Requirements to Form a Corporation or LLC in the USA
Once you’ve decided what type of company you’d like to form and which state you will be forming the company, there are only a few basic requirements.
1. Choose a Company Name
Search to be sure this name is available in your chosen state.
2. Provide a Registered Agent
The Registered Agent is a person or company that must have a physical address in the state of formation, be available during business hours, and will accept and sign for official legal and state documents for the company.
3. Provide Names and Addresses of the People/Companies Involved (Officers, Directors, Members, etc.).
4. Federal Employer Identification Number (Optional)
The Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) also known as an “EIN” or simply “Tax ID Number” is a number issued by the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that is somewhat like an identification number for companies. The FEIN will be needed, for example, to open a US bank account.
After Forming a US Corporation or US LLC
After your Corporation or LLC has been filed, there are some other tasks you may want to do depending on your requirements and the purposes of your US company.
1. Arrange a US Physical Business Address or Virtual Office
If you would like to receive business mail, client mail, etc. at a US address or if every bank that you contact requires you to have a separate physical US address (that is not the same as your Registered Agent), then you’ll need to arrange for a “mail forwarding” and/or “virtual office” service. There are many such services in the US, many of them are based in the above-mentioned states of Delaware, Nevada and Wyoming. Some provide options including weekly or monthly forwarding, online tracking of documents and some may be able to provide you a US phone number as well.
US Mail Forwarding and Business Address providers include:
Nevada Virtual Office – Includes Nevada Address, Phone & FAX!
Wyoming Virtual Office – Includes Wyoming Address, Phone & FAX!
Opus Virtual Offices
2. Open a Bank Account
If you want to accept US payments, open a US merchant account, or open a physical branch office in the US (or for any other purpose), then you’ll need to open a US bank account. Unfortunately, this has become significantly more difficult in recent years due to various US anti-terrorism laws, but there are still several options (depending on your home country) that may make this process easier. The important thing to realize is that it is going to take a bit of research and is highly dependent on variables which are ultimately out of our (and your) control.
Tip: ALWAYS CALL THE BANK FIRST. Don’t assume you have everything you need to open a bank account with a certain bank. Banks vary wildly on what they require to open an account. For example, some will require a “Certified Copy” of your formation documents, “Banking Resolution” or other documents that other banks will not. It’s good to shop around a bit, call a few banks and find out the specifics before you waste a trip to their office.
3. Build a Website and Company Logo
Almost every business will want to have at least a basic website. It provides credibility and is in-fact now required by many merchant account providers and US vendors on applications. Fortunately, domain names are cheap and websites can be built in hours instead of months with new wizard-based website templates. Pricing starts at around $10/month. You may want to consider a professional logo (and web design) if you will have a significant web presence.
MyCompanyWorks.ws (Our Website Division: Register Domains and Build a Website Instantly)
Recommended Logo/Web Design Services
4. Open a Merchant Account (to Accept Credit Cards)
A merchant account is a relationship with a bank that allows your business to accept credit cards like Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express in addition to electronic checks, etc. You can accept payments for your products or services via credit card, the bank debits the funds from the customer and deposits them into your bank account. Opening a merchant account in the US will almost certainly require a US bank account, a US Business Address and phone number.