Mistakes to avoid when registering a company abroad and opening a foreign bank account
Offshore Pro Group assists the clients in registering foreign companies, setting up bank accounts abroad, acquiring a second passport in exchange for investment, and performing other actions aimed at asset diversification and protection. The vast majority of our clients are happy with the services that we provide but sometimes the cooperation does not go as smoothly as it should.
It happens that some clients may be frustrated because they believe we have failed to provide the services that we promised. It is quite understandable because when you do not get what you expected, you naturally feel upset.
We admit that we may overlook an important detail in the application documents at times, which can make the process of foreign company registration or bank account opening longer. But to err is human and you must rest assured that all our consultants work as diligently as they only can.
Below please find a description of most typical mistakes that you need to avoid when applying for our assistance in opening a foreign bank account or registering a company abroad. You have to realize that the bureaucratic procedures associated with these services are very intricate and even the smallest detail can be of great significance sometimes.
When you apply for our assistance, we thus acquire a shared goal and we have to work together in order to achieve it. Probably, the biggest mistake would be to think that all you have to do is pay us some money and we will do everything for you that is required to set up a foreign company or a bank account. We cannot possibly do that, as your life story is your life story and your documents are your documents. Making the payment is not enough, we are afraid. You have to be prepared to do your part of the job. We promise to do our part as well as we are able to.
Mistakes to avoid when registering a foreign company
Do not expect that it is going to take two or three days in total to set up a business company in a foreign country.
A professional intermediary such as Offshore Pro Group, for example, will say that foreign company registration is going to take two days. What does this assertion actually mean? It means that the registration body in the foreign country will take two days to consider your application documents and give a ‘go ahead’ to your new company after it receives the full document package.
Thus, it is not a false assertion but it does not take into account, first of all, the time required for collecting the documents and putting the document package in good order. You have to make a copy of your passport to serve as your main identification document. You have to make a copy of a utility bill to serve as proof of your residential address. You have to make a copy of your driving license to serve as a second ID, and so on. Then you have to have the copies notarized, which involves paying a visit to a public notary. Then you have to have them translated by a sworn translator. Then you have to have the document copy translations apostilled, which involves paying a visit to the consulate or some other official body. Besides, you also have to visit the bank to acquire a bank statement. These things take several days if you do them fast. Please be prepared for that.
It is also crucially important to follow our instructions to the letter. If we ask you to submit a scanned copy of your foreign passport and you submit a photocopy of your domestic passport, it is not going to work. If we ask you to submit a certificate stamped by an official government body and you submit a hand-written document with no stamp, no signature, and no date on it, it is not going to work either. If you submit a copy of a bank statement, for instance, that is ineligible, it is not going to work again. So please be attentive when reading the instructions and approach the collection of the application documents with great care. Especially when you want to register a foreign company remotely, your application document package is what the Registrar is going to judge you by as he or she does not have the pleasure of seeing you in person.
Another important thing to remember is that the application documents have to be written in English or translated into this language otherwise. Please bear in mind that translation services are normally not included in the overall company registration service price. Because translations have to be apostilled in most cases, it rests with you to take care of this issue.
Sometimes our clients also send us document copies when document originals are, in fact, required. Or they send us photocopies of notarized copies while the original notarized copies with the notary’s stamp and signature are needed. Again, please read our instructions carefully. The requirements differ from one jurisdiction to another and we will always tell you what papers should be supplied in order to set up a business company in this or that country.
What happens when we receive the wrong documents from the client? We have to ask him or her to send the right documents instead. As simple as that. However, resending of the application documents takes additional time and thus the process of the foreign company formation is extended even further.
The document postage method that you choose can also be of importance in many instances. When a proof of residential address (a utility bill) is required, for example, it usually has to be not more than three months old (sometimes even less). If you use snail mail to send the documents to us, it may take too much time, as international mail delivery services leave much to be desired. Now imagine that you have sent us a document that would be deemed unacceptable by the foreign country registration authorities and we have to ask you to send a different document. If you use regular mail again, your utility bill may well expire!
We realize that courier services are not cheap. At the same time, the public notary will also charge you a pretty sum of money. The sworn translator does not come at a low price either. Whenever you apply to an official body, there is a government (or bank) fee to pay. You simply have to be prepared to incur some additional costs. Our service price is not all you have to pay and you have to accept that.
