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Sadly, Kickstarter isn't an option for most people outside the US, as you need a US bank account to draw the funds into. A limitation with their Amazon payments system I believe.



True, but I'd bet a person-on-the-ground in the US would have been a fair bit less organisation that the deals they did with RS/Farnell. (See NinjaBlocks for an example - they're a bunch of local-to-me-in-Sydney-Australia guys who got a contact/partner in the US to manage their Kickstarter rego for them)

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True, but why bother? US is only 10% of Internet users and 2x smaller than EU.

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So all your money goes through some random guy in USA? Sounds a bit dodgy and unprofessional…

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Setting up a US bank account for a non-US resident isn't all that hard. Worst case for most major US banks is that you might need to get a notarized copy of your passport and the application form, which can cost you a bit (first time I did it, years ago, the local US consulate charged me $65 for it).

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Worst case is that your legal product runs afoul of some USA law and all your money gets confiscated, cf. http://cphpost.dk/news/international/us-snubs-out-legal-ciga...

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Have you tried this recently? It's practically impossible, thanks to money-laundering paranoia. The closest I got was Western Union, but they said the account couldn't be used for any kind of internet commerce.

I'd love to be proved wrong on this.

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Yes, I have, with TD Bank. Didn't run into any problems at all.

If you run into problems, buy an off the shelf Delaware corporation online, with a registered agent, and create the account for that. Bonus, depending on where you do business you can potentially save quite a bit of tax by structuring things properly that way.

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Really? Don't they need proof of address in the US or anything? I might get me one, then. What's a good bank?

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None that I've dealt with have required that. They do require to verify that you are who you claim you are, and without a US address you might find that requires extra paperwork (such as getting official proof of address and identity document certified by a US consulate or a notary public), and some banks might just not want to deal with the hassle. You also do need to fill out forms to establish your tax withholding.

I've held personal and business accounts with Chase and TD Bank, as well as trader accounts with a couple of brokerages, and the documentation requirements were pretty basic in all cases. I've looked into opening accounts at other banks at various points too.

In some cases the easiest alternative is to simply buy an off the shelf US corporation, and have the company that sets it up register a US bank account for it. That's certainly often less paperwork and hassle than dealing with a personal account, especially if you set up a Delaware corporation.

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That's a good alternative, but then I'd have to pay accountants and lawyers and the rest... It does give you flexibility in other areas, though (such as, I will finally be able to open a Stripe account!).

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I'm very happy with Harris Bank -- but it's possible that being Canadian helped me there, since Harris is owned by a Canadian bank.

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Hmm, apparently they don't have branches in NYC or LA/SF, which are the places I'm going... Thanks for the help, though!

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Why do you care where they have branches? I've never been to one.

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Hmm, how can you open an account without going to a branch? Don't you have to sign forms, etc?

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They sent me all the forms by courier (with a prepaid courier envelope to send them back in, too).

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Very nice, I'll send them an email then, thank you. I guess I don't even have to be in the US for that!

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You likely have to have identity documents certified, that's about it. A visit to a US consulate (check first if the provide the required services) or notary public should be able to help get the right stamps and/or seals to satisfy them.

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I didn't even need to do that; just photocopy and send to them via courier.

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Indiegogo offers a very similar service without that limitation.

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