After launching Geedesk to Indian hotels, it dawned on us that now it was time for us to sell Geedesk in globally. Till this moment we used offline manual billing for most of our customers, but this would not be scalable if we wanted to go global. After some research on the internet I decided to integrate Geedesk with Stripe.
So far we had not incorporated Geedesk so naturally that was the first step. I opened Google for some further research and made a list of possible countries where we could incorporate Geedesk. The countries in my list where US, UK, Estonia, Singapore and New Zealand. After some brain storming and asking around we made up our mind that Geedesk need to be incorporated in the US. This would also be helpful in taking our company global. However the cost of incorporating a company in US from India was bit higher. This is when we learnt about Stripe Atlas.
What is Stripe Atlas?
Stripe Atlas is a program from Stripe that is designed for entrepreneurs to help them incorporate their company in US for just $500 (USD). I was amazed with the offering and kept reading through the web pages to know more about the program.
Under this program you need to signup for a new Stripe account. Once you signup the test account gets activated which you can use to integrate Stripe with your product. However you cannot role out this to the production as the Stripe account is just for testing and should not be used for collecting real payment from customers. You can only do that after your company is incorporated.
Process of incorporation in the US
While our developers were working on the integration I went ahead and filled up the form with all the details including communication address, scanned ID card copies etc. The form is pretty self explanatory and you do not need much help. At the end you will be asked to add a card from which $500 (USD) will be deducted. Stripe will deduct the money only after the entire process is complete.
A day after I submitted the request form, I received an email asking for my ID proof and signature on incorporation documents. You need to sign these documents from your laptop or other devices. This was bit difficult for us however our stripe point of contact informed us that the signature will have to slightly resemble the signature and you need not worry if it is not exactly same. Now that I submitted all the documents all I could do is patiently wait for the company to be incorporated in the US. We received the incorporation in just 3 days (Incorporating companies in India takes 1 month).
Opening of bank account in US
Stripe Atlas also helped us to open a bank account with Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). Within a day’s time I received an email from SVB with details of activating my account and setting up the online banking (net-banking). It was pretty simple compared to Indian banks. I setup a password answered few security questions and viola, I could now login into SVB and view the account details. However there was $0 (USD) in the bank account. For convenience sake I also installed the mobile app on my mobile device.
Obtaining an Employment Identification Number (EIN)
fill up the form
The first step in the process was to incorporate the company in the US. I learnt about Stripe Atlas from my friend and enrolled in their program. I selected Stripe because it would be easy for me to use