Let me teach you how to Open a Stripe Account in any Unsupported Country like Nigeria and Other African Countries where Stripe is not Accepted!
Stripe is an online payment processing for internet businesses. It builds the most powerful and flexible tools for Internet commerce.
Whether you’re creating a subscription service, an on-demand marketplace, an e-commerce store, a crowdfunding platform, etc. stripe helps you accept payment without stress.
Stripe payment gateway is unfortunately unavailable to Nigerians, and it has become a pain in the ass to anyone running an online business who wishes to use Stripe to accept payments.
Stripe is easy to set up with seamless integration, with attractive features and prices. There are no activation or setup fees, just a 2.9% + 0.30 cents per successful card charge.
In this detailed guide, you’ll learn how to open a stripe account in an unsupported country using Nigeria as an example (verified stripe account ) and you can then integrate it into your e-commerce store/business website and start accepting payments in different manners.
If you need a verified Stripe account to accept payments online, maybe on your Shopify store, woocommerce store, or anywhere else, read along.
As for Nigerians and other African countries, I keep getting the question:
- Can I use Stripe in Nigeria?
- Stripe is not accepted in my country, how do I get Stripe to work in my country?
- How do you set up a verified stripe account in Nigeria?
- How to use stripe in Nigeria.
- … and lots more.
Whatever your country is; India, Nigeria, Pakistan, and non-US citizens, you’re welcome to follow this guide to set up a verified stripe account.
All the Requirements to Open a Stripe Account in Nigeria (2023 Update)
To open a stripe account in Nigeria as a foreigner, you’ll need the following things:
- LLC Company Formation Documents.
- EIN/Federal Tax ID.
- US Physical Address.
- US Phone Number.
Don’t worry, it’s very easy to do, in just a few moments from now you’ll be done with the whole process. Once you’ve submitted your application, all you’ll have to do is wait for about 15 – 45 days for processing and approval; that’s all.
Shall we get started already?
In this well-detailed article, I will be guiding you on how to get all of these things done without stress. All you need to do is follow my every step.
To form an LLC Company in the US and get your EIN, We would be doing that at Incfile. And the state we would be forming our LLC at will be in California.
The reason for this address is simple, your shipito address is in California, so by default, that’s where you should form your LLC; but if you have another address from a different state, then you are welcome to use that address.
NOTE: Stripe launched a program called Stripe Atlas, as an alternative option for unsupported countries to register a business in Delaware USA, but it will cost you over $500 annual fee. So, if you want to do it the affordable way, then follow my step-by-step guide here.
Note: You should consult a legal counselor to help you with anything tax, as this article is not meant to be legal or tax advice.
For an alternative method on how to form an LLC, SEE my previous article on How To Form an LLC in the USA — Fast & Easy LLC Formation with BetterLegal. There are so many other options for forming an LLC in the US, but for the sake of this tutorial, we’ll be using our Incfile business partner to form an LLC.
Here’s the list of Other Reliable partners you can use to form an LLC in the USA;
- Business Anywhere
- Northwest Registered Agents
- Business Rocket
Please feel free to use any of the mentioned partners listed above to form your LLC.
So, let’s get started and form your LLC Company and get the necessary things you need to open a stripe account in Nigeria without hassles.
LLC Formation and EIN (with Incfile)
At Incfile, you’re going to form your LLC and get your EIN/TAX ID. Follow the simple guidelines below to complete the signup. It’s easy and takes just a few minutes. All you have to do is choose your state, enter your business name, and form your LLC!
When you arrive at Incfile, you will have to click on the Start My Business button to get started, as shown in the image below:
Click on Start My Business and you’ll be taken to the account creation page.
Step 2: Select Entity Type and Filling State.
In your entity type, select Limited Liability Company (LLC), and in the Formation State, select California or any other state you prefer; as long you have the address for it.
You’ll be taken to the next page where you’ll select the business registration packages you want.
Step 3: Select a Business Registration Plan
I highlighted the most preferred plan above in the image, so select the Gold plan and proceed to the next page.
Step 4: Enter Your Personal & Business Details
In this next step, you will be asked a few questions about your personal details and also your business details, including the type of business you are running.
Please make sure you answer all the questions accurately.
While filling out the registration forms, please make sure to use a working email address and phone number because you will be contacted with it.
