Here is a detailed guide on how to set up stripe for non-us i.e stripe non-supported countries like my country Kenya. Setting up stripe on Shopify or WordPress, you are required to have either SSN or EIN number and a US phone number, however, there are tricks that you can use to set up stripe without ssn and using Sonetel or skype US number.
Stripe payment gateway is an online service that enables eCommerce websites owners to process credit cards payments with easy. Before we go into details, let learn a few things about payment gateway, types of payment gateways etc.
- 1 What is Payment Gateway
- 2 Steps to set up a stripe for non-us citizens
- 3 3.Obtaining EIN Number
- 3.1 1. Get your EIN/SSN number from IRS
- 3.2 2.Register US LLC using Harvard Business Services
- 3.3 Advantages of Limited Liability Company
- 3.4 Disadvantages of Limited Liability Company
- 3.5 Set up LLC
- 3.6 Fill personal details
- 3.7 Enter your company name
- 3.8 Package
- 3.9 Company members
- 3.10 Set up EIN – Federal Tax Identification Number
- 3.11 You’re Done
- 4 4. Get US telephone number
- 5 6.Activate Stripe Account
What is Payment Gateway
A payment gateway is an e-commerce service that main purpose is to accept credit card payments for online stores. It authorizes payment between the customer and merchant. Merchants can track their sales and also process refunds online with payment gateways.
Examples of Payment Gateways
I will just list a few here that I tried to sign up and saw them reliable.
Factors to consider when choosing a payment gateway
Below are some of the factors that you should put into consideration when signing up for a payment gateway service.
- What is the service pricing? i.e how much does it cost you to process transactions.
- Are there any features like fraud detention etc that make the payment gateway stand out among others.
- After how long will your funds be available once the customer makes the payment?
- Does the payment gateway support your kind of business you’re doing?
Let go deep now into setting up a stripe non us account.
Steps to set up a stripe for non-us citizens
To set up a stripe payment gate you will need the following:-
- US Telephone number
- EIN/SSN Number from IRS
- US Bank account
- US Mailing Address
1.Sign up for Stripe account
If you have not signed up for stripe account, you will need to go to the official Stripe website. Click Create an account and fill all your details. Remember to use your verifiable real names.
2. Get US Bank Account
You don’t have to physically go to the US to have a bank account. Have you ever heard about Payoneer? Payoneer is a global payment system that allows freelancers and business owners to get paid online by international clients at a low cost. Signing up for the service is free, they will send you a card to Po BOX address. Once you activate the card online, you will be able to withdraw your money from any ATM that accepts MasterCard or make payments online or any other shopping outlets.
One good thing about Payoneer is that once you receive any funds in your account, you get an email notification. You can also request different accounts to accept payments from Europe,UK,China,Japan,China and Australia.
Sign up for Payoneer here. Remember to use your real names as they appear in Government ID or Driving License because you might be required to prove your nationality at one time.
On my side am set with Payoneer account. Just requested another card after previous expired.
3.Obtaining EIN Number
There are two options for obtaining EIN number. You can either call IRS directly and submit all your details or register US Limited Liability company.Below is a breakdown of the two options.
1. Get your EIN/SSN number from IRS
This now the elephant in the room. I know you’re asking yourself what is EIN, SSN Number, and IRS.SSN stands for Social security number. It’s a unique number that is given to every US citizens that IRS uses to identify every person.IRS means the Internal Revenue Service.
Now that you’re a non-us citizen, the SSN alternative is EIN which is Employer Identification Number. Another name for EIN is Federal Tax Identification Number. The main use of EIN is to identify business entities in the US.
To get EIN number first, download the SS-4 form and Fill it. Call IRS using this number +1(800) 829-4933 and read details to them that you filled in the form. In case the IRS agent asks you to fax the document, just tell him/her you don’t have a fax machine and you would like to read the details over the phone. Once you are done, note the EIN number down in the SS-4 form.
