If you’re running an e-commerce store, you’re likely one of those online business owners who might need Stripe for one purpose or the other.
If you need a verified stripe account to accept payments online, maybe on your shopify store or anywhere, kindly continue reading.
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As for Nigerians, I keep getting the questions below:
- Can I use stripe in Nigeria?
- How to setup verified stripe account in Nigeria?
- How to use stripe in Nigeria.
- … and lot’s more.
Whatever is your country, India, Nigeria, Pakistan and non-us citizens, you’re welcomed to follow the guide on this blog to setup a verified stripe account.
Of course, there’s no denying that Stripe is an excellent payment tool that you can always integrate with your e-commerce platform. But since Stripe is basically for US citizens, you could get disappointed having seen that you’re in one of Stripe non-supported countries.
Wondering how to use Stripe in non-supported countries Like in Nigeria?
Well, one great thing that should fascinate you is that there’s a pretty way you can set up a verified Stripe account despite being in a Stripe non-supported country.
Basically, this article is a comprehensive guide on how to get a verified Stripe account for non-US citizens. Summarily, the article will show you how to form a US LLC (as part of the prerequisites for Stripe account setup), obtain your EIN/Tax ID Number (along with the LLC formation) and eventually carry out the Stripe account setup.
What Is Stripe?
Stripe is a medium which online businesses can use for seamless online payment processing. Courtesy of its adaptable and sophisticated tools, Stripe makes it convenient for various online platforms –including crowdfunding services, e-commerce stores and on-demand marketplaces –to expedite their receipt of payments. In a simpler term, Stripe is a payment gateway you can integrate with your online business (probably an e-commerce store or a dropshipping business) in order to fast-track the receipt of payments from customers.
How to Set Up a Verified Stripe Account for Non-US Citizens
Being in one of Stripe non-supported countries, you might think there’s literally no way you can use Stripe. Frankly, Stripe may not have been developed for non-US citizens but this still doesn’t mean that non-US citizens cannot use the payment gateway whatsoever.
You’re likely to have read somewhere that Stripe is unavailable to non-Americans. Fortunately however, Nigerians and people in other Stripe non-supported countries can bypass this glitch (of unavailability). If you’re a non-US citizen hell bent on using Stripe for receiving online payments, you may rest assured that this very post will help you find out how to set up a verified Stripe account in a non-supported country.
Setting up a Verified Stripe Account for Non-US Citizens: Forming an LLC
While it’s possible to set up a verified Stripe account in a non-supported country, you have to be aware of the various prerequisites associated with the account setup. Essentially, you have to satisfy all the prerequisites before you can be guaranteed a verified Stripe account without the risk of deactivation or suspension. Below is a list of the prerequisites for setting up a verified Stripe account:
- Setting up an LLC
- Obtaining an EIN/Federal Tax ID
- Owning a US phone number
- Owning a US address
- Opening a US bank account
All of the 5 prerequisites listed above are essential for getting a verified Stripe account in Stripe non-supported countries. As you can see above, the first step is setting up an LLC, meaning that Stripe requires you to have a US-based company or business.
Meanwhile, it should interest you that setting up an LLC does not only get you a verified Stripe account but also, it projects veritable legal status about your business.
With an LLC to your name, it becomes a lot easy for you to convince prospects and customers that your business is duly registered. One great way you can do this is to attach any documentary proof of your LLC to the “contact us” or “about” page of your website.
Reading this post further, you’ll get to see how you can set up an LLC and obtain your EIN/Tax ID. But before that, you have to bear in mind that LLC formation requires you to think up a unique business name as well as decide on the US state where you’d like to have the LLC. It’s advisable you find out the annual taxation associated with whatever US state you have in mind for the LLC formation. This is because some US states charge expensive fees as annual taxes while certain others charge moderate fees.
If you’re looking to form your LLC with a state that has a very affordable fee, Kentucky is likely your best bet courtesy of its ridiculously low annual tax fee. Unlike Delaware and California which charge the expensive annual tax fees of $300 and $800 respectively, Kentucky requires you to pay only $15 as annual tax fee for an LLC.
