Atlas
Next steps

Stripe Atlas next steps

Learn what to expect as you continue running a U.S. company with Stripe Atlas, and the additional features you can access after you legally form your business.

Stripe payments

After completing your company formation process, you can activate your U.S. Stripe payments account. Once activated, you’ll just need to add your bank account to your Stripe Dashboard, and then you can start processing live payments. You can read more about Stripe payments here.

Business bank account

Stripe Atlas founders have the option of opening a business bank account with one of our partners after forming a company. Our banking partners determine supportability for opening a bank account and may not be able to support all businesses.

You can read more about adding your bank account to your Stripe Dashboard.

Mercury Bank

After you complete company formation, you will have the option to open a bank account at Mercury Bank. Both C Corps and LLCs are eligible to apply for Mercury accounts. Please note current residents of some countries may not be eligible for Mercury accounts (you may still be eligible if you are a citizen but not a current resident); for additional details please see Mercury’s FAQ.

Mercury Setup

When you apply for a Mercury business bank account, you will need to provide the following information:

  • A description of your business and link to your website (if available)
  • Filed formation/incorporation documents from the state of Delaware (accessible on the Stripe Dashboard)
  • Your IRS-issued EIN document (form CP575, form 147c, completed SS-4, or a screenshot of your EIN number confirmation from the IRS’s website)
  • International passport or U.S. government ID for each founder or majority owner (more than 25%) of the company
  • Residential address (does not have to be in the US) of each beneficial owner of the company
  • Email address for each beneficial owner of the company
  • U.S. Social Security Number for each beneficial owner of the company (if applicable)
  • Phone number of each beneficial owner of the company

Mercury Debit card

Stripe Atlas users are also eligible to receive a debit card linked to their Mercury account. If you opt in for debit cards when you complete your Mercury application, you will receive your debit card once your Mercury bank account is opened.

Please note that if you live outside the U.S. and you want to apply for a Mercury debit card, please enter your registered agent’s address (available on your Articles of Incorporation/Formation) as the shipping address for your debit card during the Mercury application process.

Mercury’s debit cards are part of the Moneypass ATM network, which you can use fee-free for withdrawals. You can find a list of Moneypass ATM locations here. You can also use your Mercury debit card at any non-Moneypass ATM, but you will need to pay fees of the ATM operator.

Mercury Fees

For details, please visit Mercury’s FAQ and Mercury’s pricing page.

Azlo

Once you complete your company formation, you can choose to open a bank account with Azlo. Banking services will be provided by Azlo’s partner bank, BBVA USA, Member FDIC. Your bank account will typically be opened a few days after you submit your application and agree to Azlo’s Terms and Conditions. Please note: in order to open an Azlo account, you must be based in the United States and have a Social Security Number.

Azlo Setup

Once you complete the Azlo application, Azlo will review and get back to you within a few days. When the bank account is opened, Azlo will send your administrator an email; at this point, the administrator will be able to add other founders as authorized users of the Azlo account.

You can link your Azlo account to your Stripe account to have Stripe payments automatically deposited. As soon as your business banking account and Stripe payment accounts are open, you can begin accepting live payments. After the IRS issues your EIN, you can send digital (bank-to-bank) transfers to other U.S. bank accounts.

Funding your Azlo account

You can fund your new bank account by instantly funding with a U.S. debit card (this must be a card you own), transferring from another U.S. bank, depositing a U.S. check, or sending a domestic or international wire. Azlo’s FAQ has more details.

Azlo Debit card

The administrator and any business owners that are added as authorized users will receive a debit card linked to their Azlo account. The debit card will be sent to your business address. As soon as it arrives (typically within 10 business days after your Azlo account is approved), you can activate it right away through Azlo’s website or mobile app.

Azlo Fees

For details, please visit Azlo’s FAQ on fees.

Silicon Valley Bank (SVB)

After you complete company formation, you will have the option to open a bank account at Silicon Valley Bank (SVB).

SVB Setup

During the application process, you’ll be prompted to select administrators for your SVB account. After you open the bank account, the administrators receive a temporary password to log in online.

You can link your SVB account to your Stripe account to have Stripe payments automatically deposited. As soon as your business banking account and Stripe payment accounts are open, you can begin accepting live payments.

SVB Debit card

Stripe Atlas users are also eligible to receive a debit card linked to their SVB account. However, debit cards are not available to cardholders living in India, per Reserve Bank of India restrictions. If you opt in for debit cards when you complete the application, you will receive an email from SVB after you receive your EIN, with instructions on how to complete your debit card application.

SVB Fees

For details, please visit SVB’s website.

The Stripe Atlas Community

Stripe Atlas members join the Stripe Atlas Community, a global community of entrepreneurs and experts. Atlas members can connect with founders, learn from experts, and get practical advice.

You’ll get access to the community after your representatives electronically sign the Stripe Atlas onboarding documents. Once granted access, use your Stripe account details to log in.

If you have co-founders, you can grant them access to the Stripe Atlas Community by making them administrators of your Stripe account.

Additional resources

Stripe Atlas users have access to legal guides and to a tax guide, accessible on the Stripe Dashboard.

We also encourage you to read and refer to our Stripe Atlas guides—primers explaining accounting, taxes, employment, and more.

Stripe Atlas partner benefits

Stripe Atlas provides additional benefits to its users beyond helping them create a U.S. corporation and obtain an Employee Identification Number (EIN). Stripe Atlas founders can activate a U.S. Stripe account, open a bank account with one of our banking partners, access free credits, and receive exclusive access to free products and discounted pricing from our partners (including up to $5,000 in credits from Amazon Web Services). Please note that our partners may have specific rules and expiration dates for offers relevant to their program; please be sure to check with each benefit partner for the terms of each benefit.

Registered agent service

Delaware companies are required to maintain a registered agent. Through Stripe Atlas, you’ll enroll with a registered agent when your company is formed. The fee for the first calendar year is included in your $500 application fee. This service will be renewed automatically through Stripe Atlas in following years, and we’ll send you a reminder about it via email and in the Stripe Dashboard.

Your registered agent will provide you with a registered address in Delaware. This registered address is for limited purposes: legal notices and communications from the government. It’s not a general purpose mail-forwarding address for your company and shouldn’t be listed as a company address. You can find the address in Article II of your Certificate of Incorporation, or in your Certificate of Formation, either of which you can download from the Company section of your Stripe Dashboard.

From time to time, your registered agent may contact you directly when the state of Delaware sends you a message via the registered agent, to share key information with you in a timely manner.

You can separately choose to use a virtual address service to receive general mail and for customer contact.

Stripe Atlas users have access to legal guides and free annotated legal templates that can be customized for their company’s next steps after incorporation, accessible in your Stripe Dashboard.

Stripe Atlas users also have access to a network of startup attorneys who can provide a short free consultation and flat-rate legal packages for Atlas users. You can contact us after forming your company to get in touch with our partner law firms.

Bookkeeping

Stripe Atlas users have access to bookkeeping services at preferred pricing; you can sign up in your Stripe Dashboard after you complete forming your company. We also have written a guide about startup bookkeeping and accounting that you can read at any time.

Taxes

Companies formed in Delaware are subject to yearly tax obligations, including:

  • U.S. Corporate Income Tax
  • Delaware Franchise Tax (for C Corporations) or annual LLC tax (for Limited Liability Companies)
  • A similar annual tax if your Delaware company also operates in other U.S. state(s)

Stripe’s partners can assist you in meeting tax requirements for states outside Delaware.

Make sure to watch the calendar, and plan ahead to meet any tax deadlines that apply to your business.

Key tax season dates

Plan ahead to meet any tax deadlines that apply to your business. For companies active in 2019, these include:

C Corporations

LLCs

Also, if your U.S. company has employees, or makes payments to U.S. vendors, it might be required to file a U.S. W-2 or 1099 form by January 31st, 2020.

When to form your company

C Corporations active in Delaware any time before December 31st owe at least the minimum Delaware Franchise Tax for that year. LLCs active before December 31st owe the full annual LLC tax for that year.

Neither the Franchise Tax nor the LLC tax is prorated. Your company might also owe U.S. Corporate Income Tax for the outgoing year. It might also owe taxes to a U.S. state other than Delaware, depending on where the LLC operates.

For all these reasons, companies planning to form near the end of a year might want to consider instead forming in January of the following year.

Filing U.S. Corporate Income Tax

Before working with an accountant and filing taxes, you should prepare as much of your company’s year-end financial data as possible. This is part of your bookkeeping responsibilities. There are several tools like Xero and Bench that can help with this, and you might want to view our guide to surviving tax season.

The information to prepare depends on whether you are forming a C Corporation or a Limited Liability Company (LLC).

Be sure to have the following information for your corporation (as of the last day of the fiscal year for which you’re filing):

  • General information about your business. This includes your EIN.
  • The company’s financials. You can upload your balance sheet, income statement, and general ledger into the questionnaire to share them with your accountant. If some financial information isn’t ready yet, upload what you have, and your accountant can help with the rest. You can learn about year-end financial reports in our guide on surviving tax season. If you don’t have any revenue or expenses for the past fiscal year, there’s a section in the questionnaire to indicate this.
  • Company ownership. Your corporation might have shares held by individual shareholders or business entities. Make sure the information reflects the current ownership.
  • Additional information. If your company employs people, owns property, operates locally in the U.S., or operates abroad, you might have additional tax and reporting requirements. Provide this information in the questionnaire so that your accountant can help you file additional forms if needed. Some of the taxes you might want to ask about include:
    • Transfer pricing, if you’re based outside the U.S.
    • State taxes, if you have business activity in any U.S. state
    • Sales taxes
    • Employment taxes

The Stripe Atlas Guide to Business Taxes has more information about tax types that might apply to your business.

U.S. Corporate Income Tax Partners

Each U.S. business is required to pay corporate income taxes. We have partnered with tax advisors that specialize in working with startups to provide you affordable options for filing your corporate income taxes. These services are used by top startups and offer discounts for Stripe Atlas users. Each service specializes in a different area, so please choose the one that’s right for your company:

  • GBS Tax & Bookkeeping (formerly Greenback, $250 to $600)
    • Recommended for companies with no business or minimal activity up to $500k in revenue (companies with no activity still need to file a tax return)
    • The package includes a federal tax return (Form 1120) and one state tax return
    • Additional state returns cost $70 and bookkeeping help costs $60 per hour
    • You can also complete an end of year financial clean up for $300
  • Early Growth ($1,150)
    • Early Growth has represented thousands of early stage startups in over 40 countries
    • Recommended companies with any level of business activity (no limit on annual revenue)
    • The package includes a federal tax return (Form 1120), one state tax return, and a free 30-minute consultation with an accountant
    • Additional state returns cost $250 and bookkeeping help costs $90 per hour

Once you sign up with one of our partners online, they will contact you via email. They’ll answer any final questions, prepare your tax return, and then share it with you to review and sign.

Be sure to have the following information for your LLC (as of the last day of the fiscal year for which you’re filing):

  • General information about your business. This includes your EIN.
  • The company’s financials. You can learn about year-end financial reports in our guide to surviving tax season.
  • Company ownership. Your LLC might have multiple owners (“members”); make sure the information reflects the current ownership.
  • Additional information. If your company employs people, owns property, operates locally in the U.S., or operates abroad, you might have additional tax and reporting requirements. Some of the taxes you might want to ask your accountant about include:
    • Transfer pricing, if you’re based outside the U.S.
    • State taxes, if you have business activity in any U.S. state
    • Sales taxes
    • Employment taxes

Accounting options

Each U.S. business is required to pay income taxes. LLC companies can work with their own accountant to file their federal taxes. We have partnered with tax advisors that specialize in working with startups to provide you affordable options for filing your company’s income taxes. These services are used by top startups and offer discounts for Stripe Atlas users. Each service specializes in a different area, so please choose the one that’s right for your company:

  • GBS Tax & Bookkeeping (formerly Greenback, $250 to $600)
    • Recommended for companies with no business or minimal activity up to $500k in revenue (companies with no activity still need to file a tax return)
    • The package includes a federal tax return (Form 1065) and one state tax return
    • Additional state returns cost $70 and bookkeeping help costs $60 per hour
    • You can also complete an end of year financial clean up for $300
  • Early Growth ($2,400)
    • Early Growth has represented thousands of early stage startups in over 40 countries
    • Recommended companies with any level of business activity (no limit on annual revenue)
    • The package includes a federal tax return (Form 1065), one state tax return, and a free 30-minute consultation with an accountant
    • Additional state returns cost $250 and bookkeeping help costs $90 per hour

The Stripe Atlas Guide to Business Taxes has more information about tax types that might apply to your business.

Filing taxes in Delaware

Your company’s tax and reporting obligations in Delaware depend on whether you are forming a C Corporation or a Limited Liability Company (LLC).

All Delaware C Corporations are required to pay the Delaware Franchise Tax and to file an Annual Report. Even companies with no revenue in the previous fiscal year should expect to pay some amount.

Delaware Franchise Tax

There are two methods for calculating the Delaware Franchise Tax: the Authorized Shares Method and the Assumed Par Value Capital Method. The state of Delaware allows companies to use the method that results in the lesser tax amount. You can read about these methods on Delaware’s site. It’s up to you to decide which method is best for your company.

Notice of tax due

The state of Delaware sends notices to companies that have not paid their Franchise Tax and filed their Annual Report, including a proposed bill for the tax payment (an “estimated tax notice”). Delaware uses the Authorized Shares Method to calculate the estimated tax. This method systematically results in a high tax bill for most Stripe Atlas users, though the state of Delaware allows companies to use the method that results in the lesser tax. If the Franchise Tax is not submitted by March 1st, there is a $200 late fee and interest of 1.5% per month on the tax amount originally due.

