You must have seen freelancers, internet marketers and dropshippers in unsupported countries receive payments using stripe and the question that comes to your mind “is it possible to use stripe in unsupported countries?”.
In this post, I answered the common questions people ask concerning using Stripe in unsupported countries or as a non-US citizen.
Does Stripe Support All Countries?
At the time of writing this, Stripe is available in 47 countries. If Stripe is not supported in your country, you can still use Stripe. That is the essence of this post – to show you how to use stripe in unsupported countries.
Can I Use Stripe In An Unsupported Country?
Yes, you can open a Stripe account and use it if you are from an unsupported country. Although there is a process to go about it and that is what this blog post is all about – how to use Stripe in unsupported countries.
How Do I Open A US Stripe Account?
It is very easy to open a US Stripe account. All you need is the required documents. As you read further in this blog post, you will know how to get all the necessary documents on how to open a US Stripe account.
How To Set Up Stripe In Unsupported Countries
Requirements To Use Stripe In Unsupported Countries
To be able to use stripe in unsupported countries, you need to form a US company, which is an LLC (Limited Liability Company).
You might ask why can’t I use a registered company in my country. It is not possible because the documents required to create the Stripe account are not available in your country.
Forming an LLC is not hard and does not require much paperwork. What you need is just an EIN (Employer Identification Number) or Tax ID, a US physical address, a US phone number, and a US bank Account.
Getting these things are not difficult. I will show you how to get them easily in order to be able to use Stripe in unsupported countries.
Before I proceed to show you how to form your LLC, you need to get these two things ready; US physical address and a US phone number.
How To Get A US Physical Address
It is entirely free to get a US physical address without having someone over there or using someone’s house address.
Go Shipito.com and create a US address. You will likely get a California address. Take note that CA means California.
How To Get A US Phone Number
There is no free way to get a US phone number except if you have a trusted someone in that country. It is easy to get the phone number. Go to your app store and download dingtone. You can use dingtone to create a functional US phone number. Another option is Skype.
If you have created the US address and phone number, the next stage is to form your LLC.
Forming an LLC will cost you some dollars. If you are to register your business name or company in your home country, you will spend money. It is the same thing with LLC formation.
If you are to register your LLC using a lawyer, you should be ready to cough out close to $1000. I will show you the cheapest and easiest way to form your LLC.
Let me explain a little about an LLC so you can have a clue of what you want to venture into and spend your money on.
What Is An LLC?
An LLC is also known as a “limited liability company” or “limited liability partnership.”
An LLC is a business structure that allows you to operate as a limited liability company. This means that the owners of an LLC have limited legal responsibility for their actions and are protected from personal liability.
An LLC is a great option if you want to start your own business and keep your personal assets separate from your business assets.
Even though the main purpose of forming this LLC is to use it to open a stripe account for unsupported countries, it has other benefits for your business.
I mentioned EIN earlier in this post as one of the things you will need also need to be able to use stripe in unsupported countries.
What Is EIN?
EIN stands for Employer Identification Number. It is a nine-digit number that you will use to identify your business.
This number is also like an SSN (social security number) and it is used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to track the status of your business’s tax forms.
Do not get worried about this that you will have to start paying heavily on taxes. You can avoid paying taxes by filing your LLC in a tax-free state.
There are some states in the US where it is cheap to form an LLC and has no annual tax fee.
The Cheapest States To Form An LLC
If you are asking what are the cheapest states to form an LLC, here are a few with low state filing fees and annual tax fees.
Filing fee: $40
Annual tax fee: $15
Filing fee: $50
Annual tax fee: $0
Filing fee: $50
Annual tax fee: $0
- New Mexico
Filing fee: $50
Annual tax fee: $0
Filing fee: $50
Annual tax fee: $10
The state filing fee is the fee charged by the state to file a new business entity. The annual tax fee is a tax that you pay to the state government every year. The tax fees that you pay depend on the type of business you have. If you have an LLC, then your annual tax fee is based on the number of members and profits in your company.
The reason I took my time to explain all of these terms is for you to understand what you are paying for and why you are paying for it. They are required for LLC formation whether you are doing it yourself or hiring someone to do it for you.
If you don’t want to be paying taxes every year, then you should choose either of these states: Mississippi, Missouri or New Mexico. Please do know that things are meant to change over time but at the time of publishing this post, the information above was accurate.
With all of these explained and other requirements ready (US phone number and address), it is time to start your LLC registration.
How To Form An LLC
To form an LLC, you will need to use an LLC formation service. An LLC formation service is a company that helps you form an LLC (limited liability company).
Many people who want to form an LLC don’t have the time, resources and knowledge to do it themselves. That is where the service comes in.
They will handle all the paperwork, including filing the articles of incorporation, which is necessary if you want to operate under this type of structure.
The best and cheapest LLC formation service provider out there that will help you with everything is Inc Authority. They offer free LLC formation. They won’t charge for their services but you only pay the mandatory fee required to form the LLC.
The mandatory fees are the EIN $69, the operating agreement $89 and the state filing fee (depending on the state you choose). If you act fast, you might get an EIN for $49 or lesser.
LLC Formation With Inc Authority
Step 1. Visit Inc Authority. On the upper right of the page, click on get started.
Step 2. It is already on Limited Liability Company (LLC) by default. Choose the state you want to file your LLC with. Remember that Mississippi, Missouri and New Mexico have a $0 annual tax fee and a state filing fee of $50. For this guide, I will go with Missouri.
Step 3. Enter your first name and last name, email address and US phone number. Tick I agree to the terms and conditions. If the business is owned by two people, click on add co-owner or partner. Click save and continue.
Step 4. Business Details. Is this your business? Choose yes or no. Click on save and continue.
Step 5. Under this, choose no. Click on save and continue.
