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How does the banking work for overseas call center when I'm in US?

Asked by: Mathew - 2 August, 2011 I'm opening a corporation in the Philippines (call center) with 3 partners. 2 live in the Philippines, and Myself and 1 other live here in the US (FL).

What is the best way to handle the banking component? My partner and I here in the states would like to have the money here in a bank in FL so our US campaigns that hire our services can send money here, then we can wire money to the Philippines to pay out reps, rent, etc. however banks in the states need a US tax id, which we won't have since the corp was created in the Philippines with the SEC.

What is the recommended way to handle the banking side of starting a business overseas? Does anyone have experience in this? Thanks!

Answered by: Lloyd Johnson - 7 August, 2011 Mathew,

I see two ways to handle your case:

1. Obtain EIN for your Philippine company. You can actually do that without any extra documentation, however in order to open a bank account for that company in the US having just EIN might not be enough. Most banks would require company formation documents such as an equivalent of Articles of Incorporation, certified by appropriate authorities.

Since Philippines are not signatory to Hague convention you will have to certified those documents through the appropriate department of the Philippines government (I am not sure which one is the equivalent of US State Department) and the US Embassy in the Philippines. In other words, it could be a lot of headache.

2. Form a US company (e.g. FL LLC) that would work as an intermediary between the US clients and the Philippine company. You will maintain a contract between this US company and your Philippine company, and will pay according to what the contract says. That would give you the flexibility to transfer the right amounts of money from one entity to another and pay salaries and make distributions in both countries.

The only real disadvantage is the fact that you will need to maintain one more company, which includes filing an annual report and tax return, but that still might be worth it. You will need a help of a CPA to figure out the best strategy for your cash flow, but in general this scenario is the easier and more flexible than the first one.


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