US Merchant Accounts

If you're a foreign business, you may be frustrated, since many countries and local banks do not allow credit cards information to be taken over the Internet. So how can you conduct business?

How Does a Foreign Business Obtain a US Merchant Credit Card Account for Web Commerce?

If you're a foreign business, you may be frustrated, since many countries and local banks do not allow credit cards information to be taken over the Internet. So how can you conduct business?

Bankcard associations in the US require a business to have a US "domicle" before they will issue it a merchant credit card account. To establish a US presence you will need to incorporate in one of the 50 states. Foreign companies usually select Delaware or Nevada, since these have the most generous fees and regulations. There are several firms which will help you establish a mailing address and mail forwarding, telephone number, file incorporation papers, pay filing fees, and provide "registered agent" services for the first year for $500 to $1,000.

Once your business exists as a corporation in the US, you will probably qualify for a merchant credit card account with a US bank. In addition, there are a number of credit card brokers (ISOs) who work with foreign firms to establish merchant credit card accounts. Be careful, though, and price around. Sharks present in the waters.

 
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