Here's everything you need to know about opening an LLC in the U.S. as a non-citizen, whether you want to conduct business in the United States or your native country.
Citizenship is not required to operate a business in the United States, as long as the operation is legal. A non-citizen can run a limited liability company (LLC) or a C corporation, but not an S corporation.
Non-citizens can also operate a business in the United States without living there. They must, however, have a U.S. address or appoint a U.S. agent who may receive service of process if the company issued.
With a few exceptions, most LLC filing requirements are the same for residents and non-citizens.
The following are the steps for forming an LLC as a non-citizen:
Pick a state where you'll do business carefully. Non-citizens frequently have difficulties with taxes. You'll only have to be concerned about federal taxes if you work in a state that doesn't impose income taxes. Florida, Texas, Nevada, and Wyoming are some of the best states to form an LLC.
Instead of an EIN, you'll require a TIN. Even as a non-citizen, you'll have to pay taxes if your LLC makes money.
You cannot obtain an EIN like Americans. Still, you must obtain a taxpayer identification number, or TIN, from the IRS (Form W-7) to conduct business in the United States and be taxed appropriately. Obtaining a TIN is not difficult; however, it can take several weeks.
Choose between a registered agent and a registered agent service. If you're not physically present in the United States, see if your agent can help you with some of the duties on this list.
For the LLC, open a savings and checking account. Because you must keep your personal accounts distinct from the LLC's accounts, the LLC requires its accounts. You'll need a physical address in the United States to open accounts as a non-citizen. To open a bank account in the United States, you'll need a U.S. address and proof of residency. If you cannot open an account on your own, consider hiring a professional service to do so on your behalf. As a non-citizen, the most difficult task is likely to be able to open a U.S. bank account as a non-resident.
Make a business agreement. This document is significant since it serves as a road map for how you'll administer your LLC. It should include information about who does what work, the LLC's members, what proportion of the LLC each member owns, and any other essential information concerning its day-to-day activities.
Prepare reports and submit tax returns on time. You'll almost certainly be required to submit an annual report to the state in which your company is based.
You are not required to work from the United States. If you can run your firm from your native country, you can work from there. You'll need to secure a visa or green card to work in the United States, but once you do and set up your LLC, you'll be allowed to run it as a citizen, with the exclusions indicated above.
Doola is a valuable partner in helping international entrepreneurs establish firms in the United States. Through continuing assistance, business basics, and a global-first approach, we enable our customers to incorporate, use U.S. payment systems, and stay legal year after year. Opening an LLC in the U.S. can be easy with our help. Get started with your U.S. business today!