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Business Abroad While on H1B

Asked by: Steve - 17 April, 2012
https://d25eic0jctudgb.cloudfront.net/images/site/avatars/default.png-f1597c1da25f30f8c1a941405e8391c8 hi

i am on a H1B visa but would like to start a business in my home country in Africa. most of the transactions will occur in Africa, but some in the USA.

1. what type of company should i set up ? LLC or else ?
2. is it possible to legally merge the company created here, and the one in Africa (a must) ?
3. is it okay to list it with my US address (ie, my home address) instead of an address in Africa ?
4. what are the tax implications (liabilities, benefits) of having such a setup ?

thanks,

sf
Answered by: Ray Albert - 20 April, 2012
https://d25eic0jctudgb.cloudfront.net/images/site/avatars/194.jpg-630c771619e92bede7e6f696b56767b9 Steve,

Allow me to break your answers down and answer them one by one:

1. Typically an LLC is a very good entity type for smaller businesses, especially when owned by international residents, as an LLC requires much less maintenance than a corporation.

2. I do not believe it would be possible to merge the two companies, however, you could always register your U.S. company using your business in Africa as the owner. You could also file a foreign entity of your business into the United States, though this may not be the most cost-effective or sensible option.

3. Yes, it is acceptable in every state in the U.S. to have the business address or owners in another state or country, as long as it is a physical address and not a P.O. Box number. So you could use your U.S. address, or your home or business address in Africa as the business address of your U.S. company.

4. While we are professional incorporators and could help register your business, we are not professional accountants. That being said, I would suggest consulting with a professional attorney who is familiar with U.S. and international tax regulations.

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