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  • Epico Finance

Opening Bank Account For Shelf Or Offshore Company

Updated: Mar 18, 2023

If you are wondering how to open a bank account for your shelf or offshore company without hassle, then please keep reading.

Bank account opening for shelf or offshore companies is a difficult or almost impossible mission for anyone who is trying it or has tried it.

It is due to the banking regulations and AML/KYC procedures that require analysts to check every single detail of a company, its activities, and especially UBOs. The source of wealth is also a question that doesn’t get ignored by traditional banks these days.

Be prepared for several rounds of questions and additional document requests from the bank.

In addition, a traditional bank will be understaffed and slow to process account opening applications for newly formed offshore companies or even existing ones.

What Are the Alternatives for Traditional Banks in Offshore Jurisdictions?

From our experience, it is much easier and faster to open an account for an offshore company with a PSP (Payments Service Provider). We have also written an article on How To Choose Payment Service Provider [Full Guide]

PSPs are much quicker to respond to applications for account opening and, in general, easier to deal with. For example, on average, it will take two to three weeks to open an account for a shelf company or offshore company with Epico Finance payment partners.

Moreover, these digital payment platforms will provide detailed questions and reasons for asking certain questions. The answers will be processed within several business days, while the relationship manager will do her best to assist clients with the progress and timelines.

As payment and banking advisors, we do recommend to our clients and readers that they require a named virtual IBAN account instead of a pooled account in the name of the payment company. This will add clarity to your banking operations and your relationships with clients or suppliers, as they will be sending funds directly to you!

Finally, alternative banking providers are much more flexible in terms of pricing payments and FX solutions. Our team has helped multiple clients achieve better conditions than what they have had with a traditional bank at an onshore company!

What Documents Will You Need To Open An Account With A Payments Provider?

As mentioned previously, payment providers usually ask for fewer documents than traditional banks. However, it is not a rule of thumb, as their compliance might want to dig deeper into the UBOs or source of wealth.

Let’s talk about the basic package of documents needed to open a bank account with an alternative banking provider.

-Registration form or online application

-Identification of Directors and UBOs (holding more than 25% stake in the company): ID or passport; proof of address within 3 months (POA)

-Proof of address for the company (within 3 months)

-Company incorporation documents and statutes

-Description of business activity and purpose of the account

-In some instances, the CVs of the directors, or UBOs if they are private individuals, should be checked to see if they have experience in the business field that the company is set to operate.

This is a starter package of documents that will be required with the account opening application or registration form. When the due diligence process starts, compliance analysts might require further information. And our job as advisors is to help prepare for these possible next due diligence steps and respond to them professionally without undermining the chances of account opening.


It is extremely hard to open a bank account for shelf or offshore companies in traditional banks these days. A viable alternative is digital banks or payment service providers that are more flexible and can support offshore companies to have access to worldwide payment systems. If you are looking to open an account for a shelf or offshore company, do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation and a list of the best payment providers that we can introduce you to.

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