8 Countries Where It’s Still Easy to Open Offshore Bank Accounts
The easiest offshore bank accounts to open depend on a few factors. What may be an easy account to open for a Brit or Canadian could be impossible for a Syrian or an Iranian. American citizens and green card holders can also find banks less welcoming because of FATCA and the long reach of the US government.
It also depends on whether you’re looking for the easiest offshore bank accounts to open for a Company or an individual.
Also, what is the definition of ‘Offshore’. For me it is a bank outside my home country that will remain private and not be reported to any agency that I don’t want it reported to. Think CRS and FATCA.
Of course, offshore bank accounts could also be, for example, a Hong Kong Company owned by a Panamanian foundation with a bank account with Barclays in London. This would meet the definition of a private account provided you’re not a UK resident.
Minimum Documentation and Inconvenience
For the purposes of this article we will define easiest offshore bank account to open as an account that you can open without jumping through too many hoops. A simple bank visit or online form should be all that’s needed.
It is accepted that for every account you will need, at a minimum, a copy of your ID document such as a passport or residence card. So, where can you walk into a bank and open an easy offshore bank account?
The Republic of Georgia
The Republic of Georgia is one option. I had one of the easiest offshore bank account opening experiences ever when I went into TBC bank in Tbilisi to open an account. They ask for a copy of your passport and for a tax ID number from your country of residence. There is no verification of your country of tax residence.
They don’t want to see any other documentation. No bank references. No utility bills. No confirmation of your country of tax residence. All together it was a very simple experience. There is also a way to open easy offshore bank accounts in Georgia remotely by giving a local lawyer a power of attorney to act on your behalf. For help with this, get in touch with us.
It’s worth noting that The Republic of Georgia does not currently share any information under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), although it is due to start sharing CRS information in 2023. Serbia is also a good option with no date scheduled to join CRS.
Opening Offshore Bank Accounts in The Caribbean
Accounts in the Caribbean can also be straightforward to open. We have had good experiences opening accounts in The Bahamas, Bermuda and Grenada. If you’re opening offshore accounts remotely all the documents will need to be notarised and you’ll normally need two forms of ID such as a passport or driver’s license. You’ll also need a proof of address. Some banks will ask for a bank reference too.
European Bank Accounts
Some of the easiest offshore bank accounts to open are in Europe. If you have a European ID you can open an easy offshore bank account in Malta or Cyprus or the UK. The banks will, of course, report CRS information but if you have a tax free residency in Portugal under the NHR scheme or are resident of Malta or Ireland on the remittance basis you might not care if your account information is shared with an authority who can’t tax you in any case.
The USA for Non-US Residents
For those who are not US citizens or residents banks in Puerto Rico could be a decent option. The US and Puerto Rico are not part of CRS so will not report your account balances to the tax authorities in your home country. We had a good experience opening accounts remotely in Puerto Rico.
Other Offshore Bank Accounts and Institutions
There are non bank institutions such as money transfer services which offer good options for money transfer and debit cards. Wise can be a useful service for getting money from one country to another inexpensively.
We have a list of accounts that are easy to open remotely in multiple jurisdictions. We will make this available to existing clients and buyers of Bullet Proof Asset Protection. Find out more below:
Is it legal to have offshore bank account?
Yes, it’s perfectly legal to have offshore bank accounts. Depending on where you live you may have to disclose them to your local tax authorities.
How much does it cost to open an offshore bank account?
Offshore bank accounts should normally be free to open. Overseas banks don’t charge to open accounts. Some may have minimum balance requirements.
Are offshore accounts safe?
It depends on the institution and on the jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions have depositor protection schemes to protect account holders. There are enormous differences between having offshore bank accounts in a jurisdiction like Singapore and a jurisdiction like Belize.
What are the best offshore bank accounts?
That depends on your individual needs and where your country of residence is. Do you need to think about CRS or FATCA? There are good options for everybody and accounts are easier to open than you think. The best option for one person may not work for others. You can hire us to work with you to open the best accounts and set up the best offshore structures for your needs.
Are offshore bank accounts in Belize worthwhile?
There are several banks in Belize that may be worth considering. It’s probably not the place to keep your main account.
If you’d like help with opening the easiest offshore bank accounts please get in touch here. Also take a look at our Special Report – Bullet Proof Asset Protection which offers a full guide to protecting your assets and opening offshore bank accounts in multiple jurisdictions around the world. You will discover hard to find information on the benefits of offshore banking and how to open an offshore account. There are also unique strategies for asset protection that you can implement immediately. No matter how well resourced the pursuer is you’ll find out how to Bullet Proof your assets.