Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How to open an offshore bank account

Wednesday, 20 May 2009 14:51

Have you ever thought about opening an offshore account? It is not as difficult as you may imagine. You can do it in a relatively short period of time and without ever going abroad.

An offshore account will help you reduce your tax liability, get a higher return on your investments or simply keep your affairs private.

Essentially, an offshore account means a bank account in a foreign country. It offers benefits such as international access to your money, better protection of assets or a higher return on your investment no matter where you live.

If you are interested in opening an offshore bank account, follow these guidelines.

1. Choose a country for your offshore account. Banking rules vary from country to country, so you need some guarantee that your hard-earned money will be safe. Nowadays there are over 50 countries and territories that specialise in offshore activity. In the Cayman Islands, it is a popular joke that there are more banks than people.

2. If you don’t want to spend time searching through the various rules and regulations, select a specialised company or financial advisor that will help you set up your offshore account. Companies such as Cayman Banking Services, Maritime International and Delta Quest can advise you on an appropriate bank depending on your requirements, account activity, and amount of funds.

Choose an offshore bank. Large, international banks often offer greater security and more services, but they charge higher fees. Be sure to ask if you will be able to access your account by the internet. This will enable you to make payments, check your account balance and initiate transfers from anywhere around the globe.

4. Decide what type of offshore account you want to open: a traditional savings account or a current account. Some banks also offer credit cards, debit cards, ATM cards and safety deposit boxes. Take into consideration what kind of fees will apply, whether you have to maintain a minimum account balance, and of course what interest rate the bank offers.

5. Fill out forms required to open an account: applications, one or two copies of your most recent utility bill to prove your current residency, a reference from your current bank, and a certified copy of photo identification such as a driver’s license or passport. Most applications can be handled online.

6. Deposit the required amount once the account has been opened (it usually takes 2-7 days after you have submitted the documents and forms to the respective bank). Depending on the jurisdiction and the bank, you may need to start with $1,000 (Antigua, Cyprus, Belize) or you may need to deposit $15,000 (Austria, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Isle of Man). You can send funds by money order or initiate a transfer from your bank. If you are going to make a truly large deposit you can do so in person.

Keep in mind that you will need to communicate regularly with your offshore bank, check your account, and deposit and withdraw funds. If your offshore bank is located in a place with a warmer climate, such as the Caribbean or Bahamas, you may visit your offshore bank to combine business with pleasure.

1 comment:

CreditLendingBlog said...

Great tips.

These are really helpful in today's times when a lot of people want to open an offshore account.