The natural functioning of the business is possible only if you have an open bank account, or better – in several, mainly if the company is conducted in several jurisdictions. A bank account is not only a necessity for doing business but also one of the factors confirming legality and reliability. Opening a bank account in a foreign bank is one of the primary services provided by Prifinance lawyers worldwide.
Lawyers are ready to advise in full detail on the specifics of opening an account in your case and to accompany the procedure for opening such an account from the decision to open until the last transaction on the statement. In addition, lawyers are ready to advise on all the nuances of opening an account in a foreign bank and why to do it within the framework of your business case.
Benefits of opening an account in a foreign bank
Opening a foreign account seems to be a beneficial option in many cases of foreign business, taking into account the following nuances:
- the need to ensure the confidentiality of the business, as well as the data of the beneficiaries;
- doing business involving businesses and banking institutions in low-tax jurisdictions (local banking institutions provide favorable financing terms, relatively low and sometimes even low service rates, have flexible currency control rules, as well as simplified record-keeping requirements);
- opening accounts for settlements with business partners from specific regions, such as Europe;
- business protection, as well as reduction of related financial and economic risks (fluctuations in exchange rates, inflation, and other factors);
- ease of filling out documents and maintaining records.
The benefits of opening foreign bank accounts for non-residents are not limited to those listed above. Prifinance lawyers can help identify options for opening foreign accounts that will help maximize the benefits of doing business and holding money overseas. Provide input to the lawyers for individualized advice on the issue.
Aspects to consider when opening an account in a foreign bank
If you plan to open an account in a foreign bank for individuals or legal entities, you should pay attention to many nuances:
- clearly define financial and business priorities, and select a specific jurisdiction and bank for them (Cyprus, Switzerland, Great Britain, Serbia, etc. are among the popular ones);
- determine the type of account to be used: operational (used for making payments, including trade transactions with counterparties), investment or savings account (opened to accumulate and increase the number of funds);
- to study the requirements of the selected bank, as well as to form a package of documents for consideration;
- pay attention to the nuances of confirming the legality of the origin of funds, as well as meeting the requirements of financial monitoring before and after opening a new bank account and in the process of carrying out operations on it;
- obtain documents confirming the opening of a bank account and a bank card.
The specific procedure for opening an account in a foreign bank for an individual or a company varies, considering the case’s background. Prifinance lawyers are ready to provide legal support for the process of opening and further support of activities using a foreign account.
Nuances of opening foreign accounts
Opening accounts in foreign banks for individuals and legal entities is possible through an agent or remotely. The first option is the most common. The second option is viable. It is possible to open accounts in a foreign bank remotely by submitting documents for review by mail. This is followed by a video conference, where employees are asked to answer the questions of interest and show the original identity document.
In any case, to open a bank account, it is necessary to provide information about a physical person – passport and other identification data, information about the occupation, data that confirm the legality of the origin of funds, as well as additional required information. It is noteworthy that there are nuances to opening a bank account for individuals – individuals confirm their current place of residence with receipts of payment of utilities.
Legal entities provide data on the current registration status, copies of constituent documents, information on the beneficiaries and managers of the company, as well as other data that the bank may require following local law and internal policies. Registration forms accepted by the particular bank are to be filled out and submitted in any case.
In addition to the formal documents, information on the planned transactions to be carried out using the account (anticipated annual turnover) should also be provided. Persons who open accounts should provide current contact information and information on sources of income. The reason for opening the account should also be stated.
When considering and opening a foreign bank account should not be limited to one option – it is better to choose and submit documents to at least 2-3 banks. Standard periods for opening a bank account abroad are from 2 weeks to 2 months.
Payment systems as alternatives to banking institutions
It is not always possible to open an account with a foreign bank because of local restrictions. For example, in some jurisdictions, only a resident of the bank’s jurisdiction can do so. Nevertheless, the option of opening an EMI account offers several unique advantages:
- no minimum deposit requirements;
- simplified compliance rules;
- no limits on closing transactions on the account;
- high level of confidentiality of the owners’ data due to the absence of exchange of tax information;
- provision of additional guarantees of safety of funds if a certain threshold is exceeded.
How Prifinance lawyers can help
Suppose you set yourself the task of opening an account in a foreign bank. In that case, the lawyers of Prifinance are ready to consider the business case carefully and answer the question “can I open an account in a foreign bank?” in your case, as well as in which jurisdiction this option will be available to you and most advantageous. For example, many banks in Singapore and Hong Kong refused to open a bank account for foreign nationals from the CIS. Therefore, Prifinance lawyers will help you to avoid the risks of rejection and loss of time by selecting the options for opening a bank account that is most suitable for your business case. In particular, the lawyers will help in the successful implementation of the following actions:
- consider the background of the case and suggest the most appropriate options for opening an account abroad;
- make a plan on how to register a foreign bank account in your case;
- help you take advantage of the option of opening a foreign bank account remotely, where available;
- will accompany the procedure for opening a foreign account, including negotiations with foreign bank officials;
- provide further legal support in possible problematic situations that may arise during the operation of a foreign bank account.
Prifinance’s range of services is not limited to those mentioned above. Lawyers are prepared to find a suitable low-tax jurisdiction for your case, optimize the amount of taxes to be paid, and help obtain a residence permit in a foreign jurisdiction. In addition, we will gladly provide legal support in opening a corporate or personal account in a foreign bank. Provide information for your case.