Business Bank Accounts for Delaware Companies

how to open a delaware business bank account“I want to open a Delaware business bank account." I can’t tell you how often we hear this request from international clients.

Why? Many clients that form Delaware corporations also need to open a business bank account in the United States in order to receive payments here in the U.S. Wherever the company is based, if the objective is to provide I.T. services or to become a vendor on Amazon or eBay, for example, non-U.S. clients selling to U.S. customers want to enable and facilitate that transaction.

Many of our non-U.S. clients will want to set up a payment gateway of some sort, like PayPal, while others may simply want to have a U.S. business checking account for their Delaware corporation.

Whatever the case may be, one of the most difficult steps in the entire incorporation process is opening a U.S. bank account for non-residents of the United States.

Unfortunately, we cannot assist in setting up bank accounts for companies we form. However, we can prepare, file and provide you with the approved Certificate of Formation electronically in two to three days or less. We assist our non-U.S. clients with obtaining their federal EINs. We also provide you with free templates of LLC Operating Agreements.

We also provide a digital corporate seal FREE for each company for which we serve as the Delaware Registered Agent. If we’re not your Delaware Registered Agent you can always switch to Harvard anytime you want.

Here are some of the commonly asked questions about opening a U.S. Bank Account from overseas.

What Documents Are Needed to Open a U.S. Bank Account?

Unfortunately, no two U.S. banks are exactly the same, and their specific policies and procedures for opening a business bank account for a Delaware corporation can be drastically different. There are, however, certain requirements that will be uniform for most banks. These are some of the things that will be needed to open the bank account for a Delaware company:

Additional documents that banks may ask for include:

  • Certificate of Authority: Also known as a Foreign Qualification, this is obtained through registering your business as a foreign entity in the state in which the company is operating and/or banking. Most banks require a valid Certificate of Authority in order to open an account for those companies that have been formed outside of that respective state. This is important because the bank account is the point through which revenue is channeled, and thus it is often considered part of a company’s operations. Since every state has its own requirements for Foreign Qualification, we are happy to take care of this detail for you. 
  • Certificate of Good Standing: Also known as a Certificate of Existence, this is a certificate provided by the Delaware Secretary of State’s office stating your company is current with all Delaware Franchise Taxes, filings and Registered Agent Fees.

Many banks require a Certificate of Good Standing when a company applies for a loan, a line of credit or wants to open a merchant account. A company may also be asked to present a Certificate of Good Standing before signing a large contract. Often, if the company is brand new or very recently formed, the Certificate of Good Standing is not required. It is best to confirm with the bank ahead of time.

You can order a Certificate of Good Standing online for your company.

Do I Have to Go to the Bank in Person?

While we can provide the proper documentation for opening the Delaware business bank account, unfortunately, a major hurdle for non-U.S. clients is appearing in person at the bank. When it comes to opening the business bank account, virtually all U.S. banks want to meet with their clients face-to-face. In our experience, every U.S. bank will typically want to meet with their potential clients in person.

Some of our international clients are able to travel to the U.S. just to open the business bank account, in which case, this is not an issue. In many cases, however, this may not be a feasible option. Often, clients reach out to a friend or family member that lives in the U.S., someone they trust, who is willing to help open the U.S. bank account for the Delaware company on their behalf.

Which U.S. Bank Should I Use for My Delaware Company?

When opening a business bank account, business owners do their research on a multitude of U.S. banks to find the one they feel best suits their needs.

It’s a good idea for non-U.S. clients to call or email the bank they wish to do business with and get all the details on opening the bank account before they ever step foot in the branch. This is a good way to ensure everything will go smoothly when opening the account, and to avoid any unnecessary headaches.

Additionally, if there is a U.S.-based bank with an international branch in your country, we encourage you to contact them and see if they are able to facilitate opening your U.S. account.

Does a Delaware Company Have to Open a Bank Account in Delaware?

