Easy Offshore Banking and Merchant set-up without Physical Presence

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We recently launched a “concierge service” in the private members area that allows members to tell us what they want the Founders Grid team and experts to cover. The requests vary from simple questions to in-depth reports.

Here is a recent request submitted by a member wanting an easy offshore banking and merchant option without a physical presence.

Question

I am looking for the easiest banking, including a merchant account, which doesn’t require a personal visit. Right now, my focus is on Central America for some manufacturing capabilities and a trip to the other side of the Pacific is not on the horizon. In fact, I am heading to Belize this weekend for three weeks to do a site survey.

I would want to set up the international arm of Alligator Performance in a low tax/no tax country such as Seychelles or Cook Islands where we are not likely to have in-country sales. Then, establish the banking in a jurisdiction which is easy for an English-speaking customer to work with. So, good customer service will be important.

Obviously, Hong Kong and Singapore have the best reputations for international banking. I am also starting to hear encouraging things about Cambodia for business structure (not necessarily banking, just yet).

We are wanting to diversify across borders for asset and liability protection and want to do it intelligently, the first time. Cost effectively, of course.

Response

Thanks for your enquiry and in fact I’m sure the scenario you set would be interesting for many here at FG. I am not sure when you refer to a site survey in Belize, you already plan to include a look at options for possibly opening an account there and then.

Although not one of cheapest jurisdictions to set up, Belize does offer competitive banking services for the offshore market.

Alternatively, although many may still consider the EU as no go zone for banking, Latvia in my opinion ticks many of your boxes. Recovery following 2008-9 has been strong and for the most part consistent, both domestic consumption and FDI are up and banking infrastructure is stable.

Being an important transit hub to east-west European trade and having well established eastern border routes to Russian trade markets, it could be a good location for your manufacturing needs.

Both Baltikums and Rietuma Bank offer current account set up without physical presence. Although recently Baltikums pulled a lot of useful info on such services/costs from their site, after opening a current account most other common services are available again with no presence needed to authorize.

Notarized docs can be sent directly. I’m unsure about the full extent of the merchant account services they offer, but suspect that with them being an expanding institution, they will offer such to some degree. Definitely could be worth further investigation.

http://www.baltikums.lv/en

Rietuma on the other hand, clearly stipulate that no physical presence is required to open current account services, which opens doors to all your other service needs/options. They look to also be more geared towards foreign clients and have service T&Cs readily available on their site.

They offer merchant solutions for entrepreneurs, IPSPs and agent in e-commerce markets. Services for Visa/MasterCard payment are delivered under EU licence standards. Depending on the key markets you target, other payment options need to be verified.

http://www.rietumu.com/

Both banks offer full support/CS and documents in English language. I also recall from colleagues that recently visited Latvia, that generally in Riga, English language/media is well established.

Do you have a question on offshore jurisdictions, banking, investing or around any other internationalization topics? If so, consider becoming a member to access our new “concierge service”.

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