Bank: If you already have an account with RBC you can get an account in their RBC Centura bank.
Fly to the USA and walk into a bank in person (recommended)
So far all of our clients who have followed our guidance and tips have had success walking into a bank in the US to have their US Corporate bank account setup just with one visit.
Since New York, NY is a major international hub, a lovely place to visit, and a State that doesn't consider having a bank account there to be doing business there, it's a great place to get a bank account for your company. You can contact any number of banks there. Or, if you want to fly into Philadelphia and drive over to Wilmington, Delaware you can walk into a Wachovia or Bank of America and get an account there. Florida is also recommended.
The only State we really do not recommend setting up your US bank account in in California. Most States don't consider a bank account to be doing business in that State, but California does, so unless you are actually setting up business in California, you'll probably want to avoid getting an account in California.
You should contact your favorite banks in the area you plan to visit and see what their requirements are for opening an account for your Delaware LLC or Corporation. Surprises in these cases are not usually good ones, so proper preparation is important. Not all banks will open an account for your Delaware company even if you do show up in person, but many will.
Documents we recommend you take with you to the Bank:
- Corporate documents (originals - we provide)
- EIN letter from the IRS (print out of the scan we email you)
- Your valid Passport and as much other photo ID as you have (originals)
- Utility bill from your home address in case they want to verify your home address (original)
- A US office lease from us - we can provide you with this - just ask (print out and sign the scan we email you)
Also, be sure to speak to the banker about setting up outgoing wire transfer capability while you're there in the bank. You may not be able to set this up from a distance. Alternatively - if you are transferring money between different currencies you can always setup an www.xetrade.com account for easy wire transfer ability.
Email us for more tips on what US banks to choose.
Extra documents a bank might ask you for:
- We will help you to get any required documents your chosen bank requires of you.
- We can supply Certified Copies of your Certificate of Incorporation (Corp) or Certificate of Formation (LLC) as well as Certificates of Good Standing or a Certificate of Incumbency.
- A Certificate of Incumbency is written by us, your Registered Agent, and declares:
- the date your company was formed in Delaware
- your company File number
- you are in Good Standing with Delaware (if you are)
- you have an EIN # (if you do)
- you are the Director/Member of your Delaware Company.
- If you aren't doing any business in New York State, we can add that statement to the Certificate as well, if your NY bank requires it.
Currently there are no guaranteed solutions for setting up your US Corporate bank account (some may refer to this as a non-resident bank account, or a non-citizen USA bank account, or as an offshore bank account, but since it is a Delaware company, it is an onshore account, not an offshore account, even if the owner is a non-resident and/or non-citizen) through a bank online - although several clients have had success doing just this recently. Please contact us for details.
May your US bank account opening go smoothly!