What's the best place to incorporate an online business?

The biggest issue was that PayPal does not like the common offshore jurisdictions.
A Hong Kong limited can have PayPal without problems.

@octave1: if you want to avoid paperwork (meaning no auditing) but still have PayPal there are not many options (not UK, not HK).
I found UAE (RAK offshore company), but than you would not have PayPal, because PayPal would require your company to have a trade license (meaning set up costs more than $10,000). At that point I did not double-check on the auditing…

Does anyone know an offshore option without auditing but with PayPal?

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Exactly I want no auditing but with paypal

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Did you think of like a budget for set up and also annually? UAE could work but at set up costs of more than 10,000 USD.
There seems to be an option in Labuan at either 3% tax and auditing or 20000 MYR (around 5000 USD) per year but without auditing (both option seems work with PayPal).
Hong Kong would need auditing but would cost less than USD 2000 I guess (including some outsourced bookkeeping).
I totally get you if you say you don’t want to do any bookkeeping, but it might be the cheaper option.

10000 use for uae works. Can I just go there and set it all up quickly I have no trading history and have been on the road for many years and have no real references or resume

UAE: I am not sure how quick it is. I feel there will be reasons for delays. It’s not an offshore entity what you need, you would need one with trade license in a free zone (because of PayPal). I am not sure about the total costs (but > 10000 USD because of licensing) and if there would be no auditing/bookkeeping required.
I think they do need a bank reference and background info about you. But I think they are not too fussy. I remember they allowed a designer to open a business in Dubai who was a convicted criminal in the USA (check fraud with jail time).
I think you should first check if UAE gives you what you want.
I decided against it, mainly because many set-up agents did not tell me about the special requirements PayPal has (they should know). I think I don’t like that attitude, same with “no tax” but in fact they have many fees and requirements (like renting an office).
It just does not feel right.
Setting up a company in UK or HK is easy and straight forward (but requires bookkeeping if you want to keep it legally ok).
I currently have a good feeling about Labuan (MY). And it seems to be a less pricy option too.

Why not - like @StewartPatton has suggested - setup an onshore US LLC, owned by an offshore company? Yes, there are annual accounts to prepare (for the US side), but the hassle involved isn’t a great deal (no where near as bad as HK) and you get access to all the great merchant facilities in the US (Stripe, Paypal etc)…

How easy is it to do that from overseas? Opening the company and bank account. What kind of ID and documents do I need. I’ve essentially had no fixed abode or regular income for 10 years

Is that $10000 once off? What about yearly fees?

I’ve setup such a structure in the past for about $2000. Annual renewal was about $1000 all up. Can’t remember what the accounting cost me (US side), but it wasn’t much at all.

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You had to travel to USA to do that?

@international_man: $2000 set up costs would be a LLC in the USA?
I think same applies for a LLP in UK, just the setup costs should be lower. UK is roughly the most easy place to open a LTD (I remember service providers from less than £100), so I guess same applies for an LLP.
And an LLP needs two partners (can be companies).
But both require bookkeeping to keep it legal.
Otherwise the company will only exist for 1-2 years, maybe 3 …

@octave1 / bank account opening: I would not mind too much about that. I opened private accounts in the US, the UK, HK a couple of years ago and they did not ask anything about my past. Same for business bank accounts in HK 1 or 2 years ago. Just look presentable :wink:
Usually you have to expect that you have to travel to the country where you want to open a bank account. But you could check with HSBC, they offer remote bank account opening in some way (I don’t know details). Where are you? Is there an HSBC branch?

I think than you can only go for Labuan and opt to pay 20ooo MYR per year (around US$5000) in taxes. Set up is probably US$ 3000 plus travel costs.
See Does anybody have experience with setting up an offshore company and bank account in Labuan (Malaysia) for details.
An LLC would be the less pricy option. You would never spend $5000 for bookkeeping per year if you outsource that to India, as long as you don’t have too many transