BARCELONA—Stripe today announced Stripe Atlas, a new service designed to give entrepreneurs everywhere access to the basic building blocks for starting a global internet business. In a few clicks, Atlas entrepreneurs can gain access to:
- an incorporated U.S. business entity
- a U.S. bank account
- a Stripe account to receive payments from anywhere in the world
- basic services they’ll need to get started, including tax advice from PwC, legal advice from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, and tools from Amazon Web Services.
Atlas shortens the process from months into days—and costs a fraction of the previous price.
“The promise of the internet is that geography should be largely irrelevant. But that’s not yet true: the majority of the world’s population lives in a country where they don’t have access to high-quality banking or payments infrastructure,” said Patrick Collison, CEO and cofounder of Stripe. “There’s a lot of latent potential in places like Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East—places where developers and entrepreneurs simply aren’t on a level playing field with people in more developed economies.”
The process of incorporating in a foreign country is, at best, byzantine. At worst, it’s elitist and exclusionary. Stripe Atlas gives entrepreneurs around the world a way to access robust business and banking infrastructure emblematic of a global business hub. The U.S. is one of those hubs. Incorporating in Delaware, for example, allows companies to easily issue stock to employees, raise money from global investors, and provides the stability of clear corporate rules and case law. In addition, many more business services (including Stripe) are available in the U.S. vs. smaller or emerging economies.
Stripe Atlas offers U.S. incorporation to start, but over time Stripe will expand the program to a handful of other countries around the world that also give entrepreneurs access to great tools and global banking infrastructure.
Before Atlas, entrepreneurs who wanted to establish a U.S. business had to know that they could incorporate a U.S. entity in the first place; fly to the U.S. once or twice to attend meetings in person and file paperwork; hire lawyers to help draw up documents and navigate bureaucracy; and take care of other business needs manually, such as obtaining a tax number and U.S. bank account. All told, this typically costs an entrepreneur many months and thousands of dollars.
To lower the barriers to entry, Stripe is partnering with leading financial, legal, and professional services firms. Launch partners include Silicon Valley Bank, providing each newly-established business with a U.S. bank account; PwC, offering entrepreneurs educational materials and tax guidance; Orrick, an international law firm providing legal guidance; and Amazon, providing tools and infrastructure needed to scale and grow a business of any size.
Stripe has also assembled a world-class advisory board, including:
- Lawrence Summers: 71st Secretary of the Treasury of the United States
- Fadi Ghandour: Founder and Vice Chairman of Aramex and Executive Chairman of Wamda Capital, a VC fund focused on technology investments in the Arab World
- Neal Wolin: Former Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Counsel to the President for Economic Policy (Obama Administration)
- Linda Rottenberg: Cofounder and CEO of Endeavor, a non-profit organization that pioneered high-impact entrepreneurship in South America
- Ben Lawsky: Former Superintendent of Financial Services, State of New York
“Our hope is that by reducing the barriers to starting an online business, some of those businesses will go on to become hugely impactful, transformative companies in their own right,” said Collison.
Stripe Atlas is launching today in private beta. Beta pricing is $500, which will be waived for the first 100 Atlas entrepreneurs. This price includes around $400 of fees that anyone incorporating a Delaware entity would have to pay. To learn more, visit stripe.com/atlas.