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Starting an LLC with foreign partners

Asked by: Anita  — 30 January, 2012

After having read a lot about starting a company as a foreigner, I have concluded that an LLC in Delaware would be the best fit. Is this correct? I am currently living in Boston on a student (J1) visa and is wondering about how to collect profits from the business when my visa does not allow me to work in the US? Would it be easier, legally, to start a company in Norway and then a subdivision in the US to that I can hire myself and thereby pay myself? Or how should I do this?

Also, a Norwegian company will own 25% of the American LLC, how is this established?

Thank you so much for your help.

Answered by: admin  — 30 January, 2012


Indeed, Delaware is a great fit for international businesses. Typically, Delaware attracts larger corporations, but is also the state of choice of many internet businesses. Alternatively, Wyoming is also a great state for an LLC, and its a cheaper state to register and maintain your business in.

Both states are the usual favorites for international business owners. For a great comparison between the two states, please click our research article showing the differences between incorporating in Delaware or Wyoming.

It would seem like the right choice to open the company in Norway and have that company be listed as one of the owners of the LLC in the United States. While we are professional incorporators, we are not immigration attorneys or professional accountants, respectively, so with that being said I would recommend consulting with those professionals familiar with immigration and international taxation regulations.

The ownership of the LLC is established through the company’s Operating Agreement. This is also something that is typically completed with the aid of an attorney, however today there are good online resources (such as that allow you to draft a customizable Operating Agreement. An LLC’s Operating Agreements denote the percentage of ownership and profit values, along with liabilities, duties and investments made by and due to the owning/managing parties.

I hope you found this answer to be helpful.

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