Setting Up a US company as a Non-Resident

How to Set Up a US Company as a Non-Resident

While a non-resident will have to go through all the same steps as a resident, there are additional complications. For most non-residents, international tax law, getting visas and opening a bank account present the most problems. Each of these topics is very complicated.

The steps outlined below cover the critical steps that must be addressed before a business can be launched.

What type of company is being set up
S Corporation, C-Corporation Versus LLC Tax Comparison
Where the company is being incorporated
Where the company will be doing business
The type and activity of the business, and its need for licenses, registrations, permits etc.
The staffing needs, which in turn influence the need for physical location and size of facilities

Checklist: How to set up a US Company as a Non-Resident
Step 1: Determination Stage

Step 1, determine what exactly you want to do, where and how you want to do it, how much it will cost and whether or not you have the budget. In this step, you need to determine:

Where to establish your US business
Where to incorporate your US company
Your need for protecting your intellectual property
Whether you will need to obtain any special licenses
Your need for visas or other immigration needs
Your need for staffing for the business
Your need to access the capital markets in the US
Your need for marketing, supply chain and other support services
Are there any tax incentives available, and what options are available to minimize your tax burden

Free business planning templates are available from SCORE (Service Core of Retired Executives) As an alternative, you can use the lean canvas designed to organize the strategy for a startup business. It’s free for 30 days, and very useful. (We are not related to this site in any way).
Step 2: Planning Stage

In the Company Planning Stage you will determine such practical matters as:

The name of the company
Whether to be a corporation or a limited liability company
Which state to incorporate in and which states to register in
Determine the capitalization of the company (how many shares at what par value, and how much each shareholder will contribute to the company as their capital contribution
Determine who will be the shareholders, officers and directors
Determine the roles and responsibilities of the company’s officers and directors

Step 3: Action Stage

After completing the Company Planning Stage, the Action Stage should be very smooth and fast:

Provide the necessary documents

1. Form the company
2. Register the company in other states as needed
3. Hold the organizational meeting, appointing the officers and directors, issuing shares to the shareholders and taking such other actions as necessary
4. Obtain the federal Employer Identification Number
5. Open your bank account
6. Start business: buy, lease or rent office space, hire employees, market the products, etc