Can a Non-US Resident Form an LLC?

Gaining access to US markets is the key to success for many foreigner business owners, so let’s look at how non-residents can set up an LLC in the US. 

Gaining Access to the US

As a foreigner, it is not impossible to set up an LLC in one of the US states. If you want to set up an LLC, one of the first things you must do is obtain a travel and work visa for the US. Without travel and work visas, you will not be able to enter the US or conduct business with other US companies. Forming an LLC in the US does not guarantee that you will be granted travel and work visa, but this is something you need to and have in place before setting up your LLC in the US.

Forming Your LLC in the US

After you have obtained your travel and work visa, the next important step is setting up your LLC. As a non-US resident, the process of setting up an LLC in the US will go much faster, and be much more of a simpler process if you have the practical knowledge and guidance of an LLC formation service, here in the US, to assist you. But you can also decide to form your LLC on your own. The first step is choosing the state in which you want to operate and the name you want your LLC to go by. The next step is appointing a Registered Agent for your LLC. This is a significant step as having a Registered Agent in the state you wish to conduct business in is a requirement of forming an LLC; the name of your Registered Agents needs to be included, along with your LLC’s name, on your LLC formation forms. Some LLC formation services include the services of Registered Agents. Appointing a Registered is highly recommended for foreigners wanting to start an LLC because the service you are hiring from your Registered Agent includes the use of their physical address in the state of your LLC which will be open during business hours in order to accept legal documents, notices of lawsuits and government correspondences on your LLC behalf. 

Once you have appointed your LLC’s Registered Agent, you may officially file for your LLC, by filing an Articles of Organization form (otherwise known as a Certificate of Formation or Certificate of Organization) with the Secretary of State of the state you wish to conduct business in.  This document outlines the formation structure of your LLC, and once it is processed by the Secretary of State, your LLC is officially formed. After you have formed your LLC, the next steps as a non-US resident LLC owner is to create an Operating Agreement outlining the ownership and management structure of your LLC, obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) free of charge from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). As a non-US resident, obtaining an EIN can only be done via fax or through the mail, which requires your physical presence in the US. One of the last remaining steps is to obtain a physical US address in order to open a US bank account for your LLC. One way you can do this is by opening a business office in the state your LLC operates, and if this is impossible obtaining a US mailing address for your LLC is your next best option. Opening your LLC bank account is also another tricky affair. Opening a US bank account also requires your physical presence in the state and bank you wish to operate in. The last few steps require your physical presence in the US to be completed, which is why it is imperative to have your US travel and work visas in order before you start the process of setting up your LLC. 

If Forming an LLC Is Not an Option

To gain an initial footing in the US markets and business sector, you are also able to invest in other already-established US companies. There are no restrictions on non-US residents who wish to participate in the US market by investing in a US company. This is an option for foreigners who are not able to satisfy the requirements of starting an LLC in the US, yet still desperately want to enter the US market. If you want to know more about setting up an LLC in the US, you can visit TRUiC’s website. Their assistance has been tailored to help many business owners successfully establish their LLC in the US.

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