No, you don't need an in-state bank account for a Delaware LLC or corporation. Delaware company owners often open a bank account wherever it is most convenient for them, generally the state in which they are doing business. It is common for Delaware companies to operate all over the world, and banks typically understand this reality.

This is where your Certificate of Authority becomes significant; it lets the bank know that even though the company was formed in Delaware, it is legally registered to operate in your home state as well.

In summary, often clients will contact a specific bank directly before opening a Delaware Corporation or LLC bank account. If the bank needs any documents from the Secretary of State of Delaware, we would be happy to assist in the retrieval of these documents.

While we cannot assist you with opening a U.S. bank account, we are here to help in any other way we can. If you have any questions about forming your Delaware LLC, please give us a call at 800-345-2677. Our friendly customer service representatives are ready to assist.

*Disclaimer*: Harvard Business Services, Inc. is neither a law firm nor an accounting firm and, even in cases where the author is an attorney, or a tax professional, nothing in this article constitutes legal or tax advice. This article provides general commentary on, and analysis of, the subject addressed. We strongly advise that you consult an attorney or tax professional to receive legal or tax guidance tailored to your specific circumstances. Any action taken or not taken based on this article is at your own risk. If an article cites or provides a link to third-party sources or websites, Harvard Business Services, Inc. is not responsible for and makes no representations regarding such source’s content or accuracy. Opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Harvard Business Services, Inc.

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There are 28 comments left for Business Bank Accounts for Delaware Companies

Hany Gadalla said: Wednesday, May 29, 2019

I tried to open a business bank account in WELLS FARGO in CA. They asked for a proof of address and refused to accept HBS address or a mail forwarding service. Any suggestion to overcome this problem?

HBS Staff replied: Thursday, May 30, 2019

Generally, the physical address is where the company physically operates even if based outside of Delaware. Unfortunately, we’re unable to provide a physical business address as the Harvard Business Services, Inc. address is that of the Registered Agent in Delaware. When a company signs up for Delaware Mail Forwarding services we offer, it enables the company the ability to use the HBS address as the mailing address for the company as we specialize in receiving, scanning and emailing letter mail to our clients in a timely manner. Often times, clients consult with multiple banks to determine their exact requirements for opening the business bank account since each bank is different and has their own policies and regulations.

Bartek said: Monday, December 31, 2018

Hi, wich Bank will be best and fastest most experienced regards LLC in Delaware opening account: Bank of America Regions Bank Wells Fargo Bank Valley Bank BB&T Chase Bank SunTrust Trustco Bank Axiom Bank BB Americas Orlando

HBS Staff replied: Monday, December 31, 2018

Hi Bartek - Unfortunately, we're unable to point you to a specific bank that can accommodate you. If you are in the U.S., we recommend considering and contacting some local banks. If you are outside the U.S. it can be more complicated.

Most US banks require an in-person visit in order to open a business account. We have some additional information here, about halfway down the page:

Ak said: Thursday, October 4, 2018

I want to open LLC in Delaware using HongKong bank account. I am not a resident of these countries. Is it possible?

HBS Staff replied: Friday, October 5, 2018

You do not have to be a US resident or have any bank account in order to start a Delaware LLC. Please contact us if you would like to proceed with forming your company. We are not able to comment on whether you can open a Hong Kong bank account without being a resident there.

MARK said: Thursday, July 12, 2018

HI, as you said, the delaware Inc can open the bank account in other states, if i want to open the account in California, it that means we need to pay both of the state tax in the both states ? regards,Mark

HBS Staff replied: Friday, July 13, 2018

Questions about taxes are outside the realm of our knowledge and experience. We suggest you consult an attorney or an accountant.

Kiyoshi Hasegawa said: Wednesday, January 31, 2018

I setup my firm at Delaware, & want to start new business. I think I already have all the documents you mentioned above. Pls. advice me to open bank account without going there in person. Thank you

HBS Staff replied: Monday, February 5, 2018

You can find that information in this blog:

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