If you're looking for reliable information on the best countries to set up an offshore bank account, then you have landed on the right page.
Here, we list the 10 most reputable jurisdictions for offshore bank accounts and their main advantages. So Let's get started.
What is an offshore bank account?
An offshore account is one that you have in a country where you are not a resident. Offshore banking is just another name to open a bank account outside your home country.
In the case of a business, it means that your bank account is not in the country where your business was established.
For instance, let's say your company is incorporated in Hong Kong and your international account can be somewhere else than Hong Kong.
Why consider offshore banks?
Offshore accounts facilitate the management of your financial obligations in several countries and regions. In fact, offshore accounts can save, hold and invest money in multiple currencies.
Similarly, banking offshore can also help businesses to profit from local advantages such as tax benefits and incentives that come with opening and maintaining offshore accounts.
On this note, If you haven't registered your business anywhere particularly yet, consider these countries for offshore company registration as well, as this might directly impact which offshore bank account you can use
How to choose your best offshore banking jurisdiction
Before choosing how and where to open an offshore account, there are various elements you should take into consideration:
Offshore banks reputation
The very first aspect to think about before opening an offshore account is the reputation of the financial institution.
Deciding to go for low-reputation offshore banks comes with risks and these risks may outweigh the benefits.
Thus, perform your own due diligence on the foreign jurisdiction's reputation before putting your money.
Generally speaking the most common countries for offshore accounts will have reliable security and customer support as their local economies depend on foreign businesses opening accounts in their jurisdiction.
If you would like an offshore account in a jurisdiction that's not well known to be a haven for offshore accounts, you may need to look deeper into what makes up the local banking security of that country. You should check if your money will be protected by any compensation scheme.
Open Accounts Remotely
Check if you can open your offshore account remotely as you may not wish to travel in order to open your account.
Initial deposit and fees
Many offshore accounts require a certain amount of deposit, so you should go for one that fits your needs.
For example, if you are a startup, you may want to have an offshore account in a country and bank that requires a low deposit.
Also, some offshore accounts may charge international transfer fees and monthly maintenance fees. So you have to carefully read through the terms and conditions before going for that offshore bank account as some other fees may be charged.
What countries are best for banking offshore?
A large number of countries offer offshore banking. The most well-known countries for foreign accounts are tax havens — meaning a country or jurisdiction that has low or no taxes for corporations or individuals.
We have listed out the top 10 countries to open an offshore account.
Note: Be aware, that the political and tax situation in different countries is subject to change. Always do your own thorough research before putting money offshore.
1. Hong Kong 🇭🇰
Hong Kong is an incredible option for offshore banking.
As one of the most profitable and popular financial centres in the world, Hong Kong offers many perks to its foreign banking customers.
With an efficient legal system, a favourable tax system, and robust telecommunications and financial infrastructure, Hong Kong is a prime destination for offshore banking.
It's one of the best places to register your company where not only does it act as a tax haven, but it also offers fantastic financial services, and global business connections, and is an effective gateway into the Chinese market.
Interested in opening a Hong Kong business account remotely? With a Statrys business account, you can send and receive payments in 11 different currencies.
2. Switzerland 🇨🇭
This is probably the first country that comes to mind when you think of an offshore bank account, and for good reason.
Many high-net-worth individuals in the United States trust their money with Swiss banks thanks to their commitment to privacy and steadfast asset protection.
The sophisticated banking network of Switzerland is comprised of roughly 300 financial institutions.
As of 2018, it is estimated that the total assets held by the Swiss banking network amount to USD 7 trillion; and almost half of that is owned by foreigners.
What makes Switzerland such a popular destination for foreign money?
It’s thanks to the privacy laws of Swiss banking.
In Switzerland, bankers are prohibited from divulging any information about their customers' accounts without the customer's consent.
Swiss banks offer their customers some of the most stringent privacy policies; especially their foreign customers.
If your Swiss banker illegally releases information about your bank account, they can face up to six months in prison and a hefty fine.
In such a politically and economically stable nation, there’s no question that Swiss banks offer the best privacy and asset protection policies of any foreign banking destination.
3. Belize 🇧🇿
If you’re looking to bank overseas in pursuit of more favourable interest rates, Belize is your destination.
This Central American country has the highest interest rates for foreign bankers than any other country on the list.
After accounting for inflation and banking security, it turns out that Belize has a real interest rate of roughly 2.3%.
Belize has a very high real interest rate thanks to its low inflation rate, which is only projected to decrease through 2021.
