The following is a brief look at American LLCs and the possible benefits of such entities if used as a business vehicle by foreign nationals.
Limited Liability Companies (also referred to by the acronym LLC) are a relatively new legal creation. In the past, those wishing to enjoy limited liability in most American jurisdictions were required to either incorporate or form some sort of limited partnership. The relatively recent legislative creation of the “Limited Liability Company” heralded the beginning of more widely available legal protections for those wishing to conduct business in the United States as well as the global community. However, limited liability is not the only benefit for owners of American LLCs.
For a foreign national, one of the major benefits of an American LLC is the usage of American banking institutions. US banks are regarded as some of the most reliable institutions in the world and those doing their banking in the United States of America are able to enjoy the many amenities that US banking institutions have to offer; such as: online banking, merchant account services, and corporate credit as well as debit cards. That said, those wishing to enjoy these benefits should explore all options prior to making irrevocable decisions. Consultation with an American attorney may be advisable as many foreign nationals make assumptions about the American legal system that could turn out to be costly as financial penalties for violations of American corporate law can be detrimental if all proper legal formalities are not adhered to during the incorporation and perpetuation of an American LLC.
American Immigration is another facet of US jurisprudence that could prove interesting to those foreign nationals with an eye toward establishing an LLC in the United States. In certain cases, those conducting business in the USA can base a visa application upon business activity occurring in the United States. An illustration of this possibility is the American B-1 visa. The B1 visa is an American non-immigrant visa that is often utilized by those wishing to travel to the United States for business purposes (ex: specialized corporate training, international staff meetings, team building meetings, etc). American Immigration law is a very complex area of US jurisprudence. Therefore, those wishing to apply for a US visa based upon activities associated with an American company would be prudent to speak with an American Immigration attorney prior to incorporation in the USA as legal counsel may be necessary to better ensure that a legal entity’s proposed activities comport with American Immigration regulations as well as substantive law.
As the planet becomes “smaller,” in an economic sense, incorporating a company in the United States, with or without limited liability; although limited liability is generally advisable, could prove rewarding for those individuals who wish to conduct business in the international arena.