Top 4 Best Offshore Bank Account Jurisdictions

25 May 2021

When it comes to setting up a business there are lots of things you need to consider, including choosing the right banking jurisdiction. Our team of experts have put together some useful information on the best jurisdictions that you should consider when opening your offshore bank account.

What is an offshore bank account?

An offshore bank account is a bank account held by an offshore bank. Similarly, to having an offshore company, an offshore bank account allows companies to benefit from financial and legal advantages such as greater privacy, favorable tax rates and ease of depositing funds. Offshore banking also provides asset protection against unpredictable events such as economic or political crisis. Individuals and businesses also choose offshore banking to protect their wealth.

How do you choose the best banking jurisdiction?

There are multiple offshore banking jurisdiction options which offer a range of benefits for all types of business needs, so how do you choose which is the best offshore banking jurisdiction for you?

Best banking jurisdictions for reputation

A banking jurisdiction with a great reputation can strengthen trust with clients but can often be more difficult to open due to stringent checks and requirements. When looking for an offshore banking jurisdiction which has a great reputation it is important to research regulations and security thoroughly. SFM recommends Hong Kong and Singapore as reputable offshore banking jurisdictions

Best banking jurisdictions for remote opening

Many banks, even offshore, require customers to be present in person to successfully open an account. Choosing a jurisdiction with remote opening makes it extremely convenient for clients as there is no travel and no face-to-face meeting with the bank, saving time and money.

SFM recommends Belize, BVI, Hong Kong, Mauritius, Puerto Rico and Switzerland as jurisdiction which offer remote offshore banking.

Best banking jurisdictions for fast processing

Offshore bank account formation typically takes several working days; however, timing is regularly determined by how trustworthy the necessary documents are and how fast they are provided.

SFM recommends Puerto Rico, Hong Kong, Singapore, Belize and BVI for fast offshore bank account formation.

Things to consider before opening an offshore bank account

Your Nationality: Every offshore jurisdiction is different, and many have a list of prohibited countries which does not allow certain foreign nationals to open bank accounts in those jurisdictions. Our advice is to conduct extensive research into your nationality capabilities and the jurisdiction of your choice to prevent any issues when trying to open your bank account.

Your business activity: To open an offshore bank account your business activity needs to be approved and your company needs to be successfully incorporated. Many jurisdictions have specific requirements for certain types of business in order to open an offshore bank account. One example is a merchant account, which are popular with ecommerce businesses, however whether you can open one is often determined by merchant providers.

SFM’s Overall Best Offshore Banking Jurisdictions

1. Switzerland
Switzerland is a long standing, top-ranked and trusted banking jurisdiction. It is well recognized for its high levels of security and privacy and its sophisticated banking system.
'Swiss law requires that banks have high capital requirements and strong depositor protection, which ensures that any deposits will be safe from financial crisis and conflict.' – Investopedia

2. Belize
Belize is a stable jurisdiction for banking, and it is also one of the most popular jurisdictions due to its ease of bank account formation. Belize has one of the highest legal liquidity rates in the world (24%) which is considerably higher than banks in the United States (3-4%).
Belize is also appealing due to its low deposit requirement. Top financial centers such as Hong Kong or Singapore require initial deposit of up to $100,000, whereas an offshore bank account in Belize can be opened with as little as $500.

3. Singapore
Ranked second in the 'Ease of doing business rank' Singapore has an extensive system of banks which are world class, with renowned corporate banking facilities. Singapore banks offer multiple currencies, internet banking, checking accounts, saving accounts, debit and credit cards and a large wealth management system, to name a few.
Singapore allows customers to remotely register their offshore bank accounts making it convenient and flexible for non-residents to open business accounts online.

4. Hong Kong
Hong Kong ranks as number three on the world’s most competitive financial centers (2019), and offers a favorable tax system, renowned infrastructure and an efficient legal system. It is home to 75 of the world’s largest banks which all meet international standards. If reputation is one of your concerns, Hong Kong should be considered as it is one of the most ideal destinations for offshore account registration.

Find out more about all of the offshore banking jurisdictions we provide. (https://www.sfm.com/offshore-bank-account)

Do you still have questions about offshore bank account opening? We have a team of experts with over 20 years’ experience in offshore company formation and offshore bank account opening. Contact us today.

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