Newspaper article International New York Times

Start-Up Aims to Help Companies Set Up in U.S. ; New Program Is Designed to Sidestep Hurdles That Non-American Firms Face

Newspaper article International New York Times

Start-Up Aims to Help Companies Set Up in U.S. ; New Program Is Designed to Sidestep Hurdles That Non-American Firms Face

Article excerpt

If all goes according to Stripe's plan, Atlas could let start-up founders sidestep some of the bureaucratic hurdles that often hamper building a new business.

Stripe, the San Francisco-based e-commerce start-up, thrives when other businesses do well. So the company wants to help many more businesses get off the ground.

That is the reason behind Stripe Atlas, a new product the company unveiled this week at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. It aims to make it easier for entrepreneurs to set up small businesses in the United States. If all goes according to Stripe's plan, Atlas could let start-up founders sidestep some of the bureaucratic hurdles that often hamper building a new business.

Determining eligibility requires little more than filling out a form. After that, Stripe will incorporate an entrepreneur's company as a business entity in Delaware, and provide the entrepreneur with a United States bank account and Stripe merchant account to accept payments globally.

The target audience is all of the entrepreneurs outside the United States who want access to the country's well-developed banking infrastructure and business services. Stripe is particularly interested in attracting entrepreneurs from Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and parts of Asia, among other regions.

"A majority of the growth over the next 10 years will come from these underserved markets," Patrick Collison, co-founder and chief executive of Stripe, said in an interview last week. "That includes about 6.2 billion people we don't reach yet, and that's a huge missed opportunity if we didn't try to do so."

Eligible entrepreneurs will also be offered access to basic tax and legal consulting and business services from partners like PricewaterhouseCoopers and will receive free credit to run their online business on the Amazon Web Services hosting platform.

Atlas was to begin on Wednesday in an invitation-only beta test; entrepreneurs can apply for the program through Stripe or one of the 50-plus start-up accelerator programs that the company has teamed up with globally. The beta program's cost is $500. …

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