What is a good options for an offshore merchant account? I'm not located in the US where it is easy to get a good merchant account, do you know of any good options in offshore locations?
The country where I set up the company doesn't matter as long as it has minimal tax and bureaucratic regulations. This is for selling software as a service online.
Generally speaking, I think it would be a mistake to set up a international subsidiary, or deal with banks in other jurisdictions, in the early days of a startups life. When the millions start rolling in you can consider doing tax planning, but not before.
Having an offshore bank carries negative connotations in some circles -- i.e. the tax man, and certain customers, could feel negative towards your company if they become aware of this.
The merchant account thing is a US (or US plus some other countries) thing. Other countries have different structures, and payment gateways operators who are adapted to this. I think you can get payment processing almost everywhere nowadays.
You could open a new question, "How do I get payment processing in country X?".
I had an IBC with Belize Bank, they offer merchant services as well http://www.belizebank.com/faq_creditcard_corp.html