A lot of countries in the world can not use Stripe for processing payments or similar services (even PayPal) so if someone wants to accept credit cards in a webshop then this can be painful if you are not from well-known country such as USA, UK, EU country, Canada, Australia…
Sometimes even if you have found a good payment processor, small bureaucratic issue can make the life difficult (for example I had an experience that payment processor allowed me to accept American Express credit card but American Express wanted to sign a contract with local American Express company but this local representative didn’t have correct “local” API for processing payments).
So, what are the options?
Solution can be to incorporate somewhere in USA or United Kingdom. There are two interesting services to do this:
- Clerky – helps startups to get legal stuff done right (and fast) and they can open the Delaware company for you for a small fee. You will have a company just after few hours.
- Companies made simple – allows incorporation in United Kingdom (a little bit more documentation is needed and not so fast)
The most important thing, beside establishing the company, is to open the bank account for this company (and to do this from your seat, not going physically to this country). For Companies made simple and UK company the easy way to open the bank account is to use HCBS bank (here are the details for online enquiry form).
For small amount of money per month you will get address, post-office box,… The main problem when having company outside the country you are living in is that for some cases you will need to be physically present in the country where your company is situated (i.e. somebody sue your company and you need to go to court) and this can be an issue (travelling costs, time, not native language…). Also accounting expenses can be high, in UK can be easy 2.000 pounds per year or more.
Another problem can be the law that is changing (like in every other country) and it will be hard for you to follow all these changes and to know how this can affect you – so you will need maybe some advisor or even a partner from this country to make you business life easier.
The conclusion is that you need to think twice before doing this step and to evaluate what is the best possible solution for you. Maybe you can use some other service that can process payments for you like FastSpring (twice as expensive as PayPal but is an alternative).