“What do I need to open a bank account?” is one of the most common questions our members ask.
Unfortunately, due to a lack of consistency across online platforms, there’s a lot of confusion on which requirements specific client groups need to be able to meet to open bank accounts.
And, for those looking to open accounts outside of their home country, it’s crucial you know what’s required before applying. This way, you avoid the possibility of being denied and wasting your whole trip.
That said, there isn’t one simple way to answer this critical question. In order to do so, we need to break it down into multiple steps. We’ll explain these steps below.
What Do I Need to Open a Bank Account?
To know what you need to open a bank account, you first need to know what kind of account you want to open, which country you want to open the account in, and with which bank. Read on to learn more about the process of finding the best bank to open an account with.
But, before diving in, if this is your first time visiting GlobalBanks, don’t forget to download your FREE Non-Resident Banking Starter Guide. It’s designed to help non-residents open accounts in top banking hubs around the world.
As mentioned above, we’re going to break down the question, “what do I need to open a bank account?” into multiple sections. This way, you’ll be able to determine what you need to open bank accounts successfully.
Here’s a look at everything we’ll cover in this article…
Table of Contents:
- Requirements for Opening a Bank Account
- Where You Can Open a Bank Account
- Choosing a Bank to Apply With
- Knowing How to Apply for a Bank Account
Additionally, we’re going to share examples of account opening scenarios based on different client groups and specific reasons for wanting to open a bank account as a foreign non-resident.
And once you’re ready to start opening accounts, we’ll share how you can find the best bank for your profile and banking needs.
Different Requirements for Different Client Types
To answer the question “what do I need to open a bank account?”, the first thing you need to do is to understand your specific client profile.
Specifically, who you are, where you want to open an account, and what the account will be used for.
So, with that said, let’s take a look at what you need based on the following scenarios…
What Do I Need to Open a Bank Account Overseas?
To open an overseas bank account, you’ll likely be asked to submit a variety of forms and some form of identification from your country of tax residency.
Depending on the account you’re trying to open, you may need to prove a certain income level threshold to prove you’re able to support higher deposits and account fees. Including opening fees, maintenance fees, and transaction fees.
In some cases, your documents will need to be verified, through an apostille or notary.
What Do I Need to Open a Bank Account as a Non-Resident?
Requirements for opening a bank account as a non-resident will vary depending on the bank you open with.
But, generally speaking, a non-resident will need to provide two forms of identification, a bank reference letter from their country of residence, a minimum deposit, and of course, proof of source of income.
Additionally, a non-resident applicant may be required to provide proof of address and a written explanation outlining why they need the account.
To learn more about what you need to open a bank account as a non-resident in a specific country, check out the following articles:
Now, if you’re looking to open an account for your business, opening requirements may look a bit different.
What Do I Need to Open a Bank Account for My Business?
Opening a bank account for a business requires additional documents and information. For instance, you’ll need to submit two forms of identification along with a proof of address for all beneficial owners and signatories.
But, that’s not all.
You’ll also need to provide a certificate of incorporation, a registered company address, and a certificate of good standing.
And, depending on the bank, you may need to submit a letter of recommendation, a written reason for opening, and proof of business ties to that specific country.
Some banks require an initial introduction from a current client of the bank. But, not always.
To learn more about what you need to open a business bank account depending on where you choose to open, check out the following articles:
If you’re looking to open a business bank account in the US, account opening can be a little more difficult. This is especially true if you’re unable to meet all requirements. More on this below.
What Do I Need to Open a Bank Account in the USA?
Now, to open a bank account in the USA, you’ll not only need to submit the general identification papers but you’ll likely be required to provide proof of US address and US phone number.
Additionally, you’ll need to provide an international tax identification number (ITIN) and meet minimum deposit levels.
Fortunately, we cover everything you need to know about how to open a bank account in the USA in our most recent US articles:
As you can see, requirements differ depending on your client type, banking needs, and where you choose to open. But, if you understand the bank-specific requirements, you’ll be able to determine the best banking solution for your client profile.
You Need to Know Where You Can Open
When answering the question “what do I need to open a bank account?”, one of the most important considerations is where you can open an account. And, as we’ve mentioned above, this comes down to what bank requirements your client profile can meet.
That said, knowing where you can open can be a challenge to do on your own.
Fortunately, GlobalBanks can help.
In fact, when you become a GlobalBanks member, you’ll receive access to our country intelligence reports. And, these reports cover everything you need to know about which clients can open, the account opening strategies, and specific requirements that need to be met.
Here’s a sample of the country intelligence reports you can access today when you become a member of GlobalBanks IQ.
Our database consists of more than 50 countries, helping you find the best banks around the world.
So, if you’re interested in learning more about how to become a GlobalBanks member today, click here for more information.
