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European citizen inquiring about LLC formation in the US

Asked by: clevercloggs  — 18 May, 2011

Hello there,

I am a non-US citizen based in Europe. I am interested in setting up an LLC (one-owner) for my online internet ventures for convenience, ease, confidentiality and the tax benefits. A few questions come to mind:
1. is an llc in wyoming the best choice
2. what are the yearly running cost to have an llc in wyoming or wherever else you recommend
3 if I understood it correctly, wyoming requires annual accounts to be filed – would I have to retain the services of an accountant. What will this cost?
4. is an llc in wyoming really subject to no tax? what other hidden taxes or charges are there?
5. what about federal tax?
6. in the serives you provide to international clients, is the kit & seal necessary because I have a limited budget?
7. after obtaining an EIN, can one open a US bank online? Where do you recommend doing this?

Look forward to your response and thank you so much for your time.

Best regards,

Answered by: admin  — 18 May, 2011

Let me answer those questions one by one:

1. Wyoming, along with Delaware, is a very good state to form an LLC for an online business, mostly for their business-friendly tax structures.

2. Annual running costs would include maintaining a Registered Agent (required by the Secretary of State for service of process), which is $99 annually, along with the company’s Annual Report (In Wyoming it’s $50 annually, Delaware charges $250). We offer a service to file Annual Reports if you needed us to do it.

3. As far as the Annual Report in Wyoming – no, you don’t need an accountant for that (especially in your case where you have no physical assets in the state of Wyoming). You should consider hiring an accountant to help you do bookkeeping and file your Federal taxes.

4. If you do not maintain any physical assets in the state of Wyoming you pay no corporate income tax and no franchise taxes in the state itself. You are however subject to all Federal taxes.

5. When you operate an LLC with yourself being a sole member your LLC is considered a “disregarded entity”, meaning all the income and loss of the LLC is recorded on your personal tax return. Therefore if you open an LLC you will need to file a personal tax return with the IRS, where you will list your LLC income (or loss)

6. The company Kit & Seal is not mandatory for your company to operate.

7. I do not believe you can open U.S. bank accounts online. For that you will need to be physically present, and the bank will require a photo ID (I think 2 pieces, but it might vary from bank to bank) and a proof of address (a letter from your local bank is the best proof of address). Typically, you could open a bank account for you US company in your home country, and to do that you need to order your U.S. company documents attached with an Apostille (but keep in mind not all countries are signatories to the Hague convention, however practically all European countries are).

I hope this answer was of some help.

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