Do you know who can own an interest in your company? You should, whether you already own a company or plan to establish one.
It’s important to understand how the United States allows ownership so we structure our entities for the possibility of bringing in new partners and new financings. This can all be set up in articles of incorporation.
In the United States, most people – as individuals or entities – can own entities. A corporation can own a limited liability company, and an LLC can own a corporation. A person can own an LLC and a corporation. For the most part, we can mix and match ownership however we want.
But there are exceptions.
S corporations have limited ownership structures because of their particular tax treatment. Check the applicable Internal Revenue Service rules but, generally, owners must be U.S. taxpayers, and the IRS limits the number of taxpayers allowed.
For most other entities, ownership is less restricted. In general, any personal entity can own another entity. We can have U.S. individuals or foreign individuals owning U.S. companies. There are some restrictions related to terrorism threats and other issues, and there are restrictions on who can work for an entity. Just because you own the entity doesn’t necessarily mean you can work for that entity. You may need to talk with an immigration lawyer.
Almost any entity can be owned by almost any person or entity. You’ll want your lawyer’s advice as you build your company. But it’s good to know this is at least one issue where the United States offers flexibility and options.
What’s your experience? Have you struggled with getting the right type of entity? How have you evolved things in your business to make sure you have the right structure for now and your future? Join us in the comments below and let us know.
Each case is unique. Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein. This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. Each case is unique. Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. FreeImages.com/photographer Bob Smith.
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