How to open an international organization account

How to open an international organization account

An international organization account is a Schwab One® International account opened for an organization opened under the laws of a non-U.S. jurisdiction.

If this does not apply, see How to open an organization brokerage account for establishing a domestic organization account.

International brokerage accounts have additional restrictions compared with domestic accounts and some additional features may not be available. You can open an international organization account using DocuSign® or paper forms.

To open a trust Tooltip account, see How to open an international trust account.

For a list of important items to consider when opening international accounts, review the Guidelines for working with international accounts.

You can open an international organization account using DocuSign® or paper forms. 

To open an international organization account, the following are required:

All accounts
  • A completed Schwab One International Advisor Services Account Application (use the International Corporate Account Application Instructions for more information)
  • Properly completed and signed Addendum for International Organization and Trust Accounts
  • Approprate IRS W-8 for Organization, dated within 60 days of the other documents and with the box checked certifying the signer has the capacity to sign for the entity listed on line 1 (contact your tax advisor to identify which version of the form is required)
  • Proof of identity of the organization: The organization's full formation document, such as the memorandum and articles of association, or the equivalent, in English (if translated, must have a court certified stamp/seal)
  • Proof of identity for foreign residents: Everyone who is a foreign resident and associated Tooltip with the account must provide clear and legible passport copies that include pages containing a photo, personal information (the name as it appears on the passport must match the relevant individual's name on the account), and the machine readable zone (MRZ) line
    • Additional proof of identity documents may be accepted dependent on the individual's country of residence. Please contact your service team for more information.
  • Proof of residency for foreign residents: Everyone who is a foreign resident and associated Tooltip with the account must provide one of the following:
    • Utility Bill
    • Household Registration/Residence Permit
    • Financial Statement
    • Home/Rental Statement
    • Government-Issued ID Card
    • Government-Issued Correspondence

    Important: The name on the proof of residency document must match the proof of identity document and the application, and the address must match the application. Also, the date of issuance must be displayed and must be within 12 months. 
In addition to the information above, the following may be required:
If an entity is listed as an executive officer director, authorized agent, beneficial owner, or shareholder Additional documentation is required. Contact the Organization Account Resource and Risk Group (ORRG) at 877-520-7177 for additional information.
Additional features For additional features requested by the client:
  • If adding margins or options, a completed Options Trading and Margin Application.
    • Clients residing in the European Union, excluding residents of the United Kingdom and Switzerland, are not eligible for margin.
    • Additionally, clients residing within Europe—including the United Kingdom—are restricted from using their available margin loan value to withdraw funds from their account.
  • If electing to invest in offshore funds, including non-U.S. registered sweep funds, a completed Authorization to Purchase Offshore Investment Shares (APOIS) form.
Account opening method

If using DocuSign to submit forms: 

  • For existing Schwab clients, a complete Schwab Advisor Center® profile with the account holder's current email address, and mobile phone number.
  • For new-to-Schwab clients, the email address and a mobile phone number.
  • All clients must use both text message (SMS) authentication and Knowledge Based Authentication (KBA) for DocuSign.

Note: DocuSign can only be used for existing international clients who have established Alliance login credentials. Advisor Only DocuSign does not have this requirement.

If any additional document provided is not in English, provide a court certified translation of the document with a visible stamp/seal.

This process is used to open an international organization account using paper forms.

  1. Verify Schwab can support the account:
    • Review OFAC-prohibited jurisdictions Tooltip to confirm federal regulations permit Schwab to do business with the organization (based on the country of legal establishment) and the individuals associated with the account.
    • Review Schwab's policy for clients in international jurisdictions to confirm the international organization was established under the laws of a Schwab Permitted Jurisdiction. 
  2. Confirm you have all the required account holder identity verification documents mentioned in the What you’ll need section.
  3. Go to the forms library on Schwab Advisor Center and select the forms below. Select the appropriate master account, click Select, and select Open PDF:
    • Schwab One International Corporate Account Application.  
    • Authorization to Purchase Offshore Investment Shares (APOIS) form, if the Sweep Fund feature is chosen as the account cash feature. 
    • Proof of dual office holding, if one individual signs as the corporation's president and secretary and there is more than one officer.
    • Options Trading and Margin Application, if applicable.
  4. Complete all necessary fields and ensure all additional features the client requested were added.
  5. To complete using DocuSign, see How to use DocuSign®.
  6. Alternatively, print the form(s) and obtain signatures from all account holders. Send the signed form(s) to your Schwab service team via a Schwab Advisor Center service request. Mail any notarized forms and original documents to your Schwab service team.

Once you submit your request:

  • Schwab may require further documentation and/or information after completing an initial review. Review does not guarantee approval of an account, and Schwab reserves the right to not open an account or to decline an account after it has been opened.
  • If you have questions about opening an international organization account, call ORRG at 877-520-7177.

Go to the forms library on Schwab Advisor Center and select the forms below.

Form: Authorization to Purchase Offshore Investment Shares
Form: International Account – Letter of Explanation
Form: Addendum for International Organization and Trust Accounts
Form: Limited Power of Attorney (Investment Advisor LPOA)
Form: Options Trading and Margin Application
Form: Schwab One International Corporate Account Application
Form: W-8BEN-E Substitute Form for Entities
Form: W-8BEN Substitute Form for Individuals

Resource: Anti-Money Laundering Guidelines for Investment Advisors
Resource: Form W-8 overview and assistance
Resource: Guidelines for working with international accounts
Resource: Schwab's policy for clients in international jurisdictions
Resource: W8 Resource Center

Can ACH (MoneyLink) be used to link Schwab One International® accounts to accounts at U.S. financial institutions?
Yes. However, transfers can be done only through a U.S. affiliate bank.

Are there account features unavailable for international accounts?
Yes. Bank Sweep, Schwab BillPay®, and Schwab Bank Investor Checking cannot be used with international accounts. ACH (MoneyLink) can be used, but transfers can be executed only through U.S. affiliates.

Since the Bank Sweep feature is not available for international accounts, where is cash pending investment placed?
The Schwab One® Interest feature is the default cash investment product for international accounts. See the Cash Investments: Products at a Glance chart for an overview of the broad range of cash options available at Schwab.

How to add features to an account
How to establish a Schwab MoneyLink® profile
How to make role changes for personal and trust accounts
How to open an international individual or joint brokerage account
How to open an international trust account
How to open an IRA for international clients/residents
How to open an organization brokerage account
Introduction to cash and cash investments