How to Do Business in the U.S.A.We’re Just Not Annoying®
How To Do Business in America:
The USA is divided up into 51 jurisdictions (states). There is no federal level, nationwide business registration. Nationwide businesses in the US must actually go through the paperwork to register to do business in each of the 50 states. Each state has it’s own business registration division which is typically called a Secretary of State or a Corporations Division. These agencies are the agencies that track and maintain business registrations in each state. Luckily these states have vague and often beneficial rules as to when you need to register to do business with them. If you are selling something online that rarely, if ever requires registration in every state. Very few business in America register in more than 1 state. The vast majority of businesses in America are created in one state and only registered in one state.
What if I have a Canadian company?
If you have a Canadian company, you need to register in the specific state you will do business in. We have more information for Canadian businesses: Canadian business registration.
What is an EIN number, and why do I need one?
An EIN number or federal tax id number is a number the IRS gives to a business entity. It’s what you would use to go with your American Federal Tax return. We get this for you after we receive verification back from the state that the articles of incorporation (corporations) or articles of organization (LLCs) have been completed and approved with the state. We charge $100 for this service if you have a social security number, and $200 if you don’t. We can get the EIN number almost instantly after the articles are filed with the state.
What will it cost to keep up my American company?
The company will have an annual report due each year with the state. Delaware runs about $200, Nevada $375 and Wyoming is $50. You’ll also have to maintain a registered agent. This is how we make our living–by fulfilling this requirement for you in whatever state you desire. We do this for $125 a year, and provide more services and a cheaper price than you’ll find anywhere on the web for Registered Agent service.
Besides that, you’ll have taxes with the IRS. Please take a look at the IRS tax rates at: corporate tax rates. They can be a little less if you have a social security number and decide to pay the taxes personally. You can see the personal tax rates at: LLC tax rates.
What about a corporation, should I incorporate in the USA?
We have a page that gives a brief overview of incorporating in the US.
What should I do to close the company when I’m done?
You file the articles of dissolution with the state you’re in, and a zero tax return with the IRS and a simple IRS form telling them you’ve closed your business. You can use the IRS form 966 to file a dissolution return. Articles of dissolution at the state typically run about $100 to $200. It is a real simple form and easy to file.
Can you help us get a bank account in the US?
No, we cannot set up a bank account for you. Because of the patriot act, you will physically need to come to the United States to set up a bank account. We recommend you actually be in good contact with a potential bank before coming to the U.S.. If you use Northwest to incorporate your new business in the US, all your corporate documents are always in your online account. We recommend emailing them to the potential banker to have them make sure they will be happy with everything and issue you a bank account before flying all the way over here. NO U.S. Bank should charge you for setting up a bank account. Almost all U.S. banks offer a free checking account, debit card, and online account. Most banks will want to see your articles of organization and a resolution saying you are ok with opeing a bank account under the company name.
How will I get my corporate documents?
We upload everything to your online account immediately. If you would like things physically mailed to another country, it usually runs about $50 to $120 depending on where you live.
How long does it take to make this entire process happen?
If we do the filings for you, Delaware can get done the same day. Wyoming takes about 1 week and Nevada will take about 3 weeks unless you pay the extra $125 state filing fee they charge to process the documents in 24 hours. The IRS EIN number we can get for you immediately after your state paperwork is done.
Will the directorship, management, members, or ownership of the company be public and disclosed?
When you file articles of incorporation for a corporation or articles of organization for a LLC, the paperwork is always public. Now, that doesn’t mean you can see it all on state websites. Everything the IRS (Federal Government) has for your company is never public. It’s even hard to request something from the IRS if it’s actually for you…
For corporations, you’ll have to have directors, and a president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. These can all be the same people. These items must be on the formation documents and/or the initial report with the state. In Wyoming and Nevada, you can see the names on their websites.
For LLCs, you have to list the members or managers. Again, in Nevada and Wyoming this information is on their websites. Regardless, anyone could go through the process and order this information if they want to pay for it, and know the company name you might own.
Technically, members are owners of an LLC. Managers could be anyone. It is a little more private to list yourself as the manager of the LLC.
Technically, directors and officers like the president of a corporation are not the owners (shareholders.) They certainly could be and in most small companies are, but you don’t record shareholder information with any state. If you had to pay the state or the IRS taxes on the company, you then tell the department of revenue, but that is never public information.
How do I get started?
You can sign up for incorporation service here.
We’ll get started on your order immediately.