How to open a company in the USA? Do you need a visa? Which forms need to be filled out? What legal forms are there?
Many do not know this, but: you do not need a visa to open a company in the USA.
Who can start? Anyone, whether a work visa, Green Card or tourist, can start a business in the United States. Just fill out the forms and send them.
There are also two different types of companies: the so-called Domestic is based in the USA. But you can also set up an external branch of your main branch in the USA and mark it as “foreign”.
In the case of a foreigner, taxes may continue to be paid in the country where the main activity takes place.
And that opens the door to the next question: can you save taxes on your own by starting a company in the USA? Not really. Because if I open a company in the USA, taxes in the United States will be due only if the activity takes place there.
So if I continue to work in Brazil, I will also have to pay taxes in Brazil – even if I had a company in the United States.
The same thing happens in the USA itself: there are some states that charge less taxes, like Delaware. But if I live and work in California, for example, but the company exists in Delaware, I still have to pay taxes in California. Only if I really did the job in Delaware – only then would the tax be due there.
It is also possible without a residence permit or work permit. The USA, therefore, differentiates between two types of foundations: domestic and foreign.
Therefore, if you only want to have a branch in the USA, you can classify your company as “foreign” and, thus, you would have founded a legally registered business form.
This would be virtually on paper only, so you don’t necessarily need to have an office branch. Therefore, someone from abroad can open a company in the USA and even employ people there – or not – without having a work permit.
I just want to express that the visa and the company are not necessarily linked. The simple American philosophy: if someone wants to start a company, no demolition will be done. After all, there are fees and costs involved and, if someone is already investing them, the State considers them welcome.
For example, in California, a minimum annual tax of $ 800 is paid to an LLC, national or foreign, even if it has no income. Thus, the state also offers foreigners the opportunity to start a company, after all the state receives a tax.
This tax is also paid when the focus of the activity is abroad – this is the so-called fixed tax, which becomes a “franchise tax” and is mandatory in states like Alabama, for example.
2. Types of companies
There are two main legal ways to open a business in the U.S.:
LLC is the simplest form and costs between $ 20 and $ 75, depending on the state. But there is a significant difference and advantage with the LLC – one is excluded from liability. Because LLC stands for Limited Liability Company.
That is why the LLC is preferred by many small businesses. Taxing the LLC is also relatively easy: the LLC’s earnings are simply transferred to the person. This means that as soon as the LLC earns revenue, it will be allocated to shareholders as if they had earned it.
Abbreviation for Incorporation, it also protects shareholders from liability. However, in the case of an incorporation, the company itself is taxed. Thus, the corporation can earn as much as it wants, the shareholders themselves are not taxed based on those gains.
Only when you distribute the money (called a dividend payment) are you asked to pay – a dividend tax is due. It also makes it clear that this leads to double taxation.
Finally, Inc. pays a tax and then another tax is due on distribution.
Now, some are wondering – why did they start an Inc.? Simply: if you want to be a big company and need money in your account for reinvestments, this is the best way.
In fact, it is not really that complicated.
The tax is due where the focus of the activity is. Therefore, if the company is centered in the United States, the tax will also be levied there. If, on the other hand, you own a company in the USA, but work in Brazil, Brazil is entitled to this tax.
4. Delaware tax haven?
A popular rumor is that a company must be founded in the US state of Delaware, because the tax situation is particularly favorable. The reason all companies do not start a company in Delaware and save taxes is as follows:
The focus of the activity should also be Delaware. Simply having a branch is not enough to pay the tax in Delaware. If you really want to save taxes in Delaware, you also need to live there and work there.
Tax officials say, unofficially, that you would have to work there for at least 180 days to be able to pay taxes in Delaware. Obviously, it is also faster if you have a residence status, for example.
For the American tax office, a driver’s license and a place of residence in Delaware are sufficient evidence.
Since there is no registration requirement in the United States, permanent residency is evidenced by electricity and telephone bills and evidence by Delaware auto insurance.
So, you can be legally taxed in Delaware after day 1 – the tax will be due next year and, from then on, it will be clear where exactly the focus of the work was the previous year.
However, if you want to withdraw money directly from the company, LLC is more suitable.
5. LLC created in the USA
As already explained above, it is possible to create a foreign or domestic limited liability company (LLC).
Abroad, the focus of the activity is not the respective state of the USA. At Domestic, the focus of activity is the country in which the LLC is registered.
REGISTRATION FOR AN LLC IS MADE IN 5 MINUTES.
For example, in California, it is Form LLC-1. All you need is an address, the name of the manager and a person who can accept letters.
These people are called corporate agents in the United States and can be easily booked for, for example, $ 50 a year. After a while, the Secretary of State will send a confirmation by mail and the LLC will be officially established.
The simplest variant is the establishment of an LLC in the so-called transit (delivery) procedure. This means that any LLC revenue is simply recorded in my personal income and losses.
This simplifies the tax return several times. In addition, you do not necessarily need an extra bank account for the LLC.
This variant can also be used with multiple members – in this case, all LLC income and losses are attributed to the respective members as a percentage. This is very cheap for tax purposes.
INC. FOUNDED IN THE USA
It is basically a Merger, abbreviated Inc.
There are two different types of incorporation in the United States. The most popular and most common is the so-called C-Corporation.
In that case, the merger is a separate entity. This means that Inc. is like a person – you need to file your own tax return; you need your own bank account, and all income and losses go through Inc. accordingly.
These income and losses are not attributed to shareholders. For example, if Inc. makes a million-dollar profit, the money will normally be taxed by Inc. The partner or the partners themselves do not have to pay taxes in principle.
Gains and losses, therefore, remain with Inc. Shareholders only become taxable when they pay money from the Merger – in other words, they make a dividend in specialized jargon (payment of dividends).
6. Selection of the company name
When choosing a name, you must ensure that it does not infringe on other people’s trademarks. Here are some sources to look for before deciding on a name:
UNITED STATES BRANDS AND PATENTS INSTITUTE (USPTO).
At the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the first thing to do is to look under “Trademark Database” under “Electronic Trademark Search System (TESS)” to see which brands or names they already own are registered.
It also depends on the class in which certain names are registered. Basically, however, you should not register a trademark such as LLC or Inc., as you risk a legal dispute with the trademark owner.
How to open a company in the USA while in Brazil
It is very common for many Brazilians to think that they can only open an American company if they have seen an American, which is not true.
You can open an American company even if you are in Brazil safely and legally. You can even have an American company without ever stepping in the USA.
If your type of business allows you to operate remotely, all you need is an American CNPJ (EIN) and an account to bill in dollars.
Now your time has come, we reserve few seats for a free VIP consultancy.
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