Is Stripe Available in South Africa? (Yes, See Why)


If you’re a South African business owner looking for a reliable payment processing platform, you might wonder if Stripe is available in South Africa. The answer is no; Stripe is not directly available to businesses in South Africa.

However, there are ways to work around this limitation, and Stripe can still be used to accept online payments from customers across the globe.

I will show you how in this guide.

Key Takeaways

  • While Stripe lists South Africa as a supported country via an extended network, you can’t use it directly as a South African merchant.
  • You can use Stripe via its supported network – Paystack, here.
  • Another option is to set up an LLC and obtain an EIN in a Stripe-supported region (U.S.) to accept International payments.
  • While the LLC process may seem daunting, it’s quite straightforward and can be done online using Northwest’s registered agent service.

Click Here to Form Your LLC For as Low as $39

Does Stripe Work In South Africa?

As highlighted above, Stripe is not directly available in South Africa, but businesses in the country have a couple of alternatives to access Stripe’s payment processing services.

The first option is to use Paystack, a payment platform supported by Stripe and operates within South Africa. Paystack seamlessly integrates with Stripe, allowing South African businesses to process payments effectively.

Stripe available countries

The second option for South African entities looking to use Stripe involves setting up a business entity, such as an LLC in the United States, where Stripe is fully supported.

By doing so and obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN), a business can set up a Stripe account to accept international payments. This method requires navigating the process of foreign business incorporation and tax identification registration in the U.S., which services like Stripe Atlas can facilitate.

Requirements To Open A Stripe Account In South Africa For Your Business (via LLC)

While the Paystack option is seamless and doesn’t require many formalities – the foreign business incorporation option seems complicated.

So, I’ve outlined and explained the processes below.

Here are the requirements you need to meet to open a Stripe account in South Africa via LLC:

RequirementWhere to Get
Business Formation/LLCRegistered Agent (here)
Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Tax IDIRS
U.S Business AddressVirtual Mailbox
U.S Phone NumberVirtual Phone Number Provider
U.S Bank Account (To Be Linked To Stripe For Payouts)Use Wise or Mercury

Let’s delve in further.

1. A Business Formation In The U.S (LLC)

One of the most common types of businesses that people form is a Limited Liability Company (LLC). An LLC is a flexible business structure that benefits its owners.

One of the primary benefits of forming an LLC is that it provides personal liability protection for its owners. If the LLC is sued, the owner’s assets are protected from being used to pay any damages.

When setting up an LLC, there are a few options.

You can do it yourself, hire an attorney, or use a formation service. However, a registered agent service like Northwest is often the best choice. A registered agent is a company that receives legal and tax documents for your business.

Using a registered agent like Northwest has many benefits.

First, it ensures that you receive important legal and tax documents promptly. It also provides privacy, as the registered agent’s address is listed on public documents instead of your personal or business address. Finally, it can help ensure that your LLC is in good standing with the state by reminding you of important filing deadlines.

2. Obtaining An Employer Identification Number (EIN) Or Tax ID

If you plan to use Stripe for your business, you must obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Tax ID. This unique nine-digit number is assigned by the IRS and is used to identify your business for tax purposes. As a result, setting up a Stripe account is a requirement.

An EIN is necessary for your LLC because it allows you to pay taxes, open a business bank account, and apply for loans. You must also set up a Stripe account because it verifies your business’s identity and ensures that you comply with tax regulations.

A few different ways exist to obtain an EIN after forming your LLC.

One option is to apply for an EIN directly through the IRS website. This process can take up to two weeks but is free and straightforward.

Get EIN from Northwest

Another option is to use a registered agent service to obtain an EIN on your behalf. This can be faster and more convenient, but a fee is typically involved.

3. U.S Business Address

To use Stripe in South Africa, you must have a U.S. business address. Stripe requires a physical address in the United States to open an account. This can challenge non-residents and business owners based in South Africa.

One option is to use a mail forwarding service that provides a U.S. address.

You can use this address to register your business with Stripe. Several mail forwarding services, such as,, and, are available. These services provide a U.S. address that you can use for your business registration and other purposes.

Another option is a virtual office service that provides a U.S. address and other business services.

This can be a good option if you need additional services, such as a phone number or a receptionist. You can find virtual office services online by searching for “virtual office” or “business address service.”

It is important to note that having a U.S. business address does not mean you must be physically present in the country. With the abovementioned options, you can easily obtain a U.S. business address as a non-resident business owner based in South Africa.

