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European opening a consulting company in Florida with no employees

Asked by: Louis - 14 August, 2012
https://d25eic0jctudgb.cloudfront.net/images/site/avatars/default.png-f1597c1da25f30f8c1a941405e8391c8 Hello,

I'm an european businessman based in Europe who travels frequently to US (as a tourist) and plan to create a company in US.

This business will provide consulting services mainly to Florida corporations and will have a bank account in Florida (I've already talked to my bank). Company will have a Florida address (shared with another company). This business will not have any employees (I'm not US resident) but will pay related expenses and other consulting providers.

I plan to chose being taxed as a corporation because taxes are bigger in my home country and I plan to have a lot of expenses and low profits.

I would like annual costs and taxes to be as low as possible.

My initial election is a Florida LLC taxed as a corporation but after reviewing your site I think that Wyoming maybe would be a better solution. What do you think? If I choose Wyoming should I register my LLC as a foreign company and pay taxes in Florida as well?

Thank you
Answered by: Ray Albert - 15 August, 2012
https://d25eic0jctudgb.cloudfront.net/images/site/avatars/194.jpg-630c771619e92bede7e6f696b56767b9 Louis,

If you are going to be conducting your business remotely from outside the country, essentially making it a somewhat "virtual" business, then you would not have to be registered in Florida state. In the U.S., you may register a business using any physical address in the world as the business address. So you could use your home address, an office in your country, or the address in Florida. Typically, you are also able to open the company bank account in a different state than the company's registration.

If you register a c-corporation in Wyoming you would not have to pay corporate income tax, but will still have to pay the Federal tax. Florida has 5% corporate income tax. An LLC, regardless of what state the company is registered in, does not pay taxes on it's profits. The profits are passed-through the entity directly to the owner's personal income. If you were going to have an LLC taxed as a corporation, that is an option you could look into as well in either state.

Keep in mind, if you would be looking to write-off your U.S. business expenses, it can create a nexus in Florida, and you would have to register there anyway. So if you are planning to have your write-offs from Florida, you would either want to file your business in Florida, or open a Wyoming company and register the business as a foreign entity in Florida.

We offer a free tax webinar that addresses many of the common tax questions for domestic and foreign business owners. I think in your case, it would be very a very beneficial tool in trying to find the best solution to your needs. I think it would also be a very good idea to consult a licensed accountant regarding your business plan.

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