How to Start an LLC in the US Legally as a Non-US Resident

If you’re a non-US resident and feel like starting your own business, you most likely need to create an LLC. In the case of us company formation, an LLC is a legal form of business ownership that offers structure and protection to help shield your personal assets from potential liability. When you start an LLC, you protect yourself from potentially sizeable financial liability due to the company’s actions. For example, if the company is sued or runs into financial trouble, your assets (your personal assets such as your home and car) are protected. However, if the company fails for any other reason, such as bankruptcy or liquidation, you are personally liable for all debts and obligations of the company.

You might be thinking that starting an LLC sounds pretty complicated and confusing, but it’s really not. You can set up an LLC through one of two ways:

Start an LLC yourself by forming the company on your own. Then, create the company through a service provider.

Starting an LLC as a foreigner for non-us residents from scratch, you must file with the state of your business location, either online or by using a form. After that, you can form your company under the name of your choice, and within a maximum of two years from the date, you register. When you form your own company, you need to fill out the required documents, including articles of incorporation, an operating agreement, for-profit articles, and an application for registration with the state.

The process of forming your own LLC is pretty simple

You will need to complete your LLC formation documents somewhere that the forms are available. Websites may offer the forms for free, while others may charge a fee. If you find a service provider online, some websites will provide you with the free filing of your LLC formation documents, including filing with the state. You will need to make sure that the service provider is permitted to file documents with the state.

The time it takes to form an LLC varies depending on your state

You will need to make sure that you’re appropriately registered in your state. Some states will allow people to register with the Secretary of State’s office for a fee; others will directly register with the state. If your state directly registers, you will need to send the documents directly to the state office. You will also need to consider if you are required to do a live conference call with the Secretary of State’s office.

If you decide to start your own LLC, you will need to fill out the required paperwork provided by the state. Therefore, before filing with your state, ensure that you have all necessary documents for your business, LLC formation fees, and other required fees.

Once you have filed, you will have to wait for the state to review your application. This may take anywhere between 45 days up to 3 months, depending on how busy your state is. Once you’re approved, you will receive a certificate of existence that will verify your official business LLC.

The steps to forming your own LLC are relatively straightforward. Therefore, it’s worth it to consider starting your own LLC. However, if you want an even easier way to form an LLC, you can find a service provider to help you create your LLC.


Nishi Singh is a professional journalist and editor in New Delhi. She has studied Mass Communication from National Institute of Mass Communication.