I'm forming a digital marketing consultancy and currently live in New York. I have my LLC formed in New York also, but a majority (if not all) clients will be from out-of-state. I'm assuming it's good practice to be incorporated in New York, where I reside; but, should I be incorporated through another state and operate as a foreign company in New York? Should I just remain with the one incorporation in New York?
2 Answers from Attorneys
This is a much more complicated question than it may seem, and definitely not one where you want to rely on free internet legal advice.
For example, whether to incorporate or operate as a sole proprietor or Limited Liability Company, involves more discussion than you'll find by relying on LegalZoom, etc. Lots of questions to be answered, and most especially after the Tax Cut and Jobs Act.
Regardless, stick with claiming NY as your base of operations. It's where you're doing the work regardless of where the customer is. In person I would ask a lot of other questions, and charge a hefty fee for giving business tax consulting advice. This is a seriously complicated area of tax law, and the answer may not be as what I said after all the facts are known. Once you start raking in the money, sit with a tax and business lawyer and CPA, and dot your i's and cross your t's regarding your tax filings. I'm at Irving Place and 15th Street.
I don't share my colleague's alarm concerning your question. Whether you should be thinking about qualifying your entity in other jurisdictions depends on whether you are establishing a continuous and systematic presence in those places. Merely having clients in other places is not relevant. If, for example, you set up a showroom, hired a sales team, leased office space, etc. then these steps would indicate a need to qualify your NY entity in these places.
That said, I do however agree with my colleague here that you should be getting more solid advice if there are any doubts as there may be aspects we are simply not considering.
I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.
If you would like to discuss further over a free phone consult, feel free to contact me anytime that is convenient.
Our firm is now referred by the American Bar Association (see under the New York section): http://www.americanbar.org/groups/delivery_legal_services/resources/programs_to_help_those_with_moderate_income.html
DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed on the basis of this posting.
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