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How to Register a Company in the USA

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This blog post is your ultimate, most up to date guide to incorporating a business in the USA. 

The good news is that company formation in the US is simple for both residents and non-resident aliens. This guide is for you whether you’re a US resident or not. 

What do I Need to Register a Business in the USA?

There are no restrictions on who can form a company in the USA. You don’t need a visa, a residency permit, or any special paperwork. 

The process of setting up a business in the US is simple. 

Below we have summarized the steps to company formation in the USA.

Step 1: Choose a State

As you may already be aware, each state in the US is sovereign and governed by unique regulations. This means that things like tax rates and business formation requirements differ from state to state. 

So, take your time deciding on which state is the most suitable for your business.

We have written an in-depth article on the best states for company formation. It’s a guide that clearly lays out the best states and their advantages for business incorporation. 

Step 2: Name Your LLC

This might seem like a straightforward task, but it’s important to bear in mind a few restrictions that apply in the USA.

When naming your LLC you have to include ‘Limited Liability Company,’ or the abbreviation (LLC / L.L.C) in the name. For corporations, you would use ‘Incorporated’ or ‘Corporation.’

You also can’t use words that could confuse others in terms of what your organization is and what it provides.

For example, you cannot use the word ‘Federal’ or the abbreviation ‘FBI.’ Because this would imply it’s a government agency. The same goes for words like ‘bank’ or ‘trust.’ You need special authorization to use these words in your business name.  

Also, misleading names that are similar to already existing brands. 

This is the general overview, but it’s best to check out the restrictions for your specific state

Step 3: Register Your Company

It’s time to make it official! In order to register your company, you need to file articles of incorporation with the secretary of your chosen state. 

Again, the process is different for each state. Some states made the process really easy while others have a bunch of complicated procedures and requirements in place.

The easiest way to form a company in the US is by hiring a specialist service

Businessanywhere.io specializes in company formation for non-resident aliens as well as residents.

We made the process extremely easy. All you have to do is fill out a simple form on our website and we’ll do the rest for you. We can also help you decide which state and business structure are the best for you. 

Click here to see our pricing for company formation. 

Step 4: Hire a Registered Agent

All states require every business to nominate a registered agent. 

A registered agent is somebody who is in the USA and can receive official correspondence on your behalf. This person should be available at a physical address during traditional business hours.

What Does a Registered Agent Do – Read More

You can hire a registered agent service in return for an annual fee. The fees vary between $120 – $300. 

When you incorporate with us, we include the registered agent service for free, for an entire year! 

Step 5: Get an EIN Number

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is your tax ID. So yes, you need to get one. 

You can do it yourself by filing Form SS-4 with the IRS either via mail or fax. You can find out how to do it here

If you’re worried about making a mistake on the form or prefer a professional to do it for you, our business registration packages include this service. 

Step 6: Get a Physical Business Address

If you want to open a bank account for your business in the USA, then you’ll need a physical business address. 

An easy way is to hire a virtual mailbox service.

A virtual mailbox service receives your mail on your behalf and scans it for you. You can access the mail from anywhere in the world. This is particularly convenient if you’re not located in the USA. 

You can use the virtual mailbox address as your business’ mailing address making it look more professional and trustworthy. 

Read more about virtual mailboxes here

How much does it cost to register a company in the USA?

The total cost of registering a company will vary. You’ll have to pay the registration service fee, the state incorporation fee, the registered agent fee, and the virtual mailbox fee. 

We have combined the registration, agent, and virtual mailbox services into one package to make things easier and cheaper for you. Check out our packages here

How can a foreigner start a business in the USA?

Non-resident aliens, or foreigners, go through the same process as US citizens when starting a business in the USA. 

Find out why the US is the best place to incorporate a business for non-resident aliens. 

Can a non-citizen start a business in the US?

Yes. There are no restrictions for foreigners who want to incorporate in the USA. 

Which business structure should I choose?

An LLC is most likely your best option. But you can read more about business structures here

How long does it take to register a business in the USA?

The process varies depending on the state, it can take anywhere from 2 business days to a couple of weeks. 

Ready to Register Your Business in the USA? 

Click here to check out our company formation packages.

About Author

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Rick Mak

Rick Mak is a 30-year veteran businessman, having started, bought, and/or sold more than a dozen companies. He has bachelor's degrees in International Business, Finance, and Economics, with masters in both Entrepreneurship and International Law. He has spoken at hundreds of conferences around the world during his career on entrepreneurship, international tax law, asset protection, and company structure. Business Anywhere Editorial Guidelines

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