How to Incorporate a Business in the USA

If you are located outside the United States and want to start a USA company, you can do so by satisfying a few basic requirements.

First you will need to decide which type of company (also known as an entity) will best suit your business needs. If you incorporate in the USA, you will be forming a Corporation. If you form an LLC, you will be forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Each entity has its advantages and there is no restriction on which country the owners are from or how many owners there are. However, your home country might have its own restrictions on which type of entity can operate in that country so you will need to check your local laws and possibly contact an attorney for more information.

Once you’ve decided whether to incorporate in the US or form an LLC, you will need to decide the state where you will start a USA company. You can choose any of the 50 states or Washington, D.C. The state you choose will depend on why you are starting the company. Some states like Delaware, Nevada and Wyoming are more “business-friendly” and “international-friendly” than other states, and if you are only starting a US company because you need to open a US bank account and will not have a physical office, you might want to choose one of these states. In fact, the banks in Delaware, Nevada and Wyoming are familiar with international clients who don’t have a local office and dealing with them will most likely be easiest. If you are opening a US office when you start a USA company, you might want to incorporate or form an LLC in the state where you will open an office or operate with a home-based employee. You can still form the company in another state like Delaware if you like, but please note that you will need to “re-register” the company in your state of operation and will have to pay additional fees – this is called a “foreign qualification” and we can handle this for you as well.

After you’ve decided to incorporate or form an LLC, and chosen the state where you will start the company, you will need to choose a company name and provide a registered agent. A registered agent must be a person or company that has a physical address in your state of formation, is available during business hours and agrees to accept and sign for official legal and state documents on behalf of your company. can provide the registered agent in any state for $99/year. Please note that in addition to your registered agent name and address, some states will require you to provide the names and addresses of your company owners and any people involved with the company such as directors or shareholders. Also, it should be noted that a registered agent is not a mail forwarding service.

There might be some additional items you will need to complete before you can legally operate your company in the United States such as setting up a physical or virtual office and obtaining a Federal Tax ID, but completing these basic steps gets you started. By choosing to incorporate in the USA or form an LLC, you have added credibility to your company and can now put your services or products in front of US investors and the US market. These are just some of the reasons to start a USA company.

For more information, please view our resource page with step-by-step instructions: “How to Start a Company in the USA“.

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