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How to open a small/virtual office in USA?
Thread poster: Maxime Bujakov

Maxime Bujakov  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:11
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Aug 6, 2016

Hello, I am a self-employed translator in France, thinking to get a foot on the lucrative US market. Spoke with some US businesses and heard "we'd rather deal with a US service provider". I guess that means first of all a US bank account. So what are the cheapest options to have a legitimate settlement account in the USA? I myself am an EU resident, and my dad who is a US resident can function as the US director and provide his address if necessary but would rather avoid that.
Also, is there a critical difference in taxation between states, any states to avoid/prefer by all means? what about NJ?
Thank you in advance!
Maxime


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Vadim Kadyrov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 22:11
Member (2011)
English to Russian
+ ...
Payoneer Aug 8, 2016

In case you want to have a US bank account, you can take a quick look at the Payoneer system (namely, US Payment Service account they offer).

I mean, once you have this service enabled, you will have an ACH account in an American bank, a debit card (which will be mailed to you once they verify your identity), and then you can tell your clients in the US that you have a bank account there.

Hope this helps.


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Maxime Bujakov  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:11
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Vadim! Aug 8, 2016

Vadim Kadyrov wrote:
Hope this helps.


Thank you Vadim!


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 21:11
English to Croatian
+ ...
Payoneer. Aug 8, 2016

Vadim Kadyrov wrote:

In case you want to have a US bank account, you can take a quick look at the Payoneer system (namely, US Payment Service account they offer).

I mean, once you have this service enabled, you will have an ACH account in an American bank, a debit card (which will be mailed to you once they verify your identity), and then you can tell your clients in the US that you have a bank account there.

Hope this helps.


I am not familiar with this but isnt't he then restricted to using Payoneer card only for payment?

As far as I know there is no way to do this unless youn have a legal resident address in the U. S.


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Maxime Bujakov  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:11
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
What would be the simplest form of business registration to have a legit settlement account? Aug 8, 2016

Lingua 5B wrote:
As far as I know there is no way to do this unless youn have a legal resident address in the U. S.


Thank you Lingua,

Like I wrote, Plan B is to use my dad's address.

What would be the simplest form of business registration to have a legit settlement account?

Thank you Again!
Maxime


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 21:11
English to Croatian
+ ...
Hummm... Aug 8, 2016

Maxime Bujakov wrote:

Lingua 5B wrote:
As far as I know there is no way to do this unless youn have a legal resident address in the U. S.


Thank you Lingua,

Like I wrote, Plan B is to use my dad's address.

What would be the simplest form of business registration to have a legit settlement account?

Thank you Again!
Maxime


Just my assumptions (can't confirm it): but can your dad be your legal representative using some forms or contracts (or something else)? Is your dad a citizen or just a resident? I guess he could research this better as he lives over there, just by contacting a business registration office, expert or lawyer? My guess is that your bank account must then be on your dad's name, as they are looking for a name and address and residence/citizenship papers to match. If this weren't so, then anybody could open a U.S. bank account?

My guess in regards to Payoneer is that then you can't cash out this card (or you can with very high conversion rates) and/or have to pay everything with it, again with high rates. So, it's not the same as having a regular bank account.

[Edited at 2016-08-08 09:06 GMT]


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Maija Cirule  Identity Verified
Latvia
Member
German to English
+ ...
Strange Aug 8, 2016

Maxime Bujakov wrote:

Hello, I am a self-employed translator in France, thinking to get a foot on the lucrative US market. Spoke with some US businesses and heard "we'd rather deal with a US service provider". I guess that means first of all a US bank account. So what are the cheapest options to have a legitimate settlement account in the USA? I myself am an EU resident, and my dad who is a US resident can function as the US director and provide his address if necessary but would rather avoid that.
Also, is there a critical difference in taxation between states, any states to avoid/prefer by all means? what about NJ?
Thank you in advance!
Maxime


I work mainly with US-based companies and none of them have expressed any concerns about my country of residence, Latvia. They simply ask to submit a signed form for IRS and that's it. They prefer to transfer money via PayPal and no US bank accounts are needed.


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Maxime Bujakov  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:11
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I mean End-clients - direct customers rather than agencies Aug 8, 2016

Maija Cirule wrote:
I work mainly with US-based companies and none of them have expressed any concerns about my country of residence, Latvia. They simply ask to submit a signed form for IRS and that's it. They prefer to transfer money via PayPal and no US bank accounts are needed.


Thank you Maija! I mean End-clients - direct customers rather than agencies. I guess from your message that you mean agencies because direct corporate clients rarely use paypal.
But thank you again!


