How to run a Kickstarter project if you’re not a US citizen?

Kickstarter for non US citizens

NEW UPDATE : How To Run A Kickstarter Project in Australia

Since our first successful Kickstarter project the Opena Case – iPhone Bottle Opener we have been asked over and over again “how did you get on Kickstarter if your don’t live in America?” First thing I want to say is that we were only able to get involved with Kickstarter due to a US connection I’m lucky enough to have.

It’s not that you have to be a US citizen to launch a project on Kickstarter its the fact that Kickstarters payment capture systems relies on Amazon payments. To open an Amazon payments account you need a US bank account, because the only way to withdraw funds from an Amazon payments account is to do so into a  US bank account.

We were lucky enough that my AWESOME sister had moved to the US and she was able to open a US bank account and list me as a subsidiary. She was then able to open an amazon payments account and we were set to get our project up and running.

The experience of running a project on Kickstarter was a tone of fun but I wouldn’t be too disheartened if you can’t get on Kickstarter as there are many other similar platforms starting up that you could get involved with.  I also think it’s important to note that in our experience it’s the hard marketing and PR work that you put in that makes your project successful, not the fact that it’s on Kickstarter.

For more info see my post on How to run a successful Kickstarter project

Another Aussie crowd funding website thats worth a look

 NEW UPDATE : How To Run A Kickstarter Project if You’re An Aussie

Amazone Payments for Kickstarter

19 thoughts on “How to run a Kickstarter project if you’re not a US citizen?

  1. Pingback: How to get an Amazon Payments Account and setup a Kickstarter project if you're Australian |

  2. James Kusie

    I’ve found a great site – – that grants access to Kickstarter for non-US residents. They provide you access to an Amazon Payments account for use with Kickstarter.

  3. Alex Cruder

    For anyone outside of the US, the easiest way to use Kickstarter is by also using a site like The site gives you access to an Amazon Payments account to hold your Kickstarter pledges. With this, you have everything you need to get your project listed.

  4. Paula

    Anybody globally can plgede on Kickstarter, but because payments are processed with Amazon, only project creators with a U.S.-based address and bank account can receive funds.

  5. Steve

    Hi Roby, really appreciating all the inside information, it certainly seems using a US connection is easier than the process your described in your later post. Im presuming after your sister recieved the money to her US bank account from Amazon payments, she wired it to your Australian business account..I was just wondering, by using your sister’s account were the tax implications for either you (when the money left the US) or your sister (with the IRS). Really appreciate the insight

    1. Rob Ward Post author

      Hey Steve, we never wired the money to my sisters account as I had her set up another bank account listing me as a beneficiary. Sorry but I’ve been advised to give general information based on my experience only and to refrain from giving advice that could be deemed financial. Hope this helps anyway. You’re correct it’s a little easier to set up with the help of a local, but you would have to look into all of these aspects with the person involved in the state they are located in. Cheers Rob

      1. Ken Friedman

        Hi Rob,

        Thank you for all of the information. One of our collaborators actually is a resident of the USA. I know you don’t want to say anything about the tax implications, but could you tell me what you mean when you say that your sister set up an account with you as a “beneficiary” or as a “subsidiary?” I’m not sure what that means.

        Thanks in advance.

        1. Rob Ward Post author

          Hi Ken

          All that means is that my name was also on the account that she set up. A bank would be able to tell you more about this i’d say.

          Thanks – Rob

  6. Jay

    hey rob,

    just wondering, how did your sister handle with tax?. was the kickstarter fund considered as her income?


    1. Rob Ward Post author

      Hi Jay, as I have mentioned before in these comments I can’t give advise on how to handle tax issues. I can say it wasn’t an issue for us.

      Sorry, but I’d suggest asking an account.

      Cheers Rob

  7. Andy

    I’m a UK citizen, but I need an Amazon Payments account (not for Kickstarter). I’ve seen your other post about the LLC route, but that seems a lot more expensive and complicated, so I’m getting my cousin in the US to open a bank account there for me.

    Could you explain a bit more about how the whole subsidiary thing works? Is it the same as opening a joint account? What documentation is needed to become a subsidiary? Do they need to see my passport, for example? Do I need a US address? Do I need to personally go to the US to register?

    Also, I understand Amazon Payments are only available to US bank account holders but, once I have an Amazon Payments account, do I absolutely have to use the US bank account to receive payments, or can I add another (non-US) account? Whilst I trust my cousin reasonably well, I’d prefer to avoid tempting her. Also, if I can add another account (say, a UK one), then I wouldn’t have the extra complexity of transferring funds from the US account. Is that feasible or are only US accounts allowed?

    If not, how easy/hard is it to transfer funds to an overseas account without visiting the US?

    Finally, assuming I must use the US account, is there a way to prevent my cousin (the main account holder) from accessing the funds? She’s a terrific person but, as I say, I’d prefer to remove the possibility of anything untoward happening.

    Thanks for the great post.

  8. Patrick

    Dude! I was just looking for this information!
    I have a US bank account, but doesn’t amazon payments ask for your Social Security Number?


    1. Rob Ward Post author

      Hey Patrick, Yes Amazon do ask for an SSN but we were able to get around this by using our companies TIN (Tax File Identification) which is the same as an EIN (Employee Identification Number) which can be used in replace of the SSN. I’d think some things have changed since we first did it so I’d suggest reading the comments for more up to date information.

      Cheers – Rob


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