For a non-U.S. citizen, there is one perk that's undeniable: You can incorporate your business and/or open a bank account in the U.S. - and maintain your privacy and secrecy even in today's hard push toward tax transparency. How so? Read on.
You're reading this because you know that there are some benefits - mainly tax-related – when you setup a company offshore. Rightly so, offshore jurisdictions may offer unprecedented upsides for your business, namely less corporate taxes, and better asset protections to name a couple.
The thing is, not all offshore jurisdictions are created equal. Certain jurisdictions are more suitable to your business than the others.
For example, the jurisdictions in the Caribbean are typically popular for 'stashing' your company's assets for one major reason: Zero taxation. However, reputation is an issue that shouldn't be taken lightly. Big banks are getting anxious when dealing with money transfers that involve 'questionable' jurisdictions.
Another example, if you're doing business in the European Union, it's better to setup a company that's EU-bound, such as in Cyprus or Bulgaria, so that you're allowed to get Intra-Community VAT number, which is required if you do business in the EU.
Now, as mentioned above, if you're a non-U.S. citizen, you should consider the U.S. as the go-to jurisdiction. There are several reasons for that:
- - The United States ranks third in the world in terms of the secrecy and scale of the offshore industry. Indeed, unlike hundreds of other jurisdictions, the U.S. refuses to commit to tax information exchange with OECD's initiative, AEoI – which means that your business information in U.S. jurisdictions can't be accessed by other jurisdictions, including your home country.
- - U.S. is politically and economically stable.
- - U.S. is obviously one of the biggest economies in the world that adopts free-market policies.
- - ...and so on.
Now the big question is, which U.S. jurisdictions?
There are several popular offshore jurisdictions within the U.S. The most popular one is Delaware, due to the number of big corporations that are incorporated in the U.S. state. Among smaller firms, Wyoming, Nevada, and Oregon are the most popular options – and less expensive, too.
There are reportedly more than 665 LLCs registered just in those three U.S. states.
Recommended: Offshore company formation in Wyoming
Wyoming is geographically located in the mountain region of the western U.S. It's the least populous U.S. state. However, in the offshore world, Wyoming is among the best, with hundreds of thousands of companies registered in the U.S. state.
If you're an Ecommerce company, startup or other types of small business, you should consider Wyoming over the others. Here's why:
1. Zero income taxes
Yes, you don't have to setup a company in the Caribbean to get zero taxes; several U.S. states can offer you that, too. Wyoming is one of four U.S. states that doesn't tax corporate income.
2. Perfect for Ecommerce
Unlike other tax plan arrangements, which often require multiple jurisdictions to make it work, you can do both formation and bank account opening in Wyoming. Moreover, you can access your company's bank account online, which makes Wyoming the perfect jurisdiction for an Ecommerce company.
Wyoming may be an exceptional jurisdiction for Ecommerce companies because you're free to choose a company structure (recommended: LLC.) Moreover, there's no minimum capital requirement for opening an account.
3. Absolute privacy
As mentioned above, the U.S. is among the best in the world in term of secrecy and size. What makes it the strongest offshore jurisdiction in the world is the fact that the U.S. doesn't reveal business and taxation information of U.S.-based companies and individuals, although requiring other jurisdictions to reveal U.S. citizens' financial information.
One of the examples of this one-sided tax information sharing is the strained relationship between the U.S. and Switzerland. Swiss banks succumb to U.S.' request to reveal U.S. citizens financial information, whie the U.S. doesn't reciprocate Swiss' efforts.
Furthermore, the U.S. doesn't require for directors and shareholders information to appear in public records. Not only that, but you also exempt from providing accounting, audit or annual report.
4. Lesser fees, paperwork, and hassle
Wyoming is suitable for startups and small businesses because it charges fewer fees than a popular U.S.-based offshore jurisdiction, Delaware – the home of Fortune 500 companies.
Not only fees, but there are other perks that benefit small businesses, such as no annual meetings or form resolutions, no minimum capital requirement and, as mentioned in point number three above, no accounting/audit/annual report required.
5. Fast incorporation
The company registration process just takes three work days. For the bank account, it would take three weeks. But all depends on your document collection process.
Delaware is more popular, but...
Both Wyoming and Delaware are U.S. states, which mean that both share the position the U.S. has in the global tax transparency push. However, depending on the characteristics of your company and your plan for the future, you may want to prefer one over another.
Delaware is perceived to be 'cooler' than Wyoming because many Fortune 500 companies incorporate in the jurisdiction. However, we need to understand that there are legal benefits for the big corporations to get incorporated in Delaware – they go to court there. Most of smaller businesses wouldn't require such legal benefits.
If you are a non-U.S. citizen and do business internationally, Wyoming is an excellent offshore jurisdiction for you. Getting incorporated in this state will give you absolute privacy, asset protection and financial information protection – all come at less fees and hassle.