Step 6. When will you be open for business? You can choose I’m already open for business. Click save and continue.
Step 7. What type of business do you have? You should choose whatever your business is all about. After that, click save and continue.
Step 8. Will you be hiring employees in the first 12 months? Choose no. Click save and continue.
Step 9. Will your business be accepting credit card payments? Choose yes. click on save and continue.
Step 10. Enter your LLC business. The name you want to use for your LLC and a brief description of the business. Describe your business in one complete sentence. Click save and continue.
Step 11. Enter the business address for your LLC. Use the Shipito address you created earlier. Click save and continue.
Step 12. You can choose to continue the process as a guest or create an account. Continue as a guest. Click save and continue.
Step 13. You need a registered agent to form an LLC. Registered agent is free for a year at Inc Authority. Click add to order for free.
Step 14. EIN employer identification number (Tax ID) is not optional. Click add to order. At the time of writing this guide, it is $49. You might get it lower if they are offering a discount or $69 if no discount. Click add to order for only $49.
Step 15. An operating Agreement is essential for an LLC. This is proof that you own the LLC. Click on add to order for only $89.
Step 16. For the Legal documents package with ownership certificates, click no thanks.
Step 17. Minutes and Resolutions. Click no thanks, I will create my own.
Step 18. 24 Hour-Express Processing. They often charge $49 for expressing processing. I am getting this for free. If you see the same thing during your LLC registration, click on add to order for free. If you don’t see that, choose no.
Step 19. Online Business Presence. Click no thanks, I do not need an online business presence.
Step 20. INC Success Advisor. Click no thanks, standard support is fine.
Step 21. Business Checking & Credit Cards. Choose yes or no. Click save and continue.
Step 22. Review Your LLC Order. Choose free – standard delivery. Go through the details. If every detail is correct, you can proceed to make payment.
Standard free delivery means that your documents will be sent to your email. You can make your payment using your credit card or PayPal.
If you follow all the steps closely and chose Missouri to form your LLC, the cost should be around $189.25. If your payment is successful, congratulations! But this is not the end of the process. In the coming days, Inc Authority will send you an EIN application form.
They will send it to your email with a link. It is an EIN application online form. When you receive the email, click on complete online today.
How To Fill Out The EIN Application Form
There is nothing hard about filling out the EIN online form. Enter your entity name, full name, the country where your principal business is located, responsible party name (your name), phone number (US), and social security number (choose foreign).
LLC members should be single (one) since you are the only owner of the business. Enter your US address. If you are sure that it is the correct details you have filled out, you can proceed to submit the form.
In about 6 days or less, Inc Authority will send another form to your email. That is the form where you will fill out the complete details about your LLC. Your business name, phone and address have already been added to the form. You will complete the rest details by yourself. You will submit the form through email.
It will take up to 7 days to form your LLC and a maximum of 45 days to get your EIN. Without your LLC and EIN, you won’t be able to set up a Stripe account for unsupported countries.
With this, you are just a few steps away to open a stripe account as a non-US citizen. If you have gotten your EIN, congratulations again! You are a few steps away to open a verified stripe account in an unsupported country. But first, you need to create your US bank account.
Go to Payoneer.com and create an individual US bank. It is needed because during the stripe registration process, they will request for a bank account. If your US bank account is available, then it is time to proceed to Stripe and set up your account.
How To Set Up A verified Stripe Account In An Unsupported Country
It is assumed that at this stage, your LLC has been formed, and your EIN and registered agent details have been gotten. Now it is to proceed to Stripe to set up your account.
Step 1. Visit https://dashboard.stripe.com/register.
Enter your email, full name, and country (leave it in the United States). Enter your password and click create account.
Step 2. Verify your email address.
Step 3. Activate payments on your account. Click on activate payments to start the process of setting up your Stripe account.
Step 4. Choose your business type. The business location should be the United States. The type of business should be a company and business structure single-member LLC.
Step 5. Business details. Your legal business name should be the name of your LLC. Fill in the EIN gotten from Inc Authority. The registered business address should be the registered agent’s address from Inc authority. Choose your industry, and enter your website URL and product description (business description). Click on continue.
Step 6. Business representative. This part is for you to verify your personal details. Your legal name should be your real name. Your email address will automatically be displayed there. Enter your home address. You should use your home address and phone number (not a US phone number). Since you are a non-US citizen, you don’t have an SSN. So choose to provide a government-issued ID number instead.
Step 7. Fulfilment details. This part is to let stripe know how long it will take for you to deliver to customers the products or services that you are selling after they make payment.
Step 8. Public details. This part is for you to let decide what customers will see on their payment statements, invoices, and receipts. It is recommended that you enter your LLC in the statement descriptor (eg Mazicom LLC). In the shortened descriptor, you can add only the name of your business (eg Mazicom).
Step 9. Add your bank account to receive payouts. For you to be able to move your money out for Stripe, you must add a bank account. If your bank is not listed there, you need to enter it manually.
If you have a Payoneer account, you can go there and add the bank details. If you have any other US bank account from other financial institutions, you can try it too.
Step 10. Secure your account. You can use SMS or an authenticator app. With two-step authentication, no one else will be able to log in to your account. Once you are done, click continue.
Step 11. Tax calculation. Click no thanks.
Step 12. Climate contributions. Ignore this part.
Step 13. Review and submit. Check to see that all details you have entered are correct. If all information is correct, click on submit.
Should I say finally? Maybe!
You need to check your email for any further information from Stripe. Sometimes they ask you for proof of certain details you submitted if they are finding it hard to verify the information.
If you follow this guide step-by-step, and you live in a country where Stripe is not supported, you should be able to start using Stripe legally. This method is accepted by Stripe. You won’t get banned by Stripe as long your business is not restricted or prohibited.