This question concerns many entrepreneurs, especially those who are engaged in dropshipping or e-commerce. Stripe is considered one of the best payment gateways available on the market. Stripe has already leave behind its main competitor Paypal under many parameters.
Unfortunately, Stripe does not allow the citizens of Ukraine/Georgia and other post-Soviet countries to open accounts for themselves and accept payments from customers. But we know several solutions to this problem.
The most budget-friendly option is to rent a Stripe account. In this case, your account is created for a foreign entity, and you simply connect your website and payoneer card to this account to withdraw money. This is not a bad temporary solution to check the profitability of your product in the market without spending too much on registration activities.
Please note that the option is temporary, because the long-term use of such a mechanism is not stable and risky. After all, the account is registered to someone else’s legal entity, the only security mechanism is that only you know the password to your Stripe account. Working through a rented account – you are not protected legally in any way.
However, there is also a more low-cost option, the highest-risk one. It is to register the account to the foreign citizen. Some companies offer this option, but it’s not a working solution at all, because the Stripe payment system can at any time require to confirm the identity of the person to whom the account is registered.
In most cases it is impossible and as a result your account is blocked with all your funds.
We do not recommend to do so. It is a direct violation of payment system’s rules and will lead to a sad result.
The best option is to register your own company in a foreign jurisdiction. UK or Estonia are among the most appropriate countries for this purpose.
The advantage of these jurisdictions is the simple tax system: in Estonia there is a 20% tax on the withdrawn capital, which allows you to not pay real tax literally “ever”, and in the UK 18% corporate tax, which is calculated over the fiscal year on a formula “income minus expenses”, with a very wide list of transactions that can be included in the expenses.
Secondly, these countries have a stable political system with access to a huge capital market and low cost of both company registration and reporting. Subsequently, a corporate account is opened for this company and a Stripe account is connected.
This company can be registered in the name of a CIS citizen and operate legally. This option is completely risk-free, because you are the legal owner of the company and can independently manage the money in its accounts without the risk of finding fraudsters. Working on this option, you can at any time confirm the source of funds, protect your earnings and generally conduct activities properly. Of course, “with great power comes great responsibility.”
You get access to the capital market, the ability to attract additional investment, pay taxes correctly by calculating VAT and using other tax planning methods. In general, it will be a real business with the ability to scale, not a “student’s part-time job” of dropshipping small amounts of goods to the U.S./EU markets.
As for “responsibility”, it is mainly the issues of proper legal processing and proper use of tax instruments. If you plan to conduct a serious and white-collar business you should think about this option. You will be able to connect additional sites, applications, or stores to this company at any time.
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