With the ever-growing Internet and remote work GDP, there lies an opportunity to tap into different markets and sell your services and products worldwide. However, one little thing that stops people from doing so is the lack of payment processors and a bad reputation. Bootstrapping startups from odd places like Kazakhstan and Mongolia to world markets isn’t feasible as it’s from countries like the US and UK.
I’m not a lawyer nor attorney. The list below is for informational purposes only. Do your diligence and pay attention to all requirements on governmental resources.
There’s a simple way to overcome the shortcomings of your hometown. If you’re a founder or a freelancer from a developing country, you can go global by:
Surprisingly, the best jurisdictions worldwide aren’t banana republics but the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Singapore is a solid choice for some too. Their stable economies and reliable legal system with modern banking are attractive to founders worldwide.
Of course, the devil is in the details. There are different types of entities available in these jurisdictions, and not all might fit your requirements. I was in that situation myself a few years ago. There wasn’t much to choose from, but luckily you have more options now. It’s possible to start a company remotely in the UK and US and set up efficient taxation if you’re willing to relocate. It’s a perfect solution for location-independent founders and professionals from developing countries.
Wyoming is one of the best states to register an online venture if you’re not looking to raise funds. As a company of one: indie hacker, bootstrapper, or freelancer, Wyoming’s LLC is the best option in my experience. There’s no personal or corporate income tax, which means that Wyoming LLC can be transparent for tax purposes. It’s also called a disregarded entity or a pass-through entity which means that LLC’s profits will pass through to its members.
Registering a company in Wyoming is easy. You can do so via Wyoming Agents yourself or opt for all-in-one services like Firstbase, Freedom Surfer or StartFleet (they have a detailed guide for non-US residents. If you opt for manual registration, you’ll have to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). I did it with HelloFax fax. When I did it, they only supported fax as a method of obtaining EIN for disregarded entities. A simple call to IRS using Google Voice, Skype, or Hushed will work. They’ll fax you your EIN during the call. EIN will allow you to register for Stripe and similar services.
At some point, you’ll need to get a virtual address in the US to receive your business card and other paperwork. I’ve been using VirtualPostMail, and it’s been pretty good so far. Their addresses worked everywhere for me.
Then, getting a bank account with Mercury and other services I shared earlier, and you’re ready for business. It’s possible to open a bank account with Bank of America, but you’ll have to pay a visit personally.
However, LLCs make more sense if you’re not looking to raise investments. Of course, it’s worth mentioning Stripe’s Atlas program for corporations in Delaware. I’ve used Firstbase and had no issues with them.
UK Limited Liability Partnership is regarded as a “corporate body,” the same as a company. It requires two partners, but it’s not subject to Corporate Tax. It’s possible to structure it in a way that allows you only to pay personal income tax based in the place of your actual residence.
I registered LLP with Freedom Surfer’s package. Once you get a Certificate of Incorporation, you can open an account with Transferwise or HSBC UK, which you’ll have to visit personally.
Sleek - incorporation in Singapore and Hong Kong. They’ll help provide an entrepreneur visa in Singapore if your capital is over SG$80k, which might be a bit steep if you’re starting and don’t have that much money. However, their services include registration, secretary, and accounting via the online platform.
Pikohana - offers incorporation in Singapore. They position themselves as a full-stack back office for SMEs and startups.
You might want to introduce yourself to the list of online banks and EMIs where you can open an account remotely or check out a list of countries where you can affordably acquire a residency.