How to pay Delaware Franchise Tax

  1. Login to the state of Delaware’s website with your seven digit Delaware Business Entity File Number - You can easily find your company’s file number in two ways:
    1. Use Delaware’s entity search tool with your company’s legal name
    2. Find the State of Delaware stamp on page 2 of your “Filed Certification of Incorporation,” accessible in your Stripe Atlas dashboard
  2. Click on the “File Annual Report” link next to the year 2019
  3. Enter your company information: - Complete the “Stock Information” section to adjust your taxes owed shown in the upper right corner: enter the number of shares your company has issued, your Gross Assets (your “Total Assets” on your corporate income tax return), and your Asset Date (the same as your end of fiscal year). Then click the “Recalculate Tax” button (can take some time to reload) - Complete all of the remaining required fields indicated with a red star - If you haven’t adjusted your list of officers or directors since you incorporated, you can find these individuals in your “Board Approval” document, accessible in your Stripe Atlas dashboard
  4. Once all required information is complete, press the green “Continue Filing” button to review your information for accuracy
  5. Once you verify you entered all of the correct information, press the green “Proceed to Payment” button. - You can choose to pay your Delaware Franchise Tax and Annual Report filing fee either by credit card or ACH. After inputting your payment information, push the green “Submit” button to finalize your Delaware state taxes

You can save your work and return to it later, just make sure to save your session number, which the Delaware portal gives you the option of sending to an email address for easier access.

Delaware LLCs pay an annual LLC tax, sometimes referred to as the Business Entity Tax.

Annual LLC tax

All LLCs formed or registered in Delaware must pay an annual LLC tax, currently at a flat rate of $300. There is no requirement to file an Annual Report.

If the annual LLC tax is not submitted by June 1st, there is a $200 penalty and interest of 1.5% per month on the tax amount (and penalty) originally due.

How to pay the annual Delaware LLC tax

  1. Login to the state of Delaware’s website with your seven digit Delaware Business Entity File Number - You can easily find your company’s file number in two ways:
    1. Use Delaware’s entity search tool with your company’s legal name
    2. Find the State of Delaware stamp on page 2 of your “Filed Certification of Incorporation,” accessible in your Stripe Atlas dashboard
  2. Click the green “pay taxes” button - you should see a flat $300 fee for LLC - You can choose to pay your Delaware LLC tax fee either by credit card or ACH. After inputting your payment information, push the green “Submit” button to finalize your Delaware state taxes

You can save your work and return to it later, just make sure to save your session number, which the Delaware portal gives you the option of sending to an email address for easier access.

State taxes beyond Delaware

If your C Corporation or LLC operates in any states other than Delaware, it might be subject to annual taxation, registration, and reporting requirements in the other states. Stripe recommends that you consult legal and tax professionals about what requirements apply to your business. If you don’t have an attorney or tax advisor, Stripe Atlas can connect you with one of our partners.

Your C Corporation or LLC might have additional obligations if it is physically located in, or if it “does business” in, a U.S. state other than Delaware. Your business might need to register in this second state, a process called “foreign qualification.” Various states also require some combination of registration fees, periodic reporting, and payment of annual taxes to that state.

Stripe recommends that you consult legal professionals about whether or not your company is subject to foreign qualification in another state—and if so, about what further requirements you must fulfill. Stripe Atlas can connect you with one of our partners to help with registration or reporting in states other than Delaware (for an additional fee).

Taxes before dissolving your company

If you aren’t operating your company anymore, you might still be obligated to file taxes every year until you dissolve it. When you dissolve a company, there might be additional tax filings and obligations for the year in which you dissolve the company. Work with an accountant to calculate the taxes you owe.

C Corporations can be dissolved in the state of Delaware only after they pay Delaware Franchise Tax and file their Annual Report. LLCs can be dissolved only after they pay annual LLC tax (no Annual Report is required).

Stripe Atlas users who need help closing their company’s operations can work with a lawyer to dissolve their company. If you need help finding an attorney, Stripe Atlas can connect you with lawyers who can assist you. There might be additional service and filing fees if your company has not yet submitted its Delaware taxes or filed its Annual Report.

Additional tax resources

Here are some additional resources that may be helpful to learn more about business taxes:

U.S. sanctions

U.S. companies and persons must comply with Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regulations, regardless of where they are located. In keeping with U.S. foreign policy and national security goals, OFAC administers and enforces economic sanctions programs against certain countries, sectors, entities, and individuals. These sanctions prohibit economic activity with these parties. As the owner of a U.S.-formed business, you and your company are now subject to OFAC’s regulations.

Stripe Atlas users must take steps to prevent offering services to customers in sanctioned countries, and to prevent any business or transactions with sanctioned individuals, entities, or individuals or entities in sanctioned countries. This can include steps such as: blocking logins or purchases from certain IP addresses; ensuring that you do not offer shipment of goods to sanctioned countries; and verifying that no payments are made to business partners, vendors, sellers, or others named on various lists of sanctioned persons and entities.

Several vendors provide sanctions screening services, if you do not wish to do this on your own. Vendors can also help with IP blocking. You can also engage your own legal counsel to help with the nuances of U.S. sanctions law.

Where next?

Now that you’re running on Stripe Atlas, you might want to check out:

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