2.Register US LLC using Harvard Business Services
I know you’re asking yourself the importance of setting US Limited Liability Company (LLC)? It’s a structured business that combines both partnership and corporation. The main reason why business owners prefer LLC is that it is easy to set up and maintain compared to a corporation.
LLC first became available in the USA in 1977 in Wyoming but other states did not allow it until the 1990s because of court cases. Also, all states have their own laws concerning the formation of LLCs.
Advantages of Limited Liability Company
- Limited Liability-Company owners have limited liability because of its a separate entity. This means that owners assets cannot be used to pay for company debts or other court judgment incurred by the LLC.
- No double Taxation-IRS will treat your business income as your own personal income therefore it will not be subjected to more taxation.
- Flexibility-LLC requires less paperwork compared to corporations. You have the option of creating your own rules to govern your business or use existing rules set by the state.
- Simplicity– Another advantage of LLC over corporations is the ease of setting up and running it. You will not fill an Articles of Organization or Operating Agreement defining the company’s policies and procedures.
Disadvantages of Limited Liability Company
- Limited life-if a member of LLC leaves, the LLC will cease to exist. It’s different when it comes to corporation, exit or coming of new shareholders does not affect the existence of corporations.
- Self-employment taxation-All members of LLC income will be taxed separately. The taxes will be higher than when you’re taxed at the corporate level.
- No assigned Roles-Investors will find it hard to know who in charge of the company, unlike corporations which have directors and managers assigned specific roles.
Set up LLC
At first, I thought setting up US LCC was hard until I found out about Harvard Business Services – Delaware Inc.
Fill personal details
Enter your personal and company your setting up details.In the address fields,enter your own personal address because Delaware will create your US address.
Enter your company name
Select which package best suits you. To use your LLC with stripe, Green package is enough.
Select the number of company members and enter their names. I selected one because am the only one owning the company.
Set up EIN – Federal Tax Identification Number
Since you don’t live in the USA, EIN is the alternative for SSN. It will take up to 15-20 days to get EIN number from IRS through Delaware. Remember that Delaware will obtain EIN number for you so you will need to enter personal and company details.
You’re now done. Delaware will give you a preview of your application to confirm it. Proceed to make payment with either Paypal or credit card. Within 3-4 Delaware will get back to you with LLC documents which will have EIN, LLC name and address.
In my opinion, I prefer obtaining an EIN number using the first method. You will not pay any charges but phone credit to make the calls.
4. Get US telephone number
There are several services offering US telephone numbers. I would recommend you use skype because you can use the same number when making calls to IRS. Its cheaper and you can use paid subscriptions where you make free calls to US numbers. See Skype number alternative Sonetel
5.Obtaining US Mailing Address
Note that IRS may not accept virtual mailing address. They may request you to use your PO Box address. The reason for obtaining a Mailing address is because Stripe will require you to add a mailing address. There are several sites that offer this service. You can read your mails online they are scanned. Minimum charges are $10 per month others charge more depending on the number of mails received. I would recommend you sign up with Mailbox forwarding
6.Activate Stripe Account
Its time now to activate your Stripe account since you all the requirements.Login to your Stripe account and switch from Testing Mode to Live Test. Click Activate your Account on the top left.
A new page will open up. Enter all your details as follows.
- County: United States
- Business address: Use Mail forwarding address.
- Type of Business: Individual or Sole Proprietor.
- Business Website: Enter website Url where you will be selling your services or items.
- Legal names: Enter your legal names
- EIN Number: Use the number you obtained from IRS.
- SSN number: Enter 0000
Last and not least is Entering Bank details.Login to your Payoneer Account.Click Global Payment System. Below window will appear.
Use the above details to fill Stripe account bank details.
Once your done click Submit Application.If your details are correct your Stripe account should activate and you should be set to receive payments with stripe.
7.My active Stripe account
I used above method and i successfully activated my stripe account.I just received 2 payments.First payment has already been deposited in my Payoneer Account.
My Stripe account Dashboard.
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