4. A U.S Phone Number

You may wonder why a U.S. phone number is necessary for a South African Stripe account. Stripe is a U.S.-Based company that requires a U.S. phone number for verification purposes.

This ensures the account holder is a legitimate business owner, not a fraudster.

Fortunately, getting a U.S phone number is not difficult.

You can use apps and services like Dingtone and Skype to get a U.S phone number that can receive SMS messages. These services are easy to use and affordable, and they can help you create a Stripe account in South Africa without any hassle.

5. U.S Bank Account (To Be Linked To Stripe For Payouts)

There are a few ways to go about getting a U.S. bank account. One option is to open an account with a U.S. bank that has a presence in South Africa, such as Citibank or JPMorgan Chase.

Another option is using a service like TransferWise or Wise to open a U.S. bank account remotely.

When linking your U.S. bank account to Stripe, it is important to ensure that it is in your business’s name and a checking account. Stripe does not support savings accounts or accounts not in the business’s name.

Once your U.S. bank account is linked to Stripe, you can set up your payout schedule and receive customer payments. However, Stripe may charge payout fees depending on your payout schedule and the country you are based in.

What’s the Best State to Form Your LLC as a Foreigner in South Africa?

If you’re a foreigner in South Africa looking to form an LLC in the US, you may be wondering what the best state is to do so. While you can choose any state to file an LLC, a few popular options exist.


Wyoming is a popular option for non-US residents looking to form an LLC due to its low cost and low maintenance requirements.

Filing an LLC in Wyoming costs around $150, and no corporate taxes exist. However, you will still need to pay federal taxes. Wyoming could be a solid choice if you’re looking for a relatively low-cost and low-maintenance option.


Delaware is another popular option for non-US residents looking to form an LLC, especially if you plan to raise money from investors. Nearly 80% of US public companies choose to incorporate in Delaware.

The major downside is the higher cost of filing and maintaining the company. It could be the right choice if you’re willing to pay a bit more for the benefits of incorporating in Delaware.

New Mexico

New Mexico is also attractive to non-US residents looking to form an LLC due to its low filing costs and lack of annual report requirements. You can file an LLC in New Mexico for just $50, and you won’t have to worry about filing an annual report. This makes it a good option for those seeking a low-cost and low-maintenance option.


It’s important to note that some states, like California, have high franchise tax fees, making them less attractive options for non-US residents looking to form an LLC. If you want to avoid high fees and taxes, it’s best to steer clear of California.

Steps On How To Form Your LLC & Open A Stripe Account

Step 1. Sign up For Northwest Registered Agent

To form your LLC, you must sign up for Northwest Registered Agent services.

They will help you form your LLC and provide you with a registered agent, which is required by law. You can sign up for their services on their website.

Go to

You’ll be directed to the page below. Click on the button – “LET’S GET YOU STARTED.”

Northwest registration

Step 2. Choose Your Business Entity and State

Once you click the “LET’S GET YOU STARTED” button on the Northwest Registered Agent website, you’ll be redirected to a page where you can choose your business entity and state.

Northwest LLC Formation Order tab1

You can choose from various business entities, including LLCs, corporations, and partnerships.

You’ll also need to select the state where you want to form your LLC.

The state you choose and the processing time (Standard and Expedited) would determine the total amount.

For instance, below is that of Alabama ($334):

Northwest LLC Formation Order tab2

Here’s that of New Mexico ($98):

Northwest LLC Formation Order tab3

Step 3. Enter Your New/Existing Details

After you’ve chosen your business entity and state, you’ll need to enter your new or existing details.

Northwest LLC Formation Company tab1

This includes your company name, address, and other relevant information. Northwest Registered Agents offer the convenience of using their address as your business address, eliminating the need for a separate US address for your company.

Step 4. Enter The Management For Your LLC

Next, you’ll need to enter the management information for your LLC. This includes the names and addresses of your managers and their roles in the company.

Northwest LLC Formation Management tab

Step 5. Fill in Your Contact Details

You’ll then need to fill in your contact details, which will serve as your primary means of contact with Northwest.

Northwest LLC Formation Contacttab

You do not necessarily need a U.S. contact detail for your Northwest account creation. You can use your local/current details as a point of contact with Northwest.

Step 6. Setup Your Account with Northwest Registered Agent

After entering all your information, you’ll need to set up your account with Northwest Registered Agent – using your email and preferred password. This will allow you to access their services and complete the following steps to form your LLC.

