Overseas companies often have difficulty accepting payments from American consumers, which can significantly curtail their earning power. However, with a little bit of strategy, they can accept payments in the USA with a foreign corporation. This is a business model whereby an entity is established using a DBA under the umbrella of the larger corporation. Allowing the foreign corporation to accept American payments on its behalf.
Challenges for Accepting U.S. Payments
The challenges that foreign companies face when trying to accept payments in the United States may vary, but they all lead back to the same three items. These three obstacles are nearly impossible to avoid. They include:
- Tax ID Number – To obtain a merchant account in the United States, you need a social security number or a tax ID number. This can be difficult for a foreign entity to obtain because the owners of the business do not live or work in the U.S.
- USA Corporation – Merchant account providers in the U.S. also typically require articles of incorporation, to prove the existence of the business. If a foreign entity does not want to incorporate in the United States, it’s not likely that they’ll be able to secure payment processing services.
- USA Bank Account – Last but not least, payment service providers in the U.S. require a bank account that is based in the United States. This is usually required to settle funds from payments since processors will only work with US companies.
Solution for Foreign Merchants and Corporations
Although it seems like it’s nearly impossible to take payments from U.S. citizens without incorporating in the United States, there is a solution available. The key to solving this issue is to create an entity that can do the following:
- Act as a signer on behalf of the foreign corporation
- Take responsibility for signing documents and setting up bank accounts and corporations if necessary
- Handle settlements and wires to your local, foreign bank
How Does It Work?
Under an established corporation, foreign merchants can set up subordinate business entities. These entities can accept eCheck payments in the name of the business, or the DBA (Doing Business As), that is assigned to the entity. The master corporation still handles all accounting and financial services, including but not limited to disputes and foreign settlements.
Smaller entities with DBAs can operate within the U.S. without presenting domestic articles of incorporation. This allows foreign companies to conduct business on U.S. soil while maintaining the bulk of their business in their own country. These entities can accept payments, transfer money to the company’s foreign bank, etc.
This business model works really well for most foreign merchants. Even higher risk industries have found success accepting high risk echeck payments using this system. Some industries benefiting the most include:
- Tech Support
All three of these industries depend heavily on the sales of products and services in the United States. Without the U.S. consumer base, their revenues would decrease significantly. Having a business entity that can accept payments from consumers in the United States is critical to their success. Of course, this model works well for other industries, too. These are just some of the main ones currently using it.
How to Accept Monthly Payments in USA
If your company decides to go this route, the first thing you need to do is set up your entity with a DBA that will allow it to do business in the U.S. After that, you’ll need to consider the types of payment methods that will work for you. If your business uses a subscription model of billing, eCheck or ACH payments will be the best option.
These types of payments are designed for rebilling or recurring monthly fees. This makes them the perfect fit for a corporation that’s looking for a solution. More traditional payment options are also available for one-time payments, as well