LLC for non-US residents: How to guide

Panna Kemenes

Business owners from other countries may wonder if they can set up a limited liability company (LLC) in the United States.

There are no laws that prevent non-residents from filing a US LLC. However, non-residents have to follow different rules regarding filing requirements, taxation, and more.

This article is here to cover all you need to know about starting a US LLC for non-residents.


Is it possible to start an LLC for non-US residents?

Yes. You can file an LLC even if you are not a US resident. There can be some advantages to start an LLC in the United States. It may be easier for the business owner to access the US market, establish credibility, and even raise money from investors.

There are many important legal requirements to consider, however. Non-US residents need to have a business visa or form an LLC as a passive investor. It is also important to understand the LLC taxation for non-US residents.

How do I register an LLC for non-residents in the US?

The process is relatively easy. If you already have a Social Securty Number (SSN), you may be able to file an LLC and receive an Employee Identification Number (EIN) within one week.

The EIN is like a tax ID for your business, which you need to include when you file taxes. After this, you may need to pay additional fees and file other forms every year.

If you are a non-resident and want to file an LLC in the United States, you can follow the steps listed below.

6 steps to registering an LLC for non-US residents:

Decide which state you’ll form your LLC in

One of the most important decisions to make is which state you choose.

Some popular options include a Delaware LLC for non-US residents or Wyoming LLC for non-US residents:

  • The Delaware LLC for non-US residents is a popular option for companies that want to raise money from investors.

  • The Wyoming LLC for non-US residents provides an alternative for smaller companies that want lower company fees. Moreover, Wyoming does not have a personal or corporate income tax. If you plan to physically operate in a different state, then it may be better to choose this state.

Two important factors to consider are the company registration fees and your desire to attract investors. South Carolina and other states have low registration fees and do not require you to file annual reports.¹ Delaware, a popular option, has much more expensive fees. However, many investors prefer to invest in Delaware companies.

Choose a name for your LLC

After this, you need to choose a business name. Whatever name you choose will have LLC at the end of it. If you want to use another name, you will need to file a business name, which is referred to as a Doing Business As (DBA).

Before filing a name, you must perform a search and ensure that someone is not already using the name. If someone is already using the name, you will find out when you attempt to register the company.

Hire a registered agent

LLCs need to have a registered agent. The registered agent receives important legal notifications and other notifications sent to the company.

LLCs can also use their business address or use a registered agent service. They may also use their home address as the registered agent, if you own property in the state.

You can also change your registered agent by filing an amendment form.

File legal documents

Most states require LLCs to file articles of organization. The articles of organization provide basic information about the company.

You will need to provide a list of company members, your business address, and other information that the state requests. You may also need to file an operating agreement.

Each state has different filing costs and annual maintenance costs. It is important to consider these costs when choosing a state.

Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Your business also needs to create a tax ID, which is referred to as an employer identification number (EIN). You can apply for an EIN by visiting the IRS’s website and completing Form SS-4. You will also need to complete Form 8822-B if you make any changes.²

Open a US business bank account for your LLC

After you complete these steps, you can open a bank account for your LLC. The bank will need to see your company formation documents and other identification information to set up this account.

Opening a business account is also good practice in order to keep your personal and business finances separate. It can be complicated to open a US business account as a non-resident, however.

    The Wise Business account is an online account option that is designed with international payments in mind.
    Wise is not a bank, but a Money Services Business (MSB) provider and a smart alternative to banks. You can integrate Wise Business with QuickBooks, Amazon, Stripe, and more to save time and money. This account also has other useful tools, such as a free invoice generator.
    A Wise Business account is easy to open, and easy to use, with no need to wait in line or book appointments. You can open a US Wise Business account as a non-US resident if you have a registered US business and US operating address. Alternatively, if Wise Business is available in your country of residence, you can register with your local address and get US account details to receive payments like a local.
Read the guide on how to open a Wise Business account

Find out more about Wise Business

Advantages of forming a US LLC for non-residents

There are many advantages to filing an LLC in the United States if you are not a resident. In most cases, it makes sense to incorporate a US LLC if you operate in the United States.

Credibility: Filing an LLC shows you are committed to the US market. Doing this may help you when dealing with customers and vendors.

Investors: if you want to raise money from investors, the process may be easier if you have a US LLC.

Easy to file: It can be easy to file a US LLC. You can also pay for expedited services and may be able to form an LLC in less than a week.

What is the best state to form an LLC for a non-US resident?

The three most popular states to consider include New Mexico, Delaware, and Wyoming. Each state has unique advantages for different types of companies.

A Wyoming LLC is a popular low-cost option, as it only costs around $150 to file an LLC and an annual report. Wyoming does not have taxes at the corporate level, but you will still need to pay federal taxes. If you are looking for a relatively low cost and low maintenance option, Wyoming could be a solid option.

Delaware is a popular option if you think you will raise money from investors in the future. Nearly 80% of US public companies choose to incorporate in Delaware.³ The major downside is the higher cost of filing and maintaining the company.

New Mexico is another attractive option because the filing costs are low, and you do not have to file an annual report.

You can still choose any state to file an LLC, but these are 3 popular options to examine if you are not sure where to start. It is important to understand the filing requirements and maintenance requirements. Some states, like California, have high franchise tax fees, for example.

What are the taxes for a non-resident owner of a US LLC?

Taxation of non-resident owners depends on whether the owner classifies the business as a corporation or LLC.

Non-US residents still have to pay federal and state taxes on US sourced income. It is important to consider state taxes when filing. For example, the Delaware LLC taxation for non-US residents differs from Wyoming LLC taxation for non-US residents.

The corporate tax in the United States is 21%, and the personal income tax can be between 10-37%. LLC owners may also take period draws from the company’s net income and pay taxes on the net income.

It’s important to note that you are still required to file forms with the IRS, even if you do not receive income from the United States during that period.

You may also be responsible for other taxes, such as payroll taxes and various state franchise taxes.

⚠️ This should not be taken as official tax advice. When dealing with taxes, it is always recommended to seek information from a professional tax advisor.

How to open bank account for my LLC (non-US residents)

If you want to open a business account as a non-US resident, there are a few options available. However, it can be tricky getting US account details as a non-US resident. You can read the full guide on how to open a business bank account for LLC for the best tips.

One option to consider is the Wise Business account. Wise provides convenient business accounts that can be a great option for non-US resident LLCs.

Open a Wise Business account today:
Easy to set up, easy to use

Wise is not a bank, but a Money Services Business (MSB) provider and a smart alternative to banks. You can open an account online and get US account details to receive payments like a local.

Moreover, the Wise Business account enables you to send, receive, and hold non-US currencies with ease. All in one place.

Some key features of Wise Business include:
  • Better visibility and organization of business finances. This is helpful for account reconciliations and audits.
  • Administration controls for users. It’s possible to allow team members to carry out specific tasks.
  • Receive payments from e-commerce platforms (such as Amazon or via Stripe).
  • Create invoices using the Wise invoice generator or invoice templates.
  • Features for bill payment, including a QuickBooks Bill Pay connection. Bill payments will be synced, matched, and categorized in QuickBooks for simple reconciliation.
  • Batch payment options. This allows the fast payment of up to 1,000 people, by simply uploading a spreadsheet.
Read more:


  1. South Carolina Annual Report | UpCounsel 2023
  2. About Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number (EIN) | Internal Revenue Service (
  3. Why Do So Many Startups Form Their Corporations in Delaware? | Startup Law Blog | Davis Wright Tremaine (

Sources checked August 2023.

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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