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Maxime Bujakov  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:11
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
what is the simplest self-employed and/or LLC form in the US? Aug 8, 2016

Lingua 5B wrote:

Just my assumptions (can't confirm it): but can your dad be your legal representative using some forms or contracts (or something else)? Is your dad a citizen or just a resident? I guess he could research this better as he lives over there, just by contacting a business registration office, expert or lawyer? My guess is that your bank account must then be on your dad's name


Thank you again Lingua !
As a permanent resident my dad has all rights to run a business.

Now my question is 'what is the simplest self-employed and/or LLC form' in the US?

(I do not want to spend _much_ for a lawyer or an accountant upfront, and neither my dad).

THank you and thanks all!

Maxime


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 21:11
English to Croatian
+ ...
I don't really know. Aug 8, 2016

Maxime Bujakov wrote:

Lingua 5B wrote:

Just my assumptions (can't confirm it): but can your dad be your legal representative using some forms or contracts (or something else)? Is your dad a citizen or just a resident? I guess he could research this better as he lives over there, just by contacting a business registration office, expert or lawyer? My guess is that your bank account must then be on your dad's name


Thank you again Lingua !
As a permanent resident my dad has all rights to run a business.

Now my question is 'what is the simplest self-employed and/or LLC form' in the US?

(I do not want to spend _much_ for a lawyer or an accountant upfront, and neither my dad).

THank you and thanks all!

Maxime


Is there an access to free information such as business registration office or association?


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Maxime Bujakov  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:11
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
access to free information such as business registration office or association Aug 8, 2016

Lingua 5B wrote:
Is there an access to free information such as business registration office or association?


That's what I am trying to find at this forum - Thank you!


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 21:11
English to Croatian
+ ...
Humm... Aug 8, 2016

Maxime Bujakov wrote:

Lingua 5B wrote:
Is there an access to free information such as business registration office or association?


That's what I am trying to find at this forum - Thank you!


I know a person from Hungary having a legal representative in the States (not their family) for their small business (not translation). This works fine but the representative charges $90 per hour of their work. This is just a comparison, not sure how this would apply to translation business.

To me it looks like your question falls into category of "business consulting" and they never ever provide critical business information for free.


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philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
This sounds like more trouble than it's worth. Aug 8, 2016

"Virtual office" to me implies "pretend you're in the United States when you're not". Translation is a global business, and I find customers are usually quite happy to deal with translators half a world away. Many US businesses still pay by check, which you should be able to pay into your bank account for an additional charge.

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Jessica Noyes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:11
Spanish to English
+ ...
No self-employed form or LLC needed Aug 8, 2016

In the U.S., there is no legal requirement to register a one-person business if you operate under your own name. I just receive payments in my name, keep a record of my earnings, and pay taxes. Self-employed people do have to pay their taxes quarterly though. Becoming an LLC has its advantages, and so does adopting a snazzy name, but I haven't chosen to take either route. However, the problem for your dad would be this: if you ask your clients to make a check out in his name and mail it to him, he can cash it and put it in his own account, and transfer it to you somehow; however, there is a remote chance that if it's a lot of money, the Internal Revenue "Service" might notice it somehow and expect him to pay income taxes on it.

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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:11
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Income taxes and other delicacies Aug 8, 2016

Jessica Noyes wrote:

there is a remote chance that if it's a lot of money, the Internal Revenue "Service" might notice it somehow and expect him to pay income taxes on it.


It is not about whether the IRS notices it.
If the person (the OP's dad) is working as a self-employed person, then he would be the one contracting with those end clients, receive payments, and then receive the form 1099s at the end of the year from those clients. He would have to file taxes as a self-employed person in the US, and that includes paying personal income tax (state and federal, unless he is a resident in a state that has no personal income tax, then only federal), and self-employment + social security tax on his earnings, plus he also have to have proof of health insurance.
As to how to get the money over to the OP to France, the only legit way is that the OP invoices his dad (OP is a subcontractor), and he pays the OP, and account for it as an expense on his Income statement. OP has to pay taxes on it in France, his dad would have to pay taxes only on the difference.
Another funny thing is that if the dad has income from other sources, for example has regular employment, then he would have to pay taxes on the combined income, and the minimal amount he would declare from the translation business might just push him into a higher tax bracket for his entire income, making the end result a loss.

By the way, if the money simply gets funneled through the dad's account, that may raise all sorts of flags for money laundering.

Frankly, unless I am misunderstanding something, or the amounts in question are huge, it doesn't seem to me as a worthwhile undertaking.
Katalin


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