Kentucky might not be the US state with the cheapest annual tax fee but unarguably, it offers one of the cheapest annual tax fees in the United States.
To ease your task of forming an LLC and getting your EIN/Tax ID along with it, you should try out IncAuthority which is a reliable formation company that helps you achieve just that. Prettily, doing all that wouldn’t cost you more than $178. Therefore, you should comply with the steps below to set up your LLC using IncAuthority:
- Click the link here to visit IncAuthority
- After landing on the homepage of IncAuthority, you should tap the “start now for free” link you find there
- For the next step (which requires specifying your entity type and your filing state), you should choose LLC (as entity type) and Kentucky (as filing state)
- Having made your choice of entity type and filing state, you should click the Save and Continue button
- Subsequently, you should supply your personal details as they include your first name, last name, phone number and email address –Note that you’ll have to supply a US phone number. You can purchase the US phone number from DingTone (a downloadable Play Store app). While a DingTone US phone number costs $14.99 per year, you may instead opt to purchase a Skype number at the monthly rate of $7.99
- Following the supply of your personal details, you should tap the Save and Continue button
- For the next step, you will have to input your business name (in the required field) as well as a sentence that concisely describes your (LLC) company. Alongside this is a question seeking to know the LLC formation benefit(s) that you prioritize most. Do well to tick the box with the option that best answers the question. Following that, you should hit the Save and Continue button
- At this juncture, you’ll be required to provide a business address which must be a US address. You can get an instant US address from the link here. After obtaining a US address, you should input it in the required field and then click the Save and Continue button
- Following that, you’ll have to input your EIN/federal Tax ID which is an essential credential for Stripe account creation. IncAuthority charges you just $49 for helping you obtain an EIN without any hassle. This $49 is a comparatively affordable fee and to have IncAuthority register the EIN for you, you should choose the option “Yes, include a EIN/Federal Tax ID Number”. Then, click the Save and Next button to continue
- For the subsequent signup step, you’ll have to specify whether to include an Operating Agreement or not. It’s very essential that you select the option “Yes, include an Operating Agreement” simply because an Operating Agreement guarantees your personal liability protection from courts. Also, it helps in proving rightful ownership of the LLC.
- You should note that after deciding on Operating Agreement, the next signup stage presents you with a number of add-ons. While these add-ons are intended to help you have a better experience regarding your LLC formation, bear in mind that they aren’t really important. If you consider them unnecessary or feel you can’t afford them, you may leave them and proceed to the final payment. Concerning company formation documents, you may select the FREE (Electronic delivery) option so that you can have the documents delivered to your mail at no cost
- As regards the payments, you shouldn’t be paying more than $178 which should cover all of Operating Agreement, EIN and State Filing Fee. Notably, you can use any of PayPal and Credit/Debit Card for making the payment. Simply input your details (your first name and last name) including your card details. Following that, you should tap the Place your order button to complete the business formation process
Once you’ve successfully set up a US LLC with your EIN/Federal Tax ID delivered to you, you can head to the official site of Stripe via http://stripe.com/ to create a verified Stripe account. For the eventual Stripe account creation, you’ll have to provide the details delivered to you following the LLC formation. Do well to supply the details very carefully so that you don’t make any mistake that could hinder the success of the Stripe account creation.
Stripe Documentation –What Are the Documents Required for Stripe Verification?
Stripe documentation is the process of providing the necessary documents for the verification of a Stripe account. If you can arm yourself with some necessary information and prepare your documents the exact way they’re needed, you’ll realize that Stripe documentation isn’t as awkward as you may have thought.
According to Stripe itself, the credit card processing service could request additional verification if its programmatic verification doesn’t work for your identity. Specifically, what the service does here is verifying the unverified persons linked to a particular Stripe account through additional documentation.
Basically, Stripe might want to verify the identities as well as the residential addresses of the unverified individuals. Such individuals will, therefore, have to provide one document (for identity verification) and another document (which verifies home address).
Before you proceed to finding out the requirements the two documents must meet for Stripe account verification, click here to check the accepted document type for your country.
