Incorporation is a critical step in starting your U.S. business, providing you with asset protection and decreasing you personal liability. Failing to properly incorporate your business can result in very negative consequences if your company were ever sued. It is also necessary to incorporate your business for U.S. tax purposes. The following checklist is a guide to help you plan the initial steps of your new business venture.
Business Entity Start-up Checklist:
- Choose the type of business entity that you want for your new business. For non-U.S. citizens, the choice is between an LLC and a C-Corporation.
- Determine the company managers; who will invest in the company and how much; and return on investment expectations.
- For corporations (C-corporations), pick the officers and directors; for limited liability companies (LLCs) pick the managers or members
- Choose a state of incorporation
- Choose a name for your company; check its availability
- File the incorporation papers
- Hold an organizational meeting to adopt the bylaws (for corporations); adopt an operating agreement (for LLCs)
- Obtain a federal tax number (Employer Identification Number) as your company will be filing returns and reports to Federal and State governments.
- Open a bank account. Do not mix business and personal money.
- Obtain further financing, if necessary.
- Lease an office.
- Hire a registered agent to represent the company from the state in which the company is incorporated.
Setting Up a U.S. company as a Non-Resident:
Foreign nationals can set up a U.S. business, but the process must be handled very carefully to avoid legal and tax problems. With our vast experience helping clients properly set up their U.S. venture, our team of professionals can provide you with fast, accurate and reliable service.
With a US company, it is:
- Easier to sell in the US market, from a customs and tax point of view
- Access the capital markets in the US for venture capital, angel investors and public markets
- Enhance the reputation of your company, both to US customers and overseas
- Easier to get a visa to work in the US (though acceptance is NOT guaranteed)
- May reduce your tax on US income
For more information on starting a new business in the U.S., please contact us.