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Open an Offshore Bank Account for your Company

Updated on Wednesday 22nd August 2018

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Opening an offshore bank account can present a set of advantages for investors looking for a higher level of banking privacy or for different asset management purposes.

In practice, opening an offshore bank account is similar to opening a regular bank account in the country of residence. The bank will have certain requirements for the applicant and will request a set of documents. This is why it is advisable to check the requirements beforehand.

Advantages of opening an offshore bank account

Opening an offshore bank account is, in most cases, a simple and fast process and also one that does not imply extraordinary costs. The time needed to set up this account, as well as a merchant account for the offshore business (if needed) can be further reduced when working with a local agent who specializes in offshore company formation.

Offshore banking is not an illegal action when the said account is not used for money laundering or tax evasion. otherwise, this is a simple step in a larger tax planning and/or asset protection for entrepreneurs and investors worldwide. 

Jurisdictions to take into consideration for offshore bank account setup

The table below includes a set of countries that are generally perceived as some of the best locations where investors can set up an offshore bank account and, moreover, incorporate an offshore company.
Country Details
Bahamas No personal visit is mandatory when opening an offshore bank account in the Bahamas; a minimum initial deposit may be needed, as per the bank’s requirements.
Belize Those who open an offshore bank account in Belize enjoy a high level of privacy and are not subject to exchange control or local taxes; the process requires basic information about the applicant.
Cayman Islands The Banking Law here has several clauses that ensure the confidentiality of the bank account holder; the requirements are not stringent.
Cyprus Banks in Cyprus offer good options for online banking and the setup process is a simple one: corporate and personal documents are required (or only personal documents for individuals).
Dubai Banks in the UAE offer w wide range of financial services and they will require a certain amount of information about the bank account holder such as basic identification information but also details on the nature of the transactions (only in some cases).
Grenadines Offshore banking here allows for a high degree of confidentiality, multiple currency accounts, and a low initial deposit.
Saint Vincent Banks offer confidentiality benefits and the ability to quickly open a bank account in multiple currencies; a low initial deposit also applies here.

This list is not exhaustive and investors may find that other jurisdictions also suit their needs. One of our offshore company formation agents can give you more details about each of these countries and others.

Requirements for offshore bank account setup

Investors may find that the process is smoother is they choose to work with a bank with which they have had an account with or from which they have requested financial services in the past. Opening an offshore bank account is a process that will be subject to the bank’s internal regulations. However, investors who prepare the needed documents and observe the requirements will not be expected to encounter any hurdles.

Most of the requirements that arise are linked to identity proof and the various rules and regulations for ani money-laundering. These can depend from one jurisdiction to another and so will banking secrecy. Some offshore financial centers like Belize maintain a high degree of investor confidentiality and the identities of the bank account holders are only disclosed in case of criminal investigations and when a court order is issued in their name.

The local exchange control policies will also have an impact on the overall banking policies and thus on the attractiveness of the jurisdiction for offshore banking and company formation purposes. One example is also Belize where the applicable exchange control policies allow offshore businesses to transfer currency without having to report these transactions on a mandatory base.

The financial privacy rules, the exchange control policies and the different bank policies for offshore bank account formation are all factors to take into consideration when opening an offshore bank account for your company.

Our team of offshore incorporation agents can help you open an offshore bank account in a country of choice. Contact us for more details about how we can assist you.


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