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Old 08-20-2012, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Barcelona, España
8 posts, read 29,269 times
Reputation: 14

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Hi!

I come from Europe and I have a company in Spain. I'd like to form its branch office in the USA. I have read that in order to be a resident of the state, I have to be there for 1 year. I have to prove that I live there (pay taxes, etc.).
So if I pay state taxes and everything else, will I be a resident of the state where my company is registered?

During the first year of my branch office functioning in the USA I may not be able to live there yet. Afterwards I plan to move there.

I'm thinking of one of states close to NYC (due to the cheapest connections with Europe). Like NJ, NY, CT, etc.

Thanks for replies!
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Old 08-20-2012, 03:16 PM
 
Location: New York NY
4,269 posts, read 6,353,279 times
Reputation: 9071
I think that to be a resident anywhere in the US you have to actually live there, i.e., your actual physical presence is needed for most of the year--and I don't think you can do that legally as foreigner w/o the proper visa or green card. You can own a business here or even residential real estate, as many Europeans do. But the former won't count for legal residency, while the latter may enable you to pay taxes and visit here--and under limited circumstances even get a driver's licese--but it won't give you any other privileges of residency such as voting, or attending state schools on the cheap, or any other government assistance, unless you area green card holder.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:10 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,292,936 times
Reputation: 36087
Each state his its own rules about residency. In any case, you would need to have at least a Green Card, in order to be recognized as a resident of any state, for most purposes of the benefits of residency.

There are a lot of contrasts. For example, if you are physically living in Iowa, you are required to put Iowa license plates on your car within ten days. But if you live in New Mexico, you are not allowed to put New Mexico plats on your car until you show that you have been living there for at least 60 days.

In most cases, residence within a state can be established and proved if you receive mail at an address in that state. Mail a letter to yourself at an address where you can receive your mail, and then show that postally delivered envelope as proof of residence. Also, subscribing to utility service (phone, electric, etc.) in your name within the state us usually accepted as proof of residence.

In some cases, even residence in a certain city or county is required, such as a library card in a city that supports library services only for local residents.

College students at state-controlled colleges are usually given lower tuition fees if they are residents of the state, but most states have at least a two-year residence (for purposes other than attending college) in order to be classified as a resident student.
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:09 AM
 
32,094 posts, read 33,002,049 times
Reputation: 14956
Quote:
Originally Posted by citylove101 View Post
I think that to be a resident anywhere in the US you have to actually live there, i.e., your actual physical presence is needed for most of the year--and I don't think you can do that legally as foreigner w/o the proper visa or green card. You can own a business here or even residential real estate, as many Europeans do. But the former won't count for legal residency, while the latter may enable you to pay taxes and visit here--and under limited circumstances even get a driver's licese--but it won't give you any other privileges of residency such as voting, or attending state schools on the cheap, or any other government assistance, unless you area green card holder.
A green card holder cannot vote.

I believe that there are some temporary resident visa types that would entitle you to be considered a resident (but as already said you need to actually in a place for most of the year). I suggest that you post your question on the Legal Immigration forum to get better/more replies.
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,292,936 times
Reputation: 36087
It really all depends on what the OP wants to do, to exercise his residency. If he wants a local library card, all he needs to do is present evidence that he is a resident of the local library district, which would usually simply be an envelope proving that the post offices delivers mail to him at that address.

Most (maybe all) states actually require, by law, that if you "live" in that state (or seem to be present there a lot, which is up to the local cop's discretion to decide), you need to title and register your car in that state, and of course, pay the necessary associated taxes. And once you are deemed to own a car as a resident of that state, you then are required to have a drivers license issued by that state in order to legally drive it. When taxes rear their ugly head, you are often deemed to be a resident whether you want to be or not, and if you don't want to pay the taxes, you have the onus of proof that you are NOT a resident.

Neither of the above require citizenship as a prerequisite to residence, but may require legal status for your physical presence in the USA.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:18 AM
 
Location: New York NY
4,269 posts, read 6,353,279 times
Reputation: 9071
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chava61 View Post
A green card holder cannot vote.

I believe that there are some temporary resident visa types that would entitle you to be considered a resident (but as already said you need to actually in a place for most of the year). I suggest that you post your question on the Legal Immigration forum to get better/more replies.
My bad. You are, of course, correct on this point.
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:45 AM
 
686 posts, read 1,447,422 times
Reputation: 425
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlekin View Post
I come from Europe and I have a company in Spain. I'd like to form its branch office in the USA. I have read that in order to be a resident of the state, I have to be there for 1 year. I have to prove that I live there (pay taxes, etc.).
So if I pay state taxes and everything else, will I be a resident of the state where my company is registered?

During the first year of my branch office functioning in the USA I may not be able to live there yet. Afterwards I plan to move there.
Disclaimer: I am not an attorney/accountant. This reply is not legal/financial advice. Also, my reply deals with generalities. Consult a professional and appropriate state-laws for specifics.

There are four different aspects to consider: business incorporation; tax election; residency in the US per USCIS; and residency in a US state.

A business is incorporated in a specific state in the US. In general, incorporating a business does not require residency of any sort. If the business is owned completely by people or entities outside the state where the business is being incorporated (not just outside US), you indicate that in the incorporation papers as "foreign entity".

Residency in a US state is generally not a requirement to incorporate a business, although practically every state requires a "registered agent" with *physical address* in the state (so they can serve notice, etc). In most cases, people incorporate their business in the state where they are resident and thus they become their own registered agent, but you can hire a registered agent if you are not a resident of that state. (Yes, providing registered agents is itself a business.)

Every business with income/loss connected to the US is required to file tax returns with the following agencies: the IRS, the state where the business is incorporated, each state with which the business has "nexus". To file tax returns, depending on incorporation, a business needs to first elect one of three taxation means the IRS defines: Individual, S-Corp, C-Corp. Each tax election has its pros and cons, but S-Corp election requires all owners of the business to be permanent residents or citizens of the US. Other tax elections do not have this requirement. To be clear, residents must be permanent, that is, they must be "Green-card holders". Temporary residents such as those on VWP/B1/H1/L1 visa do not qualify.

A business may be incorporated as LLC or S-Corp or C-Corp. When incorporated as S-Corp or C-Corp, the tax election is automatically (and fixed to be) S-Corp or C-Corp, respectively. However, an LLC may chose any one of the three tax elections, but only Individual and S-Corp elections make sense. (Incorporate directly as C-Corp instead of as an LLC with C-Corp tax election.)

Again, note that, even an LLC is bound by the permanent-residency/citizenship requirement if it elects to be taxed as an S-Corp.

Final detail: Filing tax returns in the US does not provide US residency, or residency in a US state in any way. Only actual residence in the US and the type of visa, determine residency status. To be a resident of a US state, you must first be a resident of the US (obviously).

In summary, IMHO, your situation has nothing to do with residency in the US or a US state, unless you plan to be an owner of a business with S-Corp tax election. That is, as a person resident outside the US, you need to either incorporate a US business with a tax-election other than S-Corp; or first become a US permanent resident if you must have S-Corp election.
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