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Online retail business targeting US-based customers?

Asked by: MirageRN  — 4 December, 2012

Good day everyone. I am planning to start an online retail business targeting US-based customers. But the situation is I am not a US citizen and I live outside US. My target customers would be US Americans and I am also looking to have my product done by a manufacturer in the US. I am planning to have everything done online, technically, there will be no office or headquarters for my business. Just my good old laptop and strong internet connection. My questions are:

-Do I have to register my business in the US? Or do I register it in the country where I am currently residing? Note that my product will be made in the US and will be shipped to my potential customers in the US.
-If in case I have to register it in the US, what are the necessary licenses and permits I need to apply for? I have read that these vary according to state.

Additional info: I am also not a citizen of the country where I am currently residing. I’m an expat in short.

Your answers would be greatly appreciated. Please feel free to share your knowledge if you’re on the same boat as I am. Thank you.

Answered by: admin  — 4 December, 2012


In your case it might be a good idea to have your company registered in the U.S., which is not a problem if you are not a resident or citizen of the United States.

Depending on which state you register in, you may need a state sales/use tax (reseller’s permit) to charge your customers sales tax. We have a research article titled ‘U.S. Companies for Foreigners‘, which will compare the different entity types and top recommended states, and guide you to the proper applications where you could form a U.S. company.

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