As a foreign business owner, opening a business bank account in Canada can have some major advantages. Not only can it help you reach a larger customer base but it can also help you unlock lower foreign exchange fees and tap into some hidden (and profitable) opportunities. More on these advantages below. But first, let’s answer the question of whether you can open a business bank account in Canada if you’re a foreign non-resident.
Yes, business bank accounts in Canada can be opened by foreign non-resident business owners. Normal account opening considerations apply, though there are no residency requirements. To open a business bank account in Canada you will need to provide proper documentation for the business, shareholders, and directors while also navigating the account opening challenges below.
Naturally, if you don’t have the right information, opening a business bank account in Canada as a foreign non-resident can be frustrating and time-consuming. That’s why our team of banking experts has analyzed all of the banks that allow non-residents to open business bank accounts.
In this article, we’ll share the information you need to know when choosing which banks to apply to for your business. We’ll also share some helpful tips on how to get started. So, if you’re a non-resident and opening a business bank account in Canada is something you’re interested in, keep reading!
But, before diving in, if this is your first time visiting GlobalBanks, don’t forget to download your free Business Banking Starter Guide. It’s designed to help business owners open accounts in top banking hubs around the world.
As mentioned at the start of the article, opening a business bank account in Canada offers foreign non-resident business owners a number of benefits. This is especially true if you have clients in Canada. However, if your business is primarily focused on bigger markets (such as the USA), a business bank account in Canada could be even more beneficial. Here’s why…
When you open a business bank account in Canada, you are able to tap into Canadian payment processing. This is interesting for a very specific reason: US dollars. Unlike many jurisdictions, when you open a payment processing account in Canada, you’re able to unlock both the local currency (CAD) and US dollars (USD). This is a huge advantage for anyone that wants to sell to US customers but doesn’t have (or doesn’t want to have) a US company, US bank accounts, and USD payment processing.
Additionally, unlike many other top banking hubs, opening a business bank account in Canada does not come with residency requirements. So, if you’re a foreign non-resident living and working outside of Canada, you will still be able to open an account for your business.
Importantly, if you’re looking to capture these benefits when you open a business bank account in Canada, you shouldn’t open an account with just any Canadian bank. We stress this because it’s important to understand which bank is best matched to your client profile and which bank will actually accept you as a client.
In short, choosing the wrong bank could result in you paying unnecessary fees, constant account freezes, account closures, and wasted time and money in the application process.
To make sure this doesn’t happen, keep reading to find out more about what type of businesses can open accounts, what types of accounts are available, and how you can navigate the common account opening challenges successfully.
There’s a lot of confusion surrounding the types of businesses that can open bank accounts in Canada. But, like in other countries, the key variables in determining which businesses can open include:
There are, of course, other variables to consider as well. But, these initial variables will ultimately shape which banks will accept you. Of course, in addition to the type of businesses that can open accounts, you also need to ensure that suitable accounts actually exist.
With this in mind, it’s important to understand the specific type of business account you not only may have access to, but also which account will best suit your business needs.
|Account Type Name||Monthly Fee||Monthly Transaction Limit||Minimum Balance Requirement|
|Basic Business Operating Account||$6||Fees for each individual transaction||No limit|
|Basic Business Account||$10||Charges fees for each transaction||$8,000 with no fees charged|
|Professional Plan Plus||$38||110 transactions per month||No minimum balance required|
|Business Investment Account||$0||Individual transaction fees||$25,000|
|Select Account Unlimited||$120.00 unless you have a balance of $65,000||Unlimited||$65,000|
|Everyday Business Operating Account||$20 – self-service $25 – full service||30 transaction per month||$15,000|
|Basic Business Savings Account||Transaction fees instead of monthly fee||2 debit transactions per month||No minimum balance required|
|Unlimited Business Plan||$125||Unlimited transactions and deposits||$65,000 with no fees charged|
|Basic Business Plan||$5||5 transactions and 5 deposits||No minimum balance required|
|All-Inclusive Account Package||$100 Can be waived with a balance of $75,000||100 transactions per month||No minimum balance required|
It’s worth noting, these types of business bank accounts and the associated fees and limits can all vary from bank to bank. The information outlined above is to simply give you an idea of what types of accounts could be available to non-residents interested in opening a business bank account in Canada.
While Canada’s five traditional banks (also known as the “Big Five”) control the vast majority of the business banking market in Canada, they all have one thing in common: they can be extremely difficult to open bank accounts with for businesses owned by non-residents.
So, if you’re considering opening a business bank account in Canada as a non-resident, you need to know the pitfalls and challenges that you’re going to run into. In this section, that’s exactly what we’ll be covering, including some pressing obstacles that arise when opening a business bank account.
Of course, these challenges may vary depending on the bank you engage with and the type of business bank account you choose to open. And, not surprisingly, some banks do make it more difficult for a non-resident to open a business bank account in Canada than other banks. So, make sure you prepare by understanding the different challenges each bank and each type of account presents before applying.
In fact, even the application process can be very overwhelming, especially if you are not able to visit a bank in person. We’ll discuss this further along with the required documents in the next section.
As mentioned, opening a business bank account in Canada as a non-resident comes with its challenges and can be overwhelming. This is primarily due to the long list of required documents and bureaucratic hoops you’ll need to jump through when opening.
That said, it can still be a profitable banking solution if you can successfully open an account. With this in mind, let’s take a look at how you can actually get started with account opening right now.
First and foremost, it is important to note that the required documents can vary not only based on the type of business you are operating but also by which bank you choose to open an account with.
The next step is to confirm the bank the type of business ownership you have. Why? Because as mentioned earlier, the documents may vary depending on the type of business. So, with that said, below we put together a list of the documents the bank may request based on the type of business:
Not surprisingly, documents and regulations can differ from bank to bank so don’t be alarmed if a bank requests further verification of the documents you provide. They do this to ensure the documents are authentic and to make sure you’re opening a business bank account for the right reasons.
In addition, it’s important to note that your business will also need to meet requirements set out in Canada’s Access to Basic Banking Services Regulations under the Bank Act.
While some banks require you to present these documents in person, others may allow you to complete the opening process remotely. However, this may come with greater challenges in itself as the bank typically requires additional proof of identification and it may also result in account restrictions. We’re not saying opening a business bank account remotely in Canada as a non-resident can’t be done, we’re saying more challenges may present themselves if you’re not prepared.
Bottom Line: With the right information and knowing which banks best suit your business needs, opening a business bank account in Canada as a non-resident can be done without too much trouble.
To start opening a business bank account in Canada today, you can obviously get started with the information outlined in this article.
Or, you can access one of our membership services and get the help you need to find and unlock the best banking option for you and your banking needs.
Each of our premium services are designed to help non-resident individuals, foreigners, and their businesses open international bank accounts around the world.
So, whether you want to know which banks will accept you, which account opening strategies to use, or you just don’t know where to begin, we can help.
If you’re ready to take action and start opening international accounts now, you can access GlobalBanks IQ, our dedicated international banking intelligence platform.
GlobalBanks IQ gives you everything you need to start finding and opening accounts for you or your business today.
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And, you get access to our library of premium (members-only) reports, including proven account opening strategies, country-specific banking options, and lists of banks for specific client types.
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To get started, click here to see if GlobalBanks IQ is the right choice for you to start accessing the benefits of international banking today.