How Non-US Residents can Apply For a Bank Account For an LLC – All You Need To Know

Key Takeaways

  1. Nonresidents can open a U.S. LLC bank account with traditional or online banks, which offer benefits like lower fees.
  2. Required documents for opening a bank account include LLC approval, identification, proof of address, an EIN, and possibly an ITIN.
  3. It's crucial to comply with U.S. regulations and have a local registered agent for support.
  4. Nonresidents must choose between the convenience of online banks and the personalized service of traditional banks.
  5. Residents of U.S.-sanctioned countries might need special licenses and should monitor U.S. regulations closely.
How Non-US Residents can Apply For a Bank Account For an LLC – All You Need To Know

Getting the opportunity to do business overseas is always great. However, when you work as a nonresident, especially in the U.S., you may run into some difficulties while trying to open a bank account for a Limited Liability Company (LLC). To start with, you'll need a business account for your LLC because a personal account won't meet your needs. For example, a business account may have higher limits and more rewards.

But, as a nonresident, there are some challenges you might face while trying to open a business account in the U.S. For example, you may be denied service if you can't provide all the documentation the bank requires. To dodge inconveniences like this, make sure you have all your documents in order before you apply for an account. If you encounter any problems with opening an account, it may be helpful to ask to speak to a branch manager, who may be more knowledgeable in the bank's policies and procedures.

If you’re a foreigner who's confused about which bank to pick, what documents you need, and where to start, you’re in the right place. This blog covers the whys, hows, and whats of opening a bank account for an LLC in the U.S. for foreigners.

Picking The Right Bank

There are so many options in the U.S. for opening a business bank account that choosing the right one for your needs may seem daunting. Let’s go over some of the most popular U.S. banks and what you can expect from them as a nonresident. It's usually better to stick with one of the big four when opening an account for an LLC in the U.S. The big four for business bank accounts include:

  • Wells Fargo
  • Citibank
  • Bank of America
  • JP Morgan Chase

Many people view these banks as the most reliable in the U.S. that offer services for nonresidents. Before opening an account, do your research on which bank has the lowest fees and exchange rates, as well as the best account features for your needs. All of them differ, so it's up to you as a business owner to decide which bank works best for your needs. While you may be tempted to go for the one with the lowest fee and the highest exchange rates to maximize your profits, bank features are also an important factor—if you run into issues or want to have flexibility with your account, your bank's features and services will be your best friend.

When it comes to opening an account for your LLC, there are two types of banks you can choose from.

The first type of bank you can open a business account with is a brick-and-mortar bank. These are more traditional types of banks that have a physical presence in a certain location. Opening an account in person is an option at these types of banks.

The other type of bank you can choose is an internet-based bank, which may also be referred to as an online bank. These digital institutions offer many of the same services as brick-and-mortar banks. However, transactions must be done online. Although you won't have the option of walking into a branch, these banks have other benefits, such as lower fees and higher interest rates.

Can foreigners open a US LLC bank account?

The good news is that foreigners can open a bank account in the U.S. for an LLC, provided they have the proper documentation and meet all the requirements of the bank and the state laws.

Opening a US LLC Bank Account Online – Is It an Option?


Let’s say for some reason such as Covid and other travel restrictions, you aren't able to travel to the U.S. Luckily, technology is now advanced enough for you to open a bank account for an LLC from the comfort of your own home. If the local bank in your country has a relationship with its U.S. branch, you can open a bank account in the U.S. by consulting a representative from your local branch. However, it's important to keep in mind that the minimum deposit plays a huge role when you're opening a bank account in the U.S. remotely. The minimum deposit amount differs for every bank, so you can pick the one that works best for you. You can also try out neo-banks, challenger banks or online or internet banks.

These are up-and-coming types of banks that only operate digitally, and they usually don't have a physical branch. Challenger banks work the same as traditional banks in the U.S. and have the same amount of security. The money deposited in challenger banks is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), so you never have to worry about your funds.

Requirements to Open a US Bank Account LLC as a Non-resident

To ensure you're approved for opening a bank account for an LLC in the U.S., you'll need a few documents, including the following:

1. LLC Approval Document

Since you're opening a bank account for your LLC, you need to show the bank that your LLC is legitimate. You'll need Articles of Organization, a Certificate of Organization, and a Certificate of Formation, depending on the state in which your LLC was formed. These documents can be uploaded during the online registration process or brought into the physical branch if you open an account there.

2. Identification

To open a bank account, you'll need to provide proper identification. Gather your passport, proof of residence, and any other contact information the bank will need to open an account for you. As a rule, you'll need two forms of identification, such as your driver's license, your government-issued ID card, etc. In some cases, nonresidents may also need to present their visa, border crossing card, or Green card.

3. LLC Location

You'll also need to provide the bank with your LLC address, which is typically the office location of your LLC and the address of your registered agent. However, it can also be your home address if your business doesn't have an independent location. The proof of address for your LLC can be in the form of utility bills or a lease agreement.

