Every accountant is going to tell you that you really should be keeping separate accounts for all your businesses and even projects that may one day become businesses. But in my experience setting up a new account associated with an actual business entity is a pretty annoying process involving an in-person visit to a bank branch, proof of residence in that branch’s region, etc. Has anybody seen a bank that let’s you easily create a simple business checking account online and more importantly that would let you add additional accounts and transfer funds between them?
I’m not sure about business accounts, but I’ve opened personal accounts remotely with no problems at:
- Capital One 360
- Bank of Internet USA
- Charles Schwab
I agree; these banks are easy to open accounts online. I don’t remember what the reqs were for BOA when I opened my business account but I don’t think I needed to show up in person for any reason.
There are a ton of online-only banks now (just Google) that you should be able to open a business account at.
Yes, I’ve heard of Capital One and have a Charles Schwab myself. But all of those options are only for personal checking and would be associated with you, the human, not a business entity. Not great for taxes, liability and general good accounting practices.
You may have some luck with Silicon Valley Bank. We came across them as an option when we were shopping around for our business checking. They can set up an account remotely, but only service the tech industry. Not sure what industry your business falls into? Also, it’s not as easy as filling out an online form, they assign you an account rep and you have a call, send paperwork, etc. but it can be done remotely. Hope this helps!
I live abroad and recently formed an LLC (in Wyoming if you must know) and I was planning to call up a Wells Fargo or other bank in WY to try to set up the biz account remotely. The LLC company, while absolving themselves of any involvement with this, told me that people had had some luck setting up an account remotely with them in the past.
Then I happened to be visiting the states briefly, like for a few days, and I went into a WF and they set me up in about 2 hours. They said that a law had changed VERY recently (like in the last few months) that made it impossible to set up biz accounts remotely; they were not doing it anymore and good thing I had not tried to do it over the phone from abroad.
I have a mailing service in FL which is my “official” address but it can get flagged with CC applications and the like (and Charles Schwab would have none of it when I tried to apply for that no-ATM-fee account with that address and couldn’t come up with an alternative). So in the WF, the address got flagged as well as a ‘commercial mailing service’ or something so they said to just use my friend’s place where I was staying down the street. They said they wouldn’t send ANYTHING to that address but needed it to put in the residential address field (despite the fact that I don’t live there and have nothing to do with that state) and I could put the LLCs address on my other docs like mailing address, etc, no problem.
Anyway sorry for the tangent but thought my experience might be useful to you somehow.
Simple is only for US residents. Totally worthless…
Sorry. I thought this thread was about US banks. Don’t you need to be a US citizen to have an account any US bank?
You can have a US based account even if you are a foreigner, but for simple.com you also need to be a resident
This is awesome. Im still paying $15/mnth to BofA just to maintain that US presence.
Very simply, has anyone gone through these to find out which of these can be utilised even as a non citizen and be opened 100% remotely?
Interesting. Looks like it’s for personal checking, not business checking. But might still work. Thanks.
Citibank allows non US residents to open accounts, but you have to do it personally in a US branch i think with your passport and a document that proves you live abroad like a gas or electricity bill.
I don’t think there is an easy way to do it because of Patriot Act and anti money laundering legislation. I wish there was a “Simple Bank” for startups. Unreal how antiquated and overpriced business banking is.
@tylertringas I’ve set up a Wells Fargo business checking account remotely, but you do need to have some proof of residency in the state.
Years ago I was able as a non US citizen and non-resident to open accounts at Chase, but not remote. I had to show my ID and a proof of address.
It might be possible to open an account without seeing a banker if you have a US SSN (Social Security Number). But since “Know Your Customer” is en-vogue a foreigner will probably need to show ID in person.
Side note: A smaller bank in California accepted my foreign visa or MasterCard as proof of address)
And one more: I experienced big problems when I tried to make a wire from USA (Chase) to overseas online - they just stop it for “security reasons”. So there is a chance your money might be stuck in the US . I never had such an issue in Hong Kong or UK.
Simple closed my account even as a US citizen because I don’t own a home or rent an apartment in the US any longer. Chime Bank flagged me because I forgot to VPN.
Sorry to hijack the business thread.
Did anyone find a good business bank? Chase froze my debit card. I have to fly back to the US. I’d love to provide them the 2 pieces of ID, unfreeze everything then ask them to transfer out and close my relationship.
I recently opened business accounts with both
BoFI, La Jolla CA. My contact is Mustapha O. 858-649-2130
Seed required a personal utility bill to verify my identity. I have no permanent or residential address, and they took my mobile phone bill as proof of residence. My mobile phone is addressed to small mom n’ pop commercial mailbox in a very affluent Los Angeles neighbourhood with brand and zip code cache. Just saying the zip code gains unearned rapport/respect with agents you can use to your advantage. DM me for a referral if you like.
Both accounts were opened completely online with freshly started 2017 Wyoming LLCs which I opened remotely.
For personal banking, you can try Schwab or Simple, but both IME were pains in the ass to work with.
SVB is good at wine and coding and genetic engineering. They’re impeccable at what they do. I have several investor friends with 8 figure SVB accounts and was warm referred. They denied my application in 2012, even though I’m involved with a biotech startup. See, my firm’s abilities wasn’t within the SVB sphere of expertise. If you’re outside of that scope they don’t have the resource network for you and won’t take you. SVB only wants companies they can win with.
I tested a couple other online business banks but they weren’t worth the effort.