Foreigners can open an offshore bank account in numerous offshore jurisdictions. In many cases, the banks where one can set up the account will require depositing a minimum amount of money, which can differ based on certain characteristics. Such characteristics can be any of the following:
- the type of person – natural person or legal entity;
- the type of account;
- the bank chosen by the foreigner;
- the jurisdiction.
However, in certain situations one can open an offshore bank account with no minimum deposit. For this, it is recommended to make a research on the conditions available in each jurisdictions. Of course, you can also address our consultants, who can help you select a free offshore bank account with no deposit.
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What should foreigners seek for in an offshore bank account?
In order to decide the best option for offshore banking, foreigners should take into consideration many aspects. A major characteristic foreigners should first take into consideration is the reputation of the offshore jurisdiction.
The quality of the banking system of the respective country should also be a major concern, especially when the local banks offer the possibility to open a free offshore bank account with no deposit.
|Is it possible to open an offshore bank account with no minimum deposit?
|The bank account can be set up without a deposit in certain jurisdictions.
|Types of accounts
|Checking accounts, savings accounts, deposit accounts, international lines of credit, etc.
Top offshore jurisdictions
| Singapore, Belize, Switzerland, Mauritus,
the Cayman Islands, etc.
|Jurisdictions with low deposit requirements
|Belize, the Cayman Islands, etc.
|Deposit requirements for individuals
|Foreigners can open an offshore bank account with no minimum deposit in countries such as Curacao or Vanuatu. Low capital (approx. $500) is required in Puerto Rico,
or Belize (approx. $1,000).
|Deposit requirements for companies
Minimum deposit requirements are applied in countries such as Belize (approx. $1,000), Mayalsia (approx. $5,000), Antigua and Barbuda (approx. $5,000).
|Processing fees applied (yes/no)
|Documents to set up an offshore bank account for individuals
|One can open an offshore bank account with no minimum deposit when submitting the following documents: completed application form, the valid passport, utility bills issued in the last 3 months (to show evidence on residency), a bank reference from the bank of the country of origin.
|Documents to set up an offshore account for companies
|The application form, the declarations signed by the shareholders and the directors, the valid passport of all the authorized persons/shareholders, a bank reference, the company’s articles of association, the resolution to appoint directors, the certificate of good standing, etc.
|Processing fee exemption (yes/no)
|Yes (it varies based on the country
of choice and the account type).
|Appointing a legal representative
|It can be necessary to appoint a legal representative in
|Opening an offshore bank account online (yes/no)
|Countries where one can open an offshore account online
|Puerto Rico, Hong Kong, BVI, Belize, Mauritius, etc.
|Currencies available for offshore accounts
|Dollar, euro, and other international currencies
|Jurisdictions with multiple-currency accounts options
|Singapore, Hong Kong, Belize, etc.
Another important quality of an offshore jurisdiction should be the possibility to open the account remotely. Many banks located in offshore countries provide this service to foreigners, as long as the clients provide all the necessary paperwork.
Then, the value of the deposit is another characteristic of importance. While some offshore jurisdictions traditionally ask for large deposits regardless if the clients are individuals or companies, others provide low deposits options.
In these jurisdictions one may also have the option to open an offshore bank account with no minimum deposit. Belize is one of the jurisdictions where banks have low deposit requirements, for instance.
Another relevant matter when opting for a free offshore bank account with no deposit is the processing time required to set up the account. In most cases, it is just a matter of few business days, but this can, of course, vary.
Provided that a foreigner wants to set up a business in an offshore jurisdiction, then he or she must verify if the said country has any nationality/residency requirements. The business activity will also be relevant for this purpose.
Jurisdictions with low deposits requirements
In order to find a free offshore bank account with no deposit you will have to address the banks of the jurisdiction which you found to be more suitable to your needs or where you want to live/develop a business activity.
