Foreign bank accounts: a complete list of documents for successful opening

To operate effectively globally, every company needs a reliable tool for financial transactions - a bank account abroad. When opening it for your business, be prepared to provide much information. In this article, we will look at what documents you need to start and complete this process.

The required documents can be divided into two categories: basic and additional. Basic documents contain basic information about the company and its management. With a 99% probability, almost any bank or payment system will require them. We include the following as the main documents:

1) Corporate documents, the specific composition of which may vary slightly depending on the country of registration, but in general they include:

- Certificate of registration/incorporation of the company;

- Memorandum/charter of the company;

- Minutes of company meetings;

- Orders on the appointment of directors;

- Licenses for the company’s activities.

Different banks may have their requirements for the preparation of these documents. If necessary, translate documents into English in advance, and if you are not submitting to local banks, get an apostille.

... Often, the issuance and proper certification/translation of documents take up half of the time required to open an account. This is especially relevant when the country where your company is registered or the country where the bank is located is not a participant in the apostille convention (as is the case with the UAE).

By consulting experienced consultants for the opening of a foreign account, you are likely to significantly expedite the process of opening your account. ...

Diana Gulevskaya, Partner Antwort Law

2) Documents for the founder, director, and beneficiary of the company, which include the following:

- All available passports of a given person or group of persons;

- Residence documents;

- Proof of address (bank statement, utility bills, rental agreement);

- Resume/CV of the director detailing his education and work experience.

3) Company’s profile/CV. It is a separate document that contains all the basic information about the company and key persons. The profile will save you time: it can be used to quickly fill out questionnaires so as not to search for the necessary details, dates, numbers, etc. This is especially true when submitting applications to several banks. It is also often requested by the financial institution itself. A company profile can be either quite primitive, which will contain only basic information about the business, or a fundamental overview of the enterprise with the background of the founders and directors, the history of the emergence and development of the company, a description of the company’s assets, listing its key partners, contractors, and clients with a detailed description their activities, legal addresses, names of directors, as well as the corporate structure of the company in diagrams and other important information.

Next, we move on to the block of additional documents that you may request separately or which you can attach yourself in the “additional” or “other information” section. These most often include:

1) Letters of recommendation from clients, contractors, and partners. As a rule, letters are drawn up in any form, signed and sealed by the organization, after which a scan is made. It is recommended first to check the reputation of the company from which you plan to request a letter using online monitoring on the network.

2) Scans of existing contracts. Banks review them regarding the content and method of providing your services. If you are a startup that still needs to get ready-made agreements, draw up drafts of future contracts.

3) Business and financial plans. This additional requirement applies more to clients with zero or little activity history. Bank managers want to look at your plans for profit and turnover.

4) Links and information about the company’s products, prototypes, and services - to demonstrate competence.

5) Certificates of receipt of grants, prizes and awards

Remember that each company and bank is unique, and document needs may vary. It is important to follow the requirements of a particular bank carefully, contact professionals when necessary, and thus ensure a smooth and efficient completion of the process of opening a bank account abroad. Our team of experts at Antwort Law is here to help you through this important process.

Lidia Ivanova

International Lawyer
Antwort Law

What documents are required when opening an international bank account for a company?
To submit an application to the bank, prepare the following documents: corporate (certificate of registration, memorandum/statute and other constituent documents); documents for the company's founders and management (passports, resident visas, bank statement or utility bill for proof of address, as well as CV/company profile). Specific requirements may vary by bank and country.
Why prepare a CV/company profile for opening a bank account abroad?
First, it is convenient: with it, you can quickly fill out questionnaires in banks, without digging through documents every time, but immediately copying the necessary data from the CV. Secondly, the bank can request this document. The company profile should contain key information about the business, assets, partners, customers, a brief history of the company's formation and development, as well as the organization's structure, the experience of the director and founder.
The bank may request any documents, and is it necessary to provide them?
Yes, banks may require additional documents depending on specific conditions and requirements. Prepare for possible additional requests and, if necessary, consult with experts in the field.
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