As you probably know, the United State of America is the most active fighter against offshore jurisdictions. The country is a leading force in the de-offshorization campaign indeed. Why is the US so eager to whip small insular states into line? Some experts suspect that the country has an axe to grind here. Offshore zones attract capital from foreign investors that might go to the States if other countries faced restrictions. Even though not all 50 states offer favorable tax regimes to foreign companies, some of them do so. Corporate legislation of some American states such as Wyoming, for example, allows foreign companies registered on their territories to pay 0% in taxes if the companies derive their profits from business operations outside the United States. Now, a zero-percent tax rate is one of the central characteristics of an offshore zone. Therefore, the state of Wyoming can be regarded as an offshore jurisdiction.
This makes it attractive for setting up a company there. The most widespread foreign company ownership form in Wyoming is LLC. In addition to the tax incentive specified above, an LLC can be registered by a single foreign national in Wyoming. This means that you can establish a company in the USA, use it to make an income in a foreign country (or foreign countries) while your liability remains limited, and pay nothing in taxes in the States. You will have to pay only the taxes applied in those countries where you perform your business operations. This opportunity sounds rather attractive given the good reputation that American-registered business companies enjoy.
Besides, the corporate legislation in Wyoming efficiently protects the personal data of the company owners. When registering an LLC there, you will have to submit the company name to the Registrar and that is all. Yes, you will have to draw up an Operating Agreement specifying your company ownership structure, management roles of the company members, the principles of profit distribution, and so on but this Agreement is not going to be available to the public. The same goes for all other company documents too. If you are especially concerned about keeping your personal information private when registering a company in the US, here is a small hint: in Delaware, you are allowed to make an oral Operating Agreement while you have to have a written document in all other American states.
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Thus, registering an LLC in Wyoming (or some other offshore zone in America) looks like an interesting opportunity to consider. At the same time, you have to give several factors a serious thought before you do so. First and foremost, you have to decide if you want to manage your US company from the country of its incorporation or from your home country. In the first case, you will have to obtain a work permit in the USA, that is to say, you will have to apply for a working visa or an investor’s visa. It is possible, however, to manage your Wyoming-registered company from where you are. If you want to do so, you will have to hire a local agent to act as your company representative in the USA. This will come at a cost as the agent needs to be paid some money but we are not talking thousands of dollars here. A few hundred dollars a year is all you will have to pay for the company representative’s services.
One more thing that you should realize is that you cannot set up a company in Wyoming within a day or two. Some serious preparation is going to be required. You will have to collect all the necessary application documents and with the toughened due diligence procedures this can be a challenging task. We suggest that you should apply for offshore industry experts’ assistance if you would like to open an LLC in Wyoming. You will probably be pleased to know that they can help you establish a business company in the US without paying a personal visit to the country. Yes, an LLC in Wyoming can be registered from the comfort of your home.
You also have to decide if you are going to employ any company staff in the US besides the local agent. If this is the case, the payroll tax is going to be due. At the same time, you don’t have to hire any more Americans because the foreign company founders (suppose there are several of them) can act as ‘managing members’. Your company can have several officers – President, Vice-President, CEO, Managing Director, etc. – and all of them can be foreign citizens.
The next factor that needs serious consideration is your prospective company finances. Your charter capital does not have to be large if you apply for LLC registration in Wyoming. US$ 1 will suffice but you can make the registered capital bigger to give your company some credibility. In this case, you will have to submit conclusive evidence of the fact that every cent that you are investing in your Wyoming-based company is of legal origin.
Related to the issue of company finances is the question of setting up a bank account in the USA. It is possible to open a bank account for an LLC registered by a foreigner (or foreigners) in Wyoming, but you will need professional assistance again if you want to do that. At the same time, your company can also bank in some other country. Please also bear in mind that even if your Wyoming-based LLC has a bank account in the USA, acquiring a loan from an American financial institution is practically impossible if all the company owners are non-residents of the United States. This means that you shouldn’t count on getting access to the financing opportunities available in the USA if you register an LLC in Wyoming.
There are more factors to consider before you apply for company registration in Wyoming, but the opportunity looks inviting indeed in light of the benefits that this business maneuver can bring.
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