Like Switzerland, Belize is a fairly politically stable nation and offers some benefits to foreign bankers.
International accounts are immune from local taxes and exchange control regulations.
Additionally, account holders can choose to bank in most major currencies.
Belize is also praised for its foreign account privacy policies.
4. Germany 🇩🇪
If you value safety above all, Germany is the foreign banking destination for you and your money.
Germany’s banks take up four spots in the top ten safest banks in the world.
This is mostly thanks to the superb economic stability of the European country.
Germany’s robust remote banking system allows you to open a bank account without being present.
You could open a bank account in Germany from the comfort of your home in the United States, depending on the bank you choose to do business with.
Additionally, German banks are known for rewarding foreign bankers who travel to and through the European Union.
Security, perks, and convenience make Germany an excellent foreign banking destination.
5. The Cayman Islands 🇰🇾
When it comes to taxation benefits, no country can compare the Cayman Islands.
The Caymans are thought to be a tax haven, offering international bankers minimal taxation liability.
When banking in the Cayman Islands, you will undergo no direct taxation.
You will pay no capital gains tax, no corporate taxes, withholding, property, payroll, or income taxes.
Additionally, there is no exchange control meaning that fund transfers coming in or going out of the islands are completely free in any currency.
If you want to keep your money in a beautiful, tropical tax haven, the Cayman Islands is the offshore banking country for you.
6. Singapore 🇸🇬
This is the best offshore banking country for high-net-worth individuals.
Singapore has a reputation for being a safe and stable country for wealthy people to store their assets.
Singapore banks offer a wide range of wealth management services.
These include financial advice, tax guidance, estate planning, legal counsel, and investment management.
If you’re looking for the absolute best financial services a foreign bank can provide, consider offshore banking in Singapore.
7. Panama 🇵🇦
Like the Cayman Islands, Panama offers international bankers a favourable taxation situation.
Panama uses a territorial tax system, meaning that all income generated from a foreign country is exempt from local taxes.
Panama is yet another secure and beneficial offshore banking destination.
8. The Republic of Seychelles 🇸🇨
As a very small country with a population of less than 100,000, you may have never heard of it before reading this article.
Seychelles, like Panama, does not tax the income of foreign banking customers.
Seychelles banks also protect the privacy of their customers, bound by law to refrain from divulging customer account information.
9. Nevis 🇰🇳
The Island of Nevis is a premier destination for offshore banking thanks to the numerous benefits for companies.
When individuals and companies from the United States decide to bank offshore, they choose Nevis.
Nevis banks offer strong asset protection and companies based in Nevis are allowed to create flexible organizational structures
The process of registering in Nevis is simple and can be done remotely, and the country offers competitive interest rates.
10: Mauritius 🇲🇺
As one of the largest financial hubs in Africa, Mauritius has a stable and financially booming economy, making it a great place to store funds.
The banks of these countries allow bankers to open their accounts very quickly, in as little time as two weeks.
What are the pros and cons of an offshore account?
Some of the common benefits are:
- savings and potentially fiscally advantageous investments in a variety of currencies;
- tax benefits;
- higher interest rates;
- hold money, make and receive payments in different currencies;
- increased privacy
Furthermore, most offshore banks provide regular banking functions, such as debit cards and online banking.
💡Tips: Each offshore account comes with different features and benefits depending on the country and banks you choose so make sure you check that out.
On the other side, the most disadvantages are:
- Negative connotations: Offshore banking is often associated with tax evasion, money laundering, and organized crime. As a result, tax agencies and other authorities impose strict rules on these banks in an effort to monitor their activities more closely.
- Minimum deposit and maintenance fees are sometimes required
- Safety. Back to what we mentioned earlier, if a financial crisis occurs or if the bank you have deposited with goes bankrupt, you may not be able to retrieve all or any of the money you have deposited. Therefore, it is crucial to do your homework.
Back to you
Opening a bank account in another jurisdiction is a great way to help your business thrive.
Even if it's not a tax haven, you might find other benefits of using foreign laws or even physical locations for your business's financial success.
One of the most common jurisdictions in the world is Hong Kong.
You can get started today with Statrys and get access to a remote, virtual business account in under 72 hours.
Is Offshore banking legal?
Offshore bank accounts themselves are not illegal, however depending on your company and where it does business, or your home country tax laws, you would still be liable for any transactions that happen in taxable jurisdictions and also liable for income tax for income you make in said jurisdictions.
Are offshore accounts safe?
Can I avoid taxes with an offshore account?