In the list below, our team has gathered information on some of the offshore jurisdictions where the deposit requirements are very low and where you have more opportunities to find an offshore bank account with no minimum deposit:
- in Puerto Rico, foreigners can set up an offshore bank account with only $500;
- in Singapore, one can open a bank account with a deposit of $730-850;
- in Czech Republic, the minimum deposit can be of $850;
- in Hong Kong, the account can be set up with $1,275;
- in Belize one can set up the account with a deposit of minimum $1,000.
Please mind that banks can charge a separate fee for the setup of the account. When looking for a free offshore bank account with no deposit, it means that the banks will not impose a processing fee.
Processing fees are generally charged at $500, but the value can increase, based on the country of choice. It can also happen that when setting up an offshore bank account with no minimum deposit banks will impose a processing fee.
How can an individual open an offshore bank account with no minimum deposit?
The procedure to open an offshore bank account with no minimum deposit follows the same steps as in the case of bank accounts that require a small or substantial minimum deposit.
In fact, there isn’t any difference, with the exception of the step where the applicant deposits the capital, as required for bank accounts with a certain capital threshold imposed. For both categories, banks will ask the following documentation for individuals:
- a suitable identity document – foreigners must use their passport, as this is a document that is recognized at an international level;
- proof of income – even though the set-up of the offshore bank account does not impose a minimum deposit, the banks will still want to be sure that the applicant has capital to deposit at a certain point in time;
- in some cases, banks will ask for various documents (it can be utility bills) that show the residential address of the applicant.
What are the advantages of an offshore bank account with no minimum deposit?
A bank account without a deposit can be of use in certain situations. Most of the time, this type of account is suitable for natural persons who want to have an offshore bank account for personal purposes.
First of all, this account is suitable for situations when a person does not dispose of a large capital. The main advantage is that it can be set up without a minimum capital, therefore there is no need to wait until you save a certain amount of money so that you can open the account.
As such, the offshore bank account can be set up at any moment the person needs to open the account, so that he/she can have access to a credit card issued in the selected jurisdiction of choice. In many cases, one can opt to open an overseas bank account (meaning, the offshore account can be set up while the client is elsewhere).
Of course, in most cases, the client will be charged a certain administrative fee, but at a very low rate. In certain situations, the client can apply for opening the account remotely. However, where this is possible, online meetings with the bank’s representatives must be held, so that the bank can verify the identity of the client.
These accounts also act as savings accounts, due to their favorable interest rates. In general, they are free of charge and they do not impose substantial fees.
How can companies open an offshore bank account?
For legal entities, the procedure for opening an offshore bank account with no minimum deposit is also the same as the one where banks ask for a minimum deposit. However, it must be noted that the minimum deposit is not imposed by the bank in this case, but rather by the commercial legislation applicable in that country.
As such, if you want to initiate the process of offshore company formation you must verify the legal requirements for the company type you are interested in, to see what the minimum capital imposed for the respective legal entity is, as required by the law.
The only possibility of opening an offshore bank account with no minimum deposit for a corporate structure is when the law does not require a minimum capital for the selected company type. In both cases, when starting the process of opening an offshore account, banks will generally ask for the following documentation:
- the certificate of incorporation of the legal entity;
- its statutory documentation;
- a letter of good standing – necessary in the case of foreign companies that have been active for several years (the document testifies that the company does not have debts and any other associated liabilities).
Of course, the documentation will vary from one country to another, therefore our consultants can help you set up an offshore bank account following the regulations of the country of choice.
We invite you to contact our team of consultants if you need advice on finding a bank that provides a free offshore bank account with no deposit. We invite you to contact us if you want to set up an offshore merchant account for your business. This type of account is recommended and actually, necessary, when a company sells products on e-commerce platforms.
Please mind that the merchant account providers will charge different fees per each transaction, and the fees will vary based on the nature of the good (higher fees for products considered to be of risk).
Foreign businessmen can address us in the case in which they want to learn more on the process of offshore company formation (having a bank account is just one of the few compulsory conditions, regardless of the jurisdiction of choice).
Our team can help you in immigration formalities, obtaining certificates, licenses, submitting forms and represent you in any other business matter during the incorporation of the business.