Latin America

How to Open a Corporate Bank Account in Puerto Rico?

There are a number of reasons why Puerto Rico is a desirable destination overseas investors and companies, ranging from its favorable tax advantages for resident companies and individuals, to its idyllic beaches and vibrant Caribbean culture. Whatever is attracting you to the US island territory, at some point you will be required to open a corporate bank account in Puerto Rico.

There are two types of corporate or business bank accounts that companies can open in Puerto Rico, depending on their residency status:

  • Non-resident corporate account – For foreign companies that plan to do business in Puerto Rico or domicile on the island but conduct overseas business. This type of corporate account is ideal for directors, managers, and/or shareholders who have no intention of living on the island year-round.
  • Resident corporate account – For local businesses, or for foreign businesspeople who have gone through the long and arduous task of achieving legal residency in Puerto Rico. This account is ideal for foreign companies that have moved their business to the island in order to enjoy the 4-percent fixed corporate tax rate.
legal representatives in puerto rico a biz latin hub infographic
If you are planning to start a business and open a corporate bank account in Puerto Rico, you may need to hire a legal representative.

The required documentation to open a corporate bank account in Puerto Rico varies wildly from one bank to the next, as do things like minimum initial deposits.

Many banks do not require minimum deposits to open business bank accounts, while at least one bank on the island insists that new accountholders deposit a minimum of $100,000 USD. Just like in the case of opening a corporate bank account in the Dominican Republic, in Puerto Rico it will take some shopping around before you find a bank that meets your business needs.

Open a corporate bank account in Puerto Rico: Top banks to consider

What follows are some of the largest and most established local and foreign banks on the island territory:

  • Activo International Bank
  • Arca International Bank
  • Banco Popular de Puerto Rico
  • Banco San Juan International
  • Banco Santander
  • Citibank
  • Euro Pacific Bank
  • FirstBank
  • Oriental Financial Group
  • Scotiabank of Puerto Rico

While the Puerto Rican government has for years had a policy in place to attract international business, the island’s banks are not quite on the same page. To open a corporate bank account in Puerto Rico, most banks on the island require extensive amounts of documentation, paperwork, certifications from overseas banks and even government bodies.

Banks often require more documentation than what is legally required. There is also a high level of scrutiny that goes into every new account application, so it’s extremely important that companies consult on-the-ground legal, accounting, and financial expert(s) to ensure that all documents are in order, and also to act as signatories in some cases.

SEE ALSO: 5-step guide to starting a business in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico gross domestic product in curent US dollars from 2017 to 2027. An infographic by Biz latin hub.
Puerto Rico gross domestic product in curent US dollars from 2017 to 2027. If you are planning to start operations in the country, it would be best to Open a corporate bank account

Documents required to open a corporate bank account

Not surprisingly, non-resident companies that wish to open a corporate bank account in this caribbean country require more documentation and are subject to more scrutiny than resident businesses. What follows are some of the documentation non-resident companies need in order to open a business bank account at Banco Santander in Puerto Rico:

  • Copy of the Articles of Association (with apostille) and Articles of Association or company bylaws
  • Copy of the Certificate of Incorporation
  • Certificate of ‘Good Standing’
  • Updated registry of shareholders
  • Copy of the Board resolution appointing the directors and their powers
  • Board resolution authorizing the opening of an account with Banco Santander Puerto Rico
  • Copy of the Commercial Registration or equivalent
  • Copy of the company’s tax identification number
  • Copies of licenses required to operate the business in its country of origin
  • Audited annual accounts of the past 2 years
  • Bank account statements of the past 6 months issued by bank(s) in the business’s country of origin
  • Bank reference letters, including the date the account was first opened
  • General Resolution signed by the company secretary
  • Certified resolution to apply for wire transfers

Biz Latin Hub can help you to open a corporate bank account in Puerto Rico

At Biz Latin Hub, we provide integrated market entry and back-office services throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, with offices in Bogota and Cartagena, as well as over a dozen other major cities in the region. We also have trusted partners in many other markets.

Our unrivalled reach means we are ideally placed to support multi-jurisdiction market entries and cross border operations.

As well as knowledge about how to open a corporate bank account in Puerto Rico, our portfolio of services includes hiring & PEO, accounting & taxation, company formation, and corporate legal services.

Contact us today to find out more about how we can assist you in finding top talent, or otherwise do business in Latin America and the Caribbean.

If this article on opening a corporate bank account in Puerto Rico was of interest to you, check out the rest of our coverage of the region. Or read about our team and expert authors.

A BLH infogrpahic showing key services offered by the company
Key services offered by Biz Latin Hub. Open corporate bank account

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