You Need to Choose a Bank to Apply With
The next step to answering the question “what do I need to open a bank account?” is knowing how to choose a bank that matches your client profile and banking needs.
Of course, this process has its challenges. This is especially true since there are many banks to choose from. And because, many requirements can vary between banks, branches, and even different bankers.
So, before applying, it’s important you take the time to understand all bank-specific requirements. This way, you won’t waste time or money applying to the wrong banks.
Now, when you become a GlobalBanks member, you’ll receive access to our GlobalBanks Database of international banks. Meaning, you’ll have access to detailed information about bank-specific account opening requirements, services, and who the bank specifically caters to.
Here’s a snapshot of our international bank database you can access today when you become a member of GlobalBanks IQ.
Again, choosing a bank that’s right for you ultimately comes down to whether the bank accepts your client profile, offers the benefits you’re after, and of course whether you’re able to meet the bank-specific requirements.
So, to give you a glimpse into what to expect when choosing a bank to open accounts with here’s a list of some common requirements non-residents need to meet…
Common Requirements Needed to Open a Bank Account:
- Two forms of government identification (including passport)
- Bank-specific application form
- Proof of residence (in your country of tax residence)
- Proof of income and source of wealth
- Letter from employer
- Personal bank statements (varies from bank to bank)
- Bank reference letter
- Written reason for the account
- Account opening deposit (varies from bank to bank)
- Minimum account balance (varies from bank to bank)
- An in-person visit may be required to open the account
- And more…
Of course, depending on the bank you choose to apply with, you may only need to meet a couple of these requirements. But, there could be a possibility that you’ll need to meet more than what we’ve listed above.
So, it’s really important to know which requirements you’ll be expected to meet before applying. Additionally, it’s important for non-residents to know how to properly apply to not accidentally trigger red flags for the bank.
This can lead the bank to either deny you immediately or request a lot of additional documentation.
So, with that said, let’s dive into what you need to know about applying to open a non-resident bank account.
You Need to Know How to Apply
We’ve now covered how to know where to open a bank account, how to choose a bank to apply with, and the requirements you’ll need to meet. But, one of the most important steps you need to understand is knowing exactly how to apply to open an account.
Unfortunately, this stage of the opening process can be frustrating and time-consuming. Not to mention, expensive if not done properly.
So, alongside our bank profiles and country reports, we also include extremely insightful client reports.
These reports detail the entire account opening process. Including, what client groups are eligible, the account opening challenges you’ll likely face when applying, and how to successfully open an account.
Here’s a sample of our client report database, which you can access today when you become a member of GlobalBanks IQ.
Like banking anywhere, the key to opening accounts is to know how to navigate the process successfully.
So, before applying, it’s important to prepare yourself and understand the possible challenges you’ll likely face. To help you, we’ve compiled a list of our most popular client reports from our GlobalBanks Database.
And as you’ll see below, we’ve decided to give you a sneak peek into some of the challenges our clients face based on the topic of the report.
Opening Bank Accounts for High-Risk Businesses
- Certain banks don’t accept high-risk businesses
- Higher chances of having accounts frozen
- Don’t know how to approach a bank properly
- Some banks don’t accept businesses from certain jurisdictions
- Choosing the wrong bank leads to account opening denials
- And more…
How to Open International Bank Accounts for Offshore Companies
- Banks perceive your company as corrupt because it’s registered offshore
- Unable to provide proof of ties to the country you’re applying in
- Choosing the wrong bank can waste time and become expensive
- Higher chance of being rejected before applying
- And more…
Banking for Digital Nomads: The Ultimate Guide to Account Opening
- Unable to provide proof of residency, address, or tax reporting
- Unable to meet initial deposit requirements
- Can’t provide proof of ties to the country you’re applying in
- Many banks don’t accept digital nomads as a client
- And more…
Again, these are just some of the account opening challenges non-residents will face when opening accounts overseas, for an offshore company, or even as a high-risk business.
Luckily, our client reports outline step-by-step how to overcome these challenges by sharing specific account opening strategies to help you successfully open accounts.
So, if you’re interested in learning more about how to open an account with ease, we can help.
Ready to Start Opening Accounts?
Whether you’re ready to start applying for accounts today or you’re just starting to explore your options, we can help.
GlobalBanks IQ gives you everything you need to start finding and opening accounts.
When you join GlobalBanks IQ, you immediately unlock the entire GlobalBanks Database of international banks. It’s home to 250+ banks in 50+ countries.
And, you get access to our library of premium (members-only) reports. These include proven account opening strategies, country-specific banking options, and lists of banks for specific client types.
Plus, you unlock our account opening checklists, dedicated account opening alerts, and much more.
To get started, click here to see if GlobalBanks IQ is the right choice for you.