Merchant Accounts for foreign owned US LLCs

Encountering some major issues we getting setup to accept payments under a foreign owned, sole propriatery, US LLC. I wanted to share our experiences here to see if others had experienced this and, more importantly, and recommendations to navigate around this.

We recently moved our company to the US under an LLC. I wont go into the reasons for that here but at the time it seemed like a good idea.

In parallel, we encountered issues with our PayPal account despite holding the account for 11 years and never having a problem. Again, I won’t go into the specifics here as I could write a whole book on whats happened there - short answer, vile company.

So PayPal is off the list for a solution for us.

We tried Stripe - want to work with us but we can not open the account because we do not have a SSN / ITIN or a US Address / Phone Number. Gone back and forth on that one and it seems dead in the water.

Merchant Accounts - we thought this would be easy - hahaha - so every merchant we have spoke to (and we have spoken to a lot!) can not work with us for the same reasons as Stripe - No SSN, not US based so forth and so forth.

So we suddenly find ourselves in a position whereby our business has suddently lost all ability to accept payments from our customers putting our successful, long running, business in serious jeopardy.

We are investigating offshore merchant account, which may be our last best hope. But this is proving a mine field when it comes to spotting the genuine opportunities and the cons. We have a few irons in the fire here but it all takes time.

  1. Has anyone been through this and can recommend a merchant that may work with us? Onshore or Offshore?

  2. We do have a dormant Estonian company and we can easily open a UK company (I’m a British citizen). But I’m loathe to do this unless we have to for the less favourable tax environment, VAT and various other things. Feels a little like admitting defeat in the whole offshore, work from anywhere plan.

Love to hear any useful advice that the community may have to share.


1 Like

What about Worldpay?

I believe that if you have registered a US LLC, even if it’s back up by a foreign company, it should have a TIN (tax id number).
Very few US banks will touch LLCs backed by foreign companies, and the few that do require very steep minimum balances (200k minimum). I say this because I believe most payment services such as PayPal, Venmo, CassApp, etc will require US bank accts.

Hi. Opening a US bank account is hard and will take you much time. Please send me a private message. I can give you advice. I do that as a job. Thank you.