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Being a highly lucrative economy, the United States is a global hub for millions of businesses. As a non-US entrepreneur, you must navigate the regulatory framework that governs registration and financial transactions, among other considerations, to establish a presence in the country.

Opening a US business bank account is a key step to achieving efficient and seamless business transactions in the US. Through local transaction methods—such as direct bank transfers, checks, or digital payment systems—conducting business with customers and suppliers in America becomes faster and hassle-free.

In this guide, we will discuss how nonresidents can navigate the process of opening a US business bank account.

Understanding the regulatory landscape

The first step in opening a business bank account for non-US residents is understanding what frameworks you must follow. This includes compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and USA PATRIOT Act, which aim to thwart money laundering and terrorist financing. Alongside this is the need to have strong customer identification programs (CIPs) to verify customers and prevent misconduct.

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) must also be adhered to, where your business structure is primarily taken into account. Each structure has different tax and legal implications. For this, it’s best to consult expert legal and tax advisors.

Once your business is registered and deemed compliant with all regulatory frameworks, you can now proceed to open a business bank account.

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Determine the type of bank account

The next step is to determine the type of bank account. The most common types of bank accounts available to nonresidents are the following:

  • Checking account: A business checking account is advisable due to its ease of access. It offers check writing, debit cards, and online banking for authorized personnel.
  • Savings account: It’s an account designed to earn interest; therefore, it’s suitable for excess money not immediately needed for business operations.
  • Business certificate of deposit (CD) account:  A CD account is a time-deposit account that offers a fixed interest rate for a specific period. It’s suitable for a business with excess funds to lock away for months or years.

Your business needs and financial activities are central considerations in determining the most suitable type of account. The factors include the volume and frequencies of transactions and the desired liquidity. However, it’s always advisable to have different accounts so you can enjoy more benefits.

Have all the documentation required

The legal structure of your business will primarily determine the personal and business documentation you need to procure.

For sole proprietors and partnerships, you must present a passport or other government-issued identification documents and proof of address.

For LLCs and corporations, you’ll need to present a certificate of incorporation, an operating agreement, and the list of directors. Additionally, you’ll have to present business information such as employer identification number (EIN) issued by the IRS, business registration documents, and proof of business address.

Different banks will have varying levels of risk assessment. Therefore, they may ask for additional information such as business structure and control, bank statements from other financial institutions, and information about customers and suppliers.

Manage cross-border transactions

Currency fluctuation rates affect cross-border transactions. When you extend your business internationally, you will have to deal with multiple currencies, and the value of these currencies can change relative to one another over time. This variability in exchange rates can affect the cost and profitability of international transactions. Therefore, consider hedging strategies, such as having multi-currency accounts, to reduce the effect of currency fluctuations.

Secondly, you should also compare the transaction fees for international and domestic transfers. Usually, international transfers cost more than domestic transfers, which may affect your business if you want to pay international suppliers.

Finally, you should be aware of any transaction limits the bank can impose for domestic and cross-border transactions. This can be the money you can send or withdraw in a single transaction or a specific period.


Expanding your business to capture the US market can help boost your reach and revenue. One of the requisites is a US business bank account. This account allows customers in America to transact with your business efficiently, and you can do business with your suppliers without going through forex.

To register the account correctly, follow this discussion for some important tips on navigating regulations, choosing the right account, and managing cross-border transactions. With the right strategies, you can ace international business as a nonresident.

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