Stripe’s Approved Standards for Document Upload
Foremost of all, you must ascertain that the details of your documents are the same as those you supplied while creating your Stripe account. In other words, your Stripe account personal information must correspond to the details of your two documents (Proof of Identity doc and Proof of Home Address doc).
If you observe that your Stripe account personal information does not match the details of one or both required documents (Proof of Identity and Proof of Home Address), it’s advisable that you explore the dashboard of your Stripe account and do the necessary correction. You must do the latter before uploading your two documents so that you don’t end up with a failed verification process.
For your Proof of Identity document, below are the Stripe-stipulated standards the document must meet:
- Only original identity documents can be uploaded. Stripe will not accept photocopies
- Black-and-white scans of identity documents are not allowed for upload. Stripe accepts only the documents in full color
- Stripe demands that your citizen service number (BSN) should not appear if you’re uploading a Dutch identity document (i.e., a photo ID from the Netherlands)
- The expiry date on an identity document must not have elapsed. Also, invalid identity documents will not be accepted
- Document format can be any of .jpg and .png
- The identity documents you’re uploading must be complete. Stripe describes a complete (identity) document as one completely showing the personal information page (in the case of a passport) or one showing front and back (in the case of an ID card or a driver’s license)
For your Proof of Home Address document, below are the Stripe-stipulated standards the document must meet:
- Document format can be any of .jpg, .pdf and .png
- The date on the (Proof of Home address) document must not be earlier than the past six months
- Stripe demands uploading a readable document, i.e., the content of the document must be legible
- The Proof of Home Address document you’re uploading must be complete. Stripe describes a complete (Proof of Home Address) document as one with the owner’s full name and residential address clearly written. Also, the document should take at least one full page
Stripe Business Documentation
This is the process of supplying the necessary documents for the business aspect of your Stripe account verification. Stripe clarifies that it could demand additional business documentation where it’s difficult for the service to programmatically verify your business. While Stripe normally asks for Proof of Business documentation, the service recommends individuals in the US to check the Tax ID verification guidelines that apply to their type of business. You may click the link here to see the guidelines.
In terms of accepted document types for verifying your incorporated business, Stripe’s specified (number of) documents tend(s) to vary by country. You may click the link here to see the required documents for Stripe business verification in your country.
For your Proof of Legal Entity document to pass Stripe verification process, below are the standards the document must meet:
- The Proof of Legal Entity document must have been issued by the relevant authority. It must be up-to-date and valid
- Stripe demands uploading a readable (proof of business) document, i.e., the content of the document must be legible
- Document format can be in .pdf
- The Proof of Legal Entity document you’re uploading must be complete. Stripe describes a complete (Proof of Legal Entity) document as one with vividly written details including real business name, address of business location and company registration number (or VAT number) of the business. Stripe also requests that you upload a .pdf file containing all the listed relevant business information provided that such information covers several pages of your proof of business document
NOTE: The information in your Proof of Legal Entity document must correspond to the business information displayed in your Stripe account. If you fail to ascertain this correspondence before uploading the Proof of Legal Entity document, the business verification will likely fall through. Explore the Dashboard of your Stripe account to see if the business information there is the same as what is contained in your proof of business document. Tap the Edit button in the Dashboard if there’s the need to change certain details.
Where to Upload Your Documents for Stripe Verification
Before uploading your documents, you should note that Stripe will not approve documents uploaded via email. The service recommends your account Dashboard as the only medium for the document upload. Stripe’s reason for this is that the documents (ID, proof of residential address and proof of business) contain sensitive personal data.
NOTE: Following the upload of documents (in line with the Stripe-stipulated standards), a review is conducted on the uploaded documents. According to Stripe, the review can last for a whole day.
While getting a verified Stripe account definitely necessitates LLC formation, the guide in this article clearly details how you can set up a US LLC through IncAuthority. Also, you should note that IncAuthority offers a comparatively cheap formation service.
In fact, the formation company guarantees you zero service fee since you may not have to pay any additional fee other than the $178 for State Filing, EIN and Operating Agreement combined. Unlike IncAuthority, some of the other formation companies out there might require you to pay as much as $1000 for the LLC formation.