Can I open a business account in Taiwan? Is there a reason to? USA business accounts want a USA address!


#1

I make video games on Steam from home (Taipei). I am a USA citizen and have US bank accounts, but none of them will allow me to open a business bank account due to archaic ways of thinking. Apparently, I’m not qualified to open a business bank account at HSBC if I don’t have a physical address there.

  • HSBC wants you to physically visit them in America and, whatever branch you visit, you need to have a physical location within 20 miles: Even if you have an account with them in Taipei (we realized that the HSBC in Taiwan should barely be called HSBC – although a nice bank in Taiwan, they really are barely associated). Even two premier accounts and they don’t do exceptions.

  • Capital One “Spark” business account puts an option to conduct business abroad, but it seems to be bait for you to tell the truth – I was rejected with no reason via email – at least HSBC called, explained the situation, and gave me some last-resort options.

So what now?

  1. Any progressive banks out there that will still help you out if you don’t have a physical address in USA as an American + American LLC + operating in USD?

  2. Do Taiwan banks allow you to open a business account as an American operating in USA, as long as I FBAR it? Opening a USD personal account here took a ton of effort, so I can imagine this one would be even-harder. Then it also makes taxes confusing.

Ehhh… there’s gotta be a bank out there that deals with programmers and people abroad. It’s not too unusual these days.


#2

As a US LLC surely you have an owner or registered agent with a US address. Why not just give them that address and elect to receive everything electronically? You could also try Bank of Internet–they tend to be quite flexible for business accounts in my experience.


#3

@Charlie_Phillips @yyy @tando might be able to help with this.


#4

I do! However, banks call it “simply a non-PO box forwarding address”, even though it’s the registered address of the corporation, all corporate docs, and they have power of attorney for handling such. I also get instant scans instead of waiting for it to be forwarded to Taiwan

(Going of-topic for a moment, I recommend this service for EVERYONE reading this that doesn’t have one, btw. If you think something is spam, just get them to scan it instead of forward it. Or both scan+forward for that extra fuzzy feeling).

It’s really frustrating because it’s way more than a forwarding address, but banks don’t see it like that.


#5

It’s a real good idea. The scans are nice and usual turnaround is less than 12 hours. I set one up before i left the States. I got some of their documents notarized at my bank and set up so that I can also use it for a delivery address if I need to. In some cases it may be cheaper to have items shipped to this mail forwarding address than here in Hsinchu, and in some cases no international shipping is provided. There are options to use USPS or FedEx or UPS or DHL.


#6

Which service is it?


#7

The one I use is https://www.usglobalmail.com

My physical address is a PMB in Houston in the great and no-state-income-tax state of Texas. It’s a little pricey at ~US$10/month, plus US$5 per scanned document.


#8

Due to H1 B1 Visa policy in USA, No one outsider can open business account in USA, You need to collaborate first with any local person then you can Open Business Account.


#9

Have you tried Silicon Valley Bank?


#10

I use anytime mailbox – they’re all very similar. I’ve been very happy with mine. They scan, shred, recycle, and forward through multiple services that I can choose. I just click forward >> choose service >> choose an address (can save them) >> send. They deal with all the small things that usually involve shipping like size, weight, etc. The downside is you don’t see the price until it’s on your invoice, but it’s always really cheap – bare minimum. Heck, it seems cheaper than if I went to an office, myself! Perhaps they have bulk plans.

This doesn’t apply to US citizens, though: It’s just bank policies.


#11

They would probably understand my situation, being Silicon Valley and me being a tech startup.


#12

That’s great. Seems very reasonable for what they offer.