Home – New Forums Money matters How to Setup a US Bank Account From Australia

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  • #982144
    DavidM
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    Hello,

    Is it possible to setup a US bank account from Australia? I receive and make quite a few payments in $US. Currently I’m transacting on PayPal, but the fees are hurting a bit.

    I would like to cut these fees by setting up a US bank account and having US customers pay directly into my US account. Then, if I need to top up my PayPal account, I can simply have PayPal debit my US account.

    Is this possible?

    Cheers,

    #1135250
    Chris H
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    Hi David,

    This is something I encountered recently, I make a lot of fund transfers in USD which is killing me at around $30 a transaction.
    ANZ has a Forex service where you can set up a USD bank account and get better spot rates for converting. They don’t offer to everyone, I think you have to be putting a lot of cash through, from memory it was about $30 a month in account fees.

    I’d ask at the branch, I am sure most of the big banks have a similar service, I know the NAB does.

    http://www.anz.com.au/corporate/products-services/transaction-services/deposits-liquidity-management/foreign-currency-deposits/

    #1135251
    Zava Design
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    I’m looking for a PayPal alternative for other reasons, but I have to say if you can’t afford to add 3-5% in fees to your prices then that’s something to look at rather than worry too much about the fees. Anything is going to cost a certain percentage, not much different from that per transaction until you get into the thousands (of transactions, not $$$).

    I buyer who will pay $1,900 is not going to baulk at paying $1,995.

    #1135252
    MH08
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    It’s simple.

    Head to the IRS website, download the Form W-7, fill it out, send it back.

    This form is equivalent to applying for a TFN in Australia, once you receive your number, you can then go to BoA or who ever and open the account. No loops, no tricks, only the W-7.

    In the states all forms are in numbers and codes, not like us Aussies with slang for forms :)

    You don’t have to be a resident in the US.

    #1135253
    djhosken
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    I was struggeling with this for years. Then found I can open a USD bank account with St George. Was very simple, just need a AUD St George business account to link to the USD account, which costs about $5 per month I think. I got a St George business banking online account. When I log in, I have my AUD and USD account. I now get all international customers to pay into my StGeorge USD account. They also gave me the US Routing bank details which is required by some US customers.

    I have received payments into this account for over a year now, and it is great. Must have saved 1000’s in bank fees. I looked at many Oz bank’s USD accounts they offerered, but they all had this terrible feature of taking a % of all incomming and outgoing USD payments! My StGeorge account has no % charge for incomming USD payments, but charge a fixed fee of about about $16. I have a $20 fee for making USD payments to international accounts.

    When I have no money in my USD account, I use ozforex.com.au for doing multi currency transfers. They are much cheaper, and better exchange rates than using international wire transfers with a bank.

    #1135254
    StellarScott
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    Hi David

    You can open a USD account with any of the majors in Australia or HSBC

    You need not only to look at the fees but the exchange rate risk. If your not regularly buying in USD at some stage you have to convert the money

    #1135255
    Trent
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    MH08, post: 153942 wrote:
    It’s simple.

    Head to the IRS website, download the Form W-7, fill it out, send it back.

    This form is equivalent to applying for a TFN in Australia, once you receive your number, you can then go to BoA or who ever and open the account. No loops, no tricks, only the W-7.

    In the states all forms are in numbers and codes, not like us Aussies with slang for forms :)

    You don’t have to be a resident in the US.

    Nice one, MH08

    For those who get lost searching….
    http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw7.pdf

    Here is the instructional PDF
    http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/iw7.pdf

    This is how you can find other US forms:
    http://apps.irs.gov/app/picklist/list/formsPublications.html

    #1135256
    DavidM
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    Thanks for your help everyone.

    #1135257
    bridiej
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    I use Tranzfers for my forex. If your client/customer registered with them (an easy process from memory) they could then send the funds direct to your Aus bank account. They can also tick a box to let them know if they are passing the fee on to you (which you can then claim as an expense).

    http://www.tranzfers.com/

    #1135258
    Noon2010
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    DavidM, post: 154703 wrote:
    Thanks for your help everyone.

    Hi Glad I found this post, I am after the same thing. I have the W7 form. I’m just not clear on the reason for submitting. Can anyone offer some assistance.

    Thanks
    DEan

    #1135259
    Anonymous
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    Hi Dean,

    I’m not the right person to answer your question, but did want to drop in and welcome you to Flying Solo.

    Thanks for joining us, and I hope you get the info you need soon :)

    Jayne

    #1135260
    lubek
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    Noon2010, post: 186922 wrote:
    Hi Glad I found this post, I am after the same thing. I have the W7 form. I’m just not clear on the reason for submitting. Can anyone offer some assistance.

    Thanks
    DEan
    Same here.
    Can anyone with some expertise please list the reasons for the W7 form and the advantages of going that way vs using an Aust bank to open a US account?
    TIA knowledgable people.
    Bek

    #1135261
    DanielMcQ
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    Great thread. Thanks for starting, David.

    Has anybody used the setup described above — USD denominated Australian business account linked to an AUD denominated Australian business account — and then used OzForex to transfer between them?

    The FX rates at St. George don’t compare well against OzForex.

    #1135262
    Jason@Plumsale
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    You are restricted for choice if you want to have a merchant account to accept payments via credit card in US dollars. As of a couple of years ago NAB were the only ones in AU to offer these merchant accounts.
    This may have changed in recent times.

    #1135263
    Trent
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    (great business concept. Jason – I’ll be stalking you later ;) )

    I just thought I’d quickly reply on this, as I’ve been away for years and thought I’d better give something back after all the clients FS has sent my way!

    My experience (and the links you saw above) came from helping Aussie authors sell on Amazon USA – there are HUGE tax and fee benefits that make setting yourself up in the USA a no-brainer is you’re selling on Amazon but for many it’s a process they find difficult to make the right entity choices for the best set up and then maintain that entity.

    This was compounded when my small business clients that wanted to sell on the US market were in the same situation, so we’re working together to make a simple system to sell in the USA.

    What is a W7 form and why do you need one?
    A W7 form is needed to get a tax identification number with the IRS when you are not eligible for social security in the USA – if you’re an Aussie, this means you ;)

    You will need one for tax purposes if you are setting up a bank in the USA (and from personal experience setting one up in the USA is leaps and bounds better than a US currency account if you’re looking to take advantage of exposing your brand on the US market

    Hope that helps!

    P.S. Message me if you’re interested in joining our group discussions

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