April 12, 2023

Features of opening bank accounts by non-residents

In order to open an account (accounts) in a commercial bank of Kazakhstan, foreign legal entities must have a registered business taxpayer identification number (BIN) and an individual identification number (IIN) for the head of a non-resident legal entity. Thus, according to paragraph 7 of Article 76 of the Tax Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan, a non-resident legal entity opening current accounts with resident banks is required to register as a taxpayer before opening an account. We are talking about a foreign company that does not aim to establish a branch (representative office), a subsidiary or register a permanent establishment to conduct commercial activities in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

In order to open a bank account, non-residents must complete the following steps:

  1. Obtain an IIN for the head of a non-resident legal entity. To do this, you must provide the original of the foreign passport and appear in person or a notarized copy of the foreign passport and a power of attorney for the representative. The power of attorney must indicate in whose name the IIN is issued.
  2. Obtain a BIN for a non-resident company. A tax application for registration is submitted to the tax authority at the location of the bank, accompanied by notarized copies of the documents established by paragraph 2 of Article 76 of the Tax Code;
  • constituent;
  • confirming state registration in the country of incorporation of a non-resident, indicating the number of state registration (or its equivalent);
  • confirming the tax registration, if any, in the country of incorporation or the country of residence of the non-resident, indicating the tax registration number (or its equivalent), if such a document is available;
  • minutes of a meeting of the board of directors or a similar governing body;
  • containing information about the beneficial owner.

If the documents are certified by a foreign notary, then such documents are subject to apostille, in accordance with the Hague Convention[1]or legalization through consular offices. If the documents are certified by notaries of the Russian Federation, Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine, then according to the Minsk Convention[2]such documents in the territories of these countries are accepted without any special certificate.

Received notarized and apostillized/legalized documents are subject to translation into Kazakh and Russian.

When filling out an application for registration, indicate the purpose of obtaining a BIN – opening a current account in resident banks, branches of non-resident banks.

Registration or acceptance of applications from legal entities for the formation of an identification number is carried out at the location of a resident bank, a branch of a non-resident bank.

  1. Provide a package of documents to a resident bank, branches of non-resident banks. The list of documents is different depending on the internal rules of each bank. In addition to documents for the company, bank managers are asked to fill out various forms, questionnaires regarding the company’s activities, turnover, the presence of counterparties, etc.

Regarding the timing, opening a bank account can take from two weeks (including obtaining an IIN, BIN, internal bank verification) to a month, depending on the internal requirements of each bank.

At the same time, when submitting documents to the tax authority to obtain a BIN, it is required to indicate the legal address of the company in Kazakhstan, although the non-resident company does not operate in Kazakhstan, does not have an office and labor personnel, and, logically, does not have a legal address in Kazakhstan . The existing requirement of the tax authority to indicate the legal address of a non-resident in a tax application or the requirement to provide a lease agreement by banks, in our opinion, is a formal requirement that imposes on a non-resident the obligation to comply with requirements not established by the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Therefore, non-resident companies have to enter into lease agreements to acquire a legal address in order to open a bank account.

[1]Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents, October 5, 1961. The Republic of Kazakhstan acceded to the Hague Convention in 1999 – Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated December 30, 1999 N 11-II.

[2]Minsk Convention on Legal Assistance and Legal Relations in Civil, Family and Criminal Matters, done in Minsk on January 22, 1993