Here, you will need two things; a US phone number and a US address. Don’t worry I’ll show you how.
It’s very important that you have a working email address and phone number because you will be contacted with it.
To Get a US phone number, you have two options;
Option #1. You can open your phone app store and search for Virtual phone number apps. Make sure to install the one with the highest ratings and positive feedback from customers.
Install the App and buy a US phone number with it.
To Get a US address, you also have two options;
Option #1. You can visit www.shipito.com and get one for free
In your US Address, note that CA means California.
Please make sure that you enter your exact address the way it’s on your shipito dashboard.
Click on Save and Continue.
Option #2. You can visit Business-Anywhere and get a US address for yourself.
EIN/Federal TAX ID
The interesting part about Incfile is the fact that your EIN fee is included in the registration fee and it’s one of the most affordable amongst others. Others will charge from $95 and above for only EIN.
Note that the EIN/Federal Tax ID is very important, especially if you wan to open a Stripe account or even a USA Bank account.
Remember: EIN can take up to 90 days to be processed for non-us citizens, so be patient with them.
An operating agreement is important because it provides proof you own the business. In case any problem occurs in the future, you can be able to correct them with your operating agreement and in case Stripe requires it.
Step 5: Make Final Payments
In the end, you’ll only be paying just $239 for a complete business registration package, including State Filing Fee, EIN, and Operating Agreement.
Now you need to make payment using either a Debit/Credit Card or PayPal.
For the Delivery Option, you can select $0 free delivery (Electronic Delivery) and they will be delivered to your email.
Remember, If you want your EIN to be delivered by email, make sure to select the electronic (free) delivery option.
Finally, that is all. You’ve successfully created your LLC Business Name and EIN/Federal Tax ID in the United States.
Other formation companies charge a lot for offering this service. Many formation companies charge from $400 (N395k) – $1000+ (N900k) to form a US Company depending on the features.
Incfile makes things a lot easier for you, and more affordable for you and you get to spend just $239 if you follow the procedures above.
NOTE: If you do not have a dollar card for payment, there are two options for you to get a working dollar card.
Option #1. You can follow the step-by-step guide here: How to Get a Dollar Card with Grey.co (Step-By-Step)
Option #2. You Can Visit any UBA, Zenith Bank, or GTBank near you and apply for a Dollar Prepaid card. You don’t need to have an account with them, all you’ll need is your ID, BVN, and Nepa Bill. Once you get the card, fund it, and use it on any international payment, it will work.
All formation company documents will be delivered to your email. So, you then use these documents and EIN to set up a Stripe account.
NOTE: Your EIN may take up to 90days to arrive because you are applying as a non-us citizen.
You will be sent an IRS form to fill out for your EIN, so I’m going to show you how to fill it out when you receive it.
Remember, they no longer accept electronic signatures, so, to fill this form, you will have to print out the form, fill it out manually, scan it, and send it back to them.
How To Fill Out EIN Form
The first form they will send you is electronic; so make sure to fill it out correctly. If you make any mistake, they will have to send you another form which you will have to edit manually as I explained above.
The Electronic form looks like this:
Make sure you use the exact address in your shipito address, and in the space for SSN, write FOREIGN there or you can use your National Tax ID no. if you have any. This will indicate that you are applying as a non-us citizen.
How To Fill out the Manual EIN form:
You are required to fill out the highlighted area on the form. Please make sure to use your Nigerian Address (6).
In the (7a) column, enter your name exactly as it is when filling out the LLC form.
In the (7b) column, write FOREIGN in the space for SSN/ITIN/EIN; this will indicate that you are a non-us citizen.
In the (8b) column, write (1).
At the bottom, write your full name and then sign.
Overview of the Steps for filling out the EIN form:
Step 1: Download the form and print it out (Please make sure the file is clearly printed out)
Step 2: Fill out the form with your hand (write in Capital Letters) and Sign it.
Step 3: Scan the document that you filled out and send it to your email. (Don’t use your phone to scan; make sure to use a professional scanner)
Step 4: Send the file back to them for processing…
Follow it up and make sure that they have received the form you sent.
If you have a co-founder, both of you can fill out this form, but if you are the only person, then fill out only one space of the form and leave the rest empty.
Once this is done, send the form back to them and verify that they have received it by contacting your account manager. This will help speed up the process.