4. Employer Identification Number (EIN)

You'll need your Employer Identification Number, also known as a federal tax ID number, or a confirmation letter from the IRS to open a business bank account in the U.S.

5. SSN or ITIN

Since most nonresidents don't have or won't be able to get an SSN, they can use an ITIN, which is a 9-digit identifier for nonresidents.

6. LLC Operating Agreement

Your LLC operating agreement outlines your company's rules, regulations, and provisions. It becomes an official contract, binding these terms, once it's signed by members of the LLC. On the other hand, the LLC approval document only legitimizes the existence of your LLC and has nothing to do with operations. Regardless, make sure you have both before you apply to open a bank account.

7. A U.S. Phone Number for Your LLC

It’s always an advantage to have a U.S. phone number for your LLC, as it helps banks feel more comfortable doing business with you. Keep in mind that this might not be a strict requirement for every bank, but a U.S. phone number is still good to have.

8. Beneficial Ownership

According to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), banks need to identify the real owner of the business before opening any business bank accounts. The rule was made to avoid any illegal financial activities, and it applies to both residents and nonresidents.

You should be able to provide all these documents online, but if you can't, it's a good idea to contact your bank’s branch manager to figure out an alternative route. You can also send your registered local agent to do the same. However, you should always confirm with the bank beforehand.

Online vs In-Person Banking


As discussed above, you have options when it comes to opening a bank account for your LLC in the U.S. as a nonresident. Some of the pros and cons of each of these options include the following.


Some of the pros of having a traditional bank account for your LLC are that these banks have bonafide regulations, are experienced in dealing with nonresidents, and often have a lower minimum balance limit when you're opening an account.

Challenger banks also have some advantages over traditional banks—the biggest one being the flexibility they provide. They may be more open to accepting applications from foreigners, and you don’t need to travel thousands of miles just to open a bank account. These banks also have low fees and high conversion rates.


Both banking options have a few cons. If you choose a brick-and-mortar bank, you may have to attend the bank in person to open or make any changes to your account. The main cons of a challenger or online account are determining which information you need to provide and the waiting period. However, don't let these discourage you from opening a bank account in the U.S.

You can open a challenger business account in minutes in the U.S., and in many cases, as a nonresident, you won’t face any problems while opening an online business account. From there, you need to provide your business details from a predetermined list of businesses and services. Then, you provide your identification (driver’s license, passport, government-issued ID card.

Then, you'll have to wait for 3-5 business days to get your account verified and up and running. The best part about having a challenger bank is the flexibility that comes with it, and in some cases, there are no minimum balance requirements.

Compliance and Regulations

While it's possible to open a business bank account as a nonresident, there are regulations your business must follow to ensure smooth operation. If you have all your documents in order and aren't involved in any illegal activities, your business should be fine.

Make sure you have your business licenses in order, you record daily operations properly, and you're in compliance with your state laws. In the U.S., compliance and regulations are often different in every state, so it's important to be aware of those requirements and to stay up-to-date on any changes to them.

Get a local agent and have your EIN ready, so you're always compliant. A local registered agent can send and receive legal documents on behalf of an LLC. They may also provide administrative services, serve as a company's business address, and offer additional resources to help business owners grow their businesses.

OFAC Restricted Countries

Because of U.S. sanctions, you may not be able to open a bank account without a special license if you reside in:

  • Belarus
  • Burundi
  • Central African Republic
  • Cuba
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Nicaragua
  • North Korea
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • South Sudan
  • Syria
  • Ukraine/Russia (Crimea)
  • Venezuela
  • Yemen
  • Zimbabwe

The U.S.-sanctioned countries list changes from time to time, so you'll need to check the Sanctions Programs and Country Information issued by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

Now that you know all about how to open a U.S. bank account for your LLC as a nonresident, you can go ahead and choose the bank that best suits your needs. Make sure the bank's services are in line with your business needs by checking the banking features, fees, and minimum balance requirements before opening an account.

It's important to make sure you have all your documents in order now, so you can avoid any inconveniences later. Once you're confident you have everything you need, you can go ahead and open a bank account for your business in the U.S.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to visit the US to open an LLC bank account?

It depends on the bank. Some banks require a physical presence in the US to open an account, while others may offer remote options through online applications or by working with international branches.

How long does it take to open a bank account for an LLC in the US?

The time frame can vary significantly depending on the bank’s processes and the completeness of your application. It typically takes anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

Are there any US banks that are particularly accommodating to non-US residents wanting to open an LLC account?

Yes, some banks are more accustomed to working with international clients and may have more streamlined processes for non-US residents. It's best to research banks that offer international banking services.

About The Author

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Andy Chang

Founder of TheCreditReview

Andy Chang is the founder of TheCreditReview, a review site started in 2017 that is dedicated to helping consumers find the best companies in financial services. Andy is passionate about financial education and wellness, and helping others reach financial freedom. He consistently writes about topics ranging from credit to banking and lending.

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