Finally, it takes our experts some time to check your application documents for conformity with the requirements. We have earned good reputation with the international partners that we cooperate with. They know that we never submit poorly complied application documents packages. This concerns foreign Registrars, foreign banks, and other organizations. Our goal is to maximize the chances of your obtaining whatever you are after. A foreign company or a foreign bank account is not something that is readily up for grabs. You have to do your homework very well if you want to have one or the other. So please give us some time for a meticulous check of the application document set that you submit to us.
Be prepared to share your personal and corporate information when setting up a business company abroad.
Some of our clients, especially those who come from Eastern European and Oriental countries, can be quite reserved about their personal information as well as their business intentions. “What do you do for a living?” “I’m a freelancer”. “What types of business activities is your foreign company going to be engaged in?” “I’m going to provide consultation services”.
We hate to say it but such answers are much too vague. Please do not be frustrated when we are not satisfied with your answers to our questions. The matter is that the foreign Registrar is not going to be satisfied with such answers and thus he or she will reject your application for company formation.
If we ask you to provide more specific information about yourself or about your intended company activities, we do so, again, to maximize your chances of getting what you want. If we know for certain that the registration authorities of the country where you would like to establish a company will not accept the application that contains insufficient information, we will not file the application with them on your behalf. Our purpose in refusing to submit an incomplete application is twofold. First, we do not make promises that we cannot deliver on. Second, we do not want to spoil our reputation.
Believe us, we are not engaged in industrial espionage. We do not seek to find out your commercial secrets. We do not want to know every little thing about you or your company. We want to have the information that is sufficient to form a foreign company abroad for you. As we have been in this business for a long time, we know exactly what amount of information is considered sufficient in each jurisdiction where we register companies for our clients. So please do not hold back the data that we ask you to share with us. We need them for the sole purpose of providing the requested service to you.
Intermediary services have a value and a price
You can find a foreign Registrar’s address in the Internet and file an application for company formation directly with the Registrar. Similarly, you can log on to the bank’s website and file an application for a bank account on your own. If you can do it yourself, why do you need our services that you have to pay for?
The answer is simple: with our assistance, your chances for success will increase drastically. In the modern world, everything is overly regulated. When it comes to establishing a foreign company or a foreign bank account, the bureaucratic procedures involved in the process can become overwhelming indeed.
We have been engaged with these procedures for a very long time. Most our experts have been with us for years and years and their experience in these matters is fantastic. They know what should be done in order to set up a company or a bank account abroad. They know what might cause problems when applying for foreign company registration or account opening. They know what you should never ever do if you want to be successful in these endeavors. We do not charge you for nothing. We provide our expertise in exchange for your money.
The cost of company registration is different in different countries.
When you apply for our services, you have to be prepared to spend a larger sum of money on registering a business company in certain countries. We charge less to establish a company for you in Belize, the Caymans, or the Seychelles. We charge comparatively more to set up a company in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Great Britain, the USA, Canada or Hong Kong.
We do it not because we are fond of the latter group of countries and repelled by the former group (or vice versa). The matter is that small island countries charge lesser government fees and other state duties involved in registering a company on their territories in comparison to what large well-developed countries charge. So please do not be surprised to find different service prices when you read articles published at our website.
Additional services come at an additional pay
When we make an offer such as ‘Company registration in Canada’ or ‘A company and a bank account in the USA’ we quote the price of the service and we always indicate what is included in this price.
Now, we also offer a number of additional services such as company registration extension, nominee director services, accounting support, and so on. Naturally, these additional services presuppose additional pay. Some clients manage to keep the word ‘additional’ out of sight for some reason and they are surprised when we say that they have to pay more than the basic service price. How can you avoid being surprised at that? Simply read the offers attentively and pay heed to what items are included in the overall service price indicated in the heading of the article and what items need to be covered separately.
You and us are in the same boat. You and us have one goal to open a foreign company in your name or a bank account that you can use to make transactions. We are not trying to rip you off but we sell our professional knowledge at a certain price. This is only fair, we believe.
Mistakes to avoid when setting up a foreign bank account
We do not guarantee that you will definitely have an account with a foreign bank if you apply for our assistance in this matter.
