Delaware, also known as ‘The First State,’ is a business-friendly destination. It may be small in area (as US states go), but its US$77 billion economy is dominated by chemicals and business.
I recently took on a Delaware engagement for a Client from my home country of Bulgaria. We don’t have many Bulgarian Clients, so it was special.
The Client specialises in online marketing services and preparation of leads and online reviews. The Client first approached us in 2019 to set up a business in Hong Kong shortly before the pandemic started. The Client had even travelled to Hong Kong for a few bank meetings we had arranged. At the time, the city was in the grips of street protests, but we managed to successfully complete the engagement, and our Client was satisfied.
As a result, they re-engaged us for the Delaware engagement. It is a challenge to set up a business in Delaware these days, especially in terms of setting up a bank account. US banks are notoriously conservative when they do business with international Clients.
The Client chose Delaware as they wanted access to Stripe and PayPal. They also wanted access to both local and international customers through a reputable entity. More importantly, they wanted to publish on their webpages that they have a US address in a respectable location.
We normally use a standardised business address in Delaware when we incorporate companies there. However, this Client wanted to have an address that can be easily cited on Google as an esteemed business within a downtown business centre.
We provided the Client with two options. An address in Dover, the state capital, or one in Wilmington, the state’s business capital. The Client chose Wilmington.
They needed to sign a virtual office address contract that needed to be notarised with a US notary. Delaware is one of the few places in the world where these notary certifications can be done online. The Client signed the documents and sent them back to our legal registered address provider in the US, with whom we have worked for many years. Now, the Client has a nice address that can make an impression on potential customers.
One challenge in this engagement was to eliminate the requirement for the Client to travel. Most US high street banks require to meet Clients, especially when the company’s registration is within 100 miles of the bank. This was a testing process, especially during a pandemic.
We found two niche banks which did not require non-resident Clients to travel to the US. We prepared a quality business plan and submitted it to both banks. Fortunately, the Client was approved immediately with the first chosen bank.
The bank required proof of business, such as contracts and invoices with US customers. The Client already has a business in the US and was able to supply the necessary documents, and the corporate bank account was opened in a straightforward fashion in about four weeks.
Generally, it would require a higher minimum deposit of US$10,000 and takes about six to eight weeks, sometimes more, to open an account. This was the case for the second bank.
This was an engagement that I hold dear to my heart, but it isn’t my first successful Delaware engagement. Indeed, Delaware is a business-friendly place. The only difficulty is opening bank accounts for international Clients.
Read more about setting up a business in Delaware here.