TOP TEN U.S. TRADE QUESTIONS – #10 Opening a US Bank Account

Continuing in this series of the top 10 FAQs that UKTI receives, we’ll explore the final topic of UK/US trade:

Opening a US bank account

Although UKTI cannot assist in the opening of accounts, we strongly advise you to speak with a licensed attorney or accountant for guidance or contact an institution such as Citizens Bank or HSBC which has an international presence.

Some U.S. banks will offer accounts to UK individuals/companies who have accounts with their affiliate financial institutions.  Some offer a simplified account opening process if the customer has an existing banking relationship, established in the UK.  Please contact your local UK branch for detailed information about the account opening process for the US. 

Citizens Bank  or

HSBC guide:

Please note, depending on the type of company you set up (partnership, corporation, limited liability company, sole proprietorship), different paperwork may be required.

In order to open up a regular bank account in the US (checking or savings) you either need to be a US person (have a valid social security number) or be a US based company (have a valid Tax ID). Some banks may require that the person who is opening up the account be a resident of the state where the account is located (ie. resident of New Jersey to open up a New Jersey based account).

For a foreign company with no legal presence in the US, opening a bank account will not be possible.

For a foreign-owned US company it is possible to do so, but some banks will require the person on the account to be a US person. Some banks may also request that only the company be registered in the US, and the person opening the account be registered with the Tax Authorities (and have an ITIN = Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) with no specific residency requirement from the person opening the account, but it is not common.

Please note that as a UK government agency, UKTI is unable to provide legal advice and any information provided here is strictly the result of secondary research and should be treated as such.  For legal and general enquiries on this matter, please contact the appropriate institutions for more information.

This concludes UKTI USA’s Top Ten Series but will continue further with other topics.


Many Thanks,


Countries: United States
Topics: Finance and Getting Started
Export Action Plan