NOTE: Your EIN may take up to 90days to arrive because you are applying as a non-us citizen, so be patient.
How to Setup a Verified Stripe Account in Nigeria
After you must have formed your LLC and EIN/Federal Tax ID and they have been delivered.
You’ll need to use the details to setup a verified Stripe account and you need to be careful while doing this because their bots are intelligent enough and conversant to detect any mistake you make.
Step 1. Visit: Stripe.com and open a new account.
Make sure that the Country you select is the same as the one on your LLC documents, (In our case, it is the United States).
Step 2. Confirm Your Email and log in to Your Stripe Dashboard
Check your email and confirm your email using the link they’ll send to you. Once you have done that, you will be taken to the next page as shown below:
Click on Activate payments, and you’ll be taken to the next page where you will enter the details of your business as it is on the documents you got after registering your business.
Step 3. Enter Your Business Details for Verification
If you registered your business in the USA, make sure you select the United States as the country; the Type of business should be “Company“; Business Structure should be the exact type of business registration that you used for your business [e.g. Single-member LLC].
Click on Continue to proceed to the next step.
- Enter Your Business Details
Enter your business details exactly as it is on the documents, and also make sure that you enter your EIN in the provided space.
Once you are done with this, proceed to the next step.
Step 4. Enter Your Personal Details
This part is tricky for most people, so pay close attention to this step. Take a closer look at the highlighted texts in the images below and do exactly as I say.
NOTE: Make sure you select your current location as your personal address and detail. The reason is that you may be required to verify your Identity using your country's ID card. Anyone from anywhere in the world can use their home country here, so feel free.
As you can see in the image where I drew an arrow, click on it and change that SSN to your country’s ID type.
As you can see, I have changed the country from USA to Nigeria and now, I can enter my ID card number instead of an SSN. You can do the same for whatever country you are from.
Also, you can do the same for the phone number section; use your home country’s phone number as well if you wish.
- Enter Details About Your Business Payment/Product Fulfilment
These details will help Stripe understand how you provide your products and services to your customers.
Once you are done, click on Continue to proceed to the next step.
- How Will Your Business Appear to the Public
Carefully enter your business details exactly as you want them to be visible to the public.
For best practice, make sure you use the same information in your business or your company’s office address so that your customers can reach you when necessary.
Step 5. Enter Your Bank Account
If you do not have an account with the listed banks there, just click on the highlighted text as shown in the image above, and enter your virtual USA bank account details.
There are two best Options I will recommend for you.
Any of these two banks will create a USA bank account for you free of charge and you can then enter your banking details into your stripe dashboard. It’s very simple to do, all you need to do is follow the step-by-step instructions for each platform and you will be done in no time.
That is it, guys! Go ahead now, review, and submit your account application for verification. The Stripe team will review your application and verify you as long as your business details match the ones they find on your EIN. That is why it’s very important to have your EIN ready before applying.
Congratulations! Your stripe account is fully set up and you can now start receiving payments worldwide.
Can I use my Country ID to verify my Stripe identity without using a US ID?
Yes, stripe gives the option to select your home country and upload your ID.
After forming my LLC at Incfile, they sent me additional forms to fill out, how do I fill them?
After forming your LLC, they will send you an EIN form to fill out and another form to enter the list of members.
Filling in the EIN form is easy, enter your full name where they needed it, and enter your US address where it’s wanted.
In the SSN section, enter FOREIGN in the box. This means you’re a non-US citizen and have no SSN or EIN yet.
Your EIN number may be delayed by the IRS because of COVID-19.
In the members’ form, enter your full name and enter your US address. If you’re a team, enter their names and US address. (US address can be the address you got from shipito or the one you bought).
Can I add more services after submitting my application?
Yes, you can. All you need to do is call them or send them a mail and they will put you through.
After following the guides in this post, you should be able to form your LLC, get your EIN, and set up your Verified Stripe account for your business.
Here’s the summary:
- Form your LLC and EIN at Incfile.
- Set up a stripe with your LLC and EIN that you have gotten by following the steps above.
- Start using Stripe for your e-commerce business, or other business you may have!
If you have any questions and are confused about any process, do let us know by dropping them in the comment box.
Don’t forget to share! It’s quite a helpful guide on how to open a stripe account in Nigeria for non-US citizens or residents (Non-Supported stripe countries)!