Northwest LLC Formation Account tab

Step 7. Get Your Business Identity (optional)

You can toggle this on to add the Northwest Business Identity option for your LLC.

It includes the following, free for 90 days:

  • Domain name registration – 1 Free Year
  • Website – hosted Northwest, owned by you
  • Business email address
  • Business phone
Northwest LLC Formation Business Identity tab

Step 8. Getting Your Tax ID or EIN – optional

If you want your LLC’s tax ID (EIN), you can do so through Northwest Registered Agent.

They will help you complete and submit the necessary forms to the IRS and create a viable Stripe account. You need an EIN as a foreigner or non-resident.

Northwest LLC Formation EIN tax ID tab

It’s pretty easy to get this (and cheaper) without the help of registered agents. But if you’d like to include it in your order, that’s also great!

Step 9. Checkout/Payment (Congratulations!)

Once you’ve completed the previous steps, you can check and finalize your LLC formation. Enter your valid card information, then click Done!

Northwest payment tab

Congratulations—you’ve formed your LLC and are ready to open a Stripe account!

Finally, Create Your Stripe Account (With Your EIN & LLC Information)

Basic Requirements

Before you get started, make sure you have the following information ready:

  • Business name: Make sure your unique business name accurately represents your brand.
  • Email address: You must use a valid email address to create your Stripe account.
  • Government-issued ID: Stripe requires a government-issued ID to verify your identity.
  • EIN: You’ll need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to create your Stripe account.
Create a Stripe Account

Creating a Stripe Account Step-by-Step

Now that you have all the necessary information, creating your Stripe account is time.

Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Go to the Stripe website and click “Sign Up” in the top right corner.
  2. Enter your email address and create a password for your account.
  3. Click “Get Started” to create your account.
  4. Enter your business information, including your business name and EIN.
  5. Verify your identity by providing your government-issued ID.
  6. Connect your bank account to your Stripe account.
  7. Set up your payment processing preferences.

Why I Prefer Northwest Registered Agent For My LLC Formation?

Regarding LLC formation, I prefer Northwest Registered Agent for several reasons.

First, they offer a free one-year registered agent service, which is a huge cost savings compared to other registered agents that charge over $1000 for this service. They also provide a free operating agreement, an essential document for any LLC.

Another reason I prefer Northwest Registered Agent is their transparent pricing.

They don’t try to upsell you on unnecessary services; their pricing is optional, so you only pay for what you need. They also allow you to use one of their local offices as your business address, which is convenient if you don’t have a physical location.

Privacy is also a top priority for Northwest Registered Agent.

They automatically keep your address off the public record, which is important for maintaining the privacy of your personal information.

Finally, Northwest Registered Agent offers a free domain, website, email, and business phone. This is a great value-add for anyone starting a new business and looking to establish an online presence.

What Are The Benefits Of Forming A US Limited Liability Company (LLC) For a South African Stripe Account?

Personal Liability Protection

One of the main benefits of forming a US LLC is personal liability protection. As a member of an LLC, your assets are protected from creditors and legal action. If your business incurs debt or is sued, your finances are not at risk.

Access to US Markets

By forming a US LLC, you can access the vast US market. This can be particularly beneficial if you want to expand your business internationally. With a US LLC, you can sell your products or services to US customers and take advantage of the many opportunities available in the US market.

Tax Benefits

Another benefit of forming a US LLC is the tax benefits. LLCs are pass-through entities, meaning the business’s profits and losses are passed through to the individual members. This can result in significant tax savings for the LLC members.


Forming a US LLC can also add credibility to your business. Many customers and partners may view a US LLC as more legitimate and trustworthy than a foreign company. This can help you attract new customers and partners and make it easier to secure financing or investment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I use Stripe to make payments in South Africa?

As a South African resident, you can use Stripe for payments by forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in the United States and obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This process involves registering a business entity, acquiring a tax identification number from the relevant country’s IRS, and obtaining a phone number, address, and bank account.

Is it possible to create a Stripe account from South Africa?

Yes, it is possible to create a Stripe account from South Africa. However, since Stripe is not yet available in South Africa, you must follow the abovementioned process by forming an LLC in the United States and obtaining an EIN or using Paystack, which is easier.

How can I obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) as a South African resident?

As a South African resident, you can obtain an EIN by applying directly to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the United States. You can apply online, by fax, or by mail. Alternatively, you can use a third-party service provider to obtain an EIN.

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