It is crucially important to realize that the decision to set up an account rests with the bank managers, not with us. Recently, it has become extremely difficult to open a non-resident bank account due to the toughening anti money laundering policies and the international fight against terrorism financing. However, it is still possible to do it if you know how to proceed. We are here to improve your chances of getting the bank services but we are not a bank and we do not open accounts. So please be prepared to receive ‘service denied’ as an answer when you file an application for opening an account in a foreign bank even if you do it with our assistance. ‘Hope for the best, prepare for the worst’, remember?
If you would like to set up a foreign bank account, we whole-heartedly recommend that you apply for our preapproval service. It does not cost much but it has huge advantages in what concerns saving time, money, effort, and nervous cells when applying for services to a foreign bank.
What we can do is submit a smaller application document package to a bank on your behalf for their preliminary consideration. It will not count as an application for opening a bank account yet but only an application for a preapproval. If the bank preapproves you, it does not mean that it will certainly open an account for you. But it does means that you have their provisional consent and they are ready to consider your application seriously when you file one.
One more great advantage of this service is that we can file applications for preapproval to several banks at a time on your behalf. If one bank refuses to preapprove your application, you do not have to waste any more time with this bank and go on to apply for opening an account with another bank. Please write to email@example.com and request the preapproval service of ours that comes at a low price and does not require too many documents to be collected. This is the best way to go about setting up an account in a foreign bank.
Supply all the documents that the bank requires.
Some banks want to receive the full package of application documents in one go. Other banks allow submitting the documents one by one, as they study each of them. What is more important, however, is that banks sometimes request additional documents that had not been required when you were filing the application for services with them. Please be prepared to supply all the documents that they want. If you do not, they will deny service to you in all likelihood.
Please also bear in mind that the required (additional) documents may include bank statements and other financial documents that reflect your net worth in this or that way. We understand that you may be reluctant to let the whole world know how much money you have but unfortunately, you will have to suppress this feeling. First, it is not the whole world that is going to have this information but only the Compliance Department of the bank that you are applying to. Second, they will not set up an account for you unless you provide these documents. Some sacrifices need to be made in the process of establishing a foreign bank account and you have to be ready for that.
Do not say in an interview with a bank manager that you want a foreign account to optimize taxes.
This is going to be a red flag for any bank in the world these days. Simply abstain from making this statement.
Be prepared for service denial if you are engaged in a high-risk business, if you come from a sanctioned country, of if you are connected in some way to any of these.
Today banks filter new clients with especial diligence. They fear the possible consequences of accepting a not perfectly trustworthy person as a client. It is no wonder, as these consequences can be as severe as the banking license revocation and a prison sentence for the Compliance Department officers. So please understand why the banks have to be so careful and so selective today.
Be prepared to pay extravagant sums of money if you want an account with an old, large, and highly reputable bank.
Let us share a joke that is relevant to the point that we are going to make. A nouveau riche comes to a Swiss bank and says to the teller in a very low voice, “I’d like to open an account with your bank and put three million dollars there”. To which the bank teller replies, “You do not have to whisper, sir. We don’t hold poverty as a vice here”.
We can help you set up an account with the most famous banks in the world. However, if you would like to have an account in JP Morgan, UBS, HSBC, Standard Chartered, or Barclays, for example, you have to be ready to pay a lot. First, their initial deposit and security balance requirements are colossal. Many Swiss banks will not even talk to you if you are going to deposit less than a million Swiss francs into your account there. Second, their service fees are also higher than those in other smaller and less famous banks.
It is true that large and well-established banks provide the highest level of security and up to a 100% guaranty that the money in your account can never be lost. At the same time, we know a large number of banks that are as reliable, as a matter of fact, but they provide a higher level of personal information confidentiality and also charge lesser service fees and have more democratic security deposit requirements. Actually, there are opportunities to open an account without putting a single dollar or euro into it and we will be happy to tell you about such opportunities if you contact us.
We invite you to apply for a free consultation on selecting a foreign bank account. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org to request it. We will ask you to complete an online form and answer several questions. The information that you provide in the answers will let us decide which banks will suit your purposes best of all. We will then make several suggestions and you can choose the bank (or a few banks) where you want to apply for a preapproval. We do recommend applying for a preapproval to more than one bank as this will improve your chances of setting up a non-resident account in at least one of them. We guaranty that the information that you provide will remain confidential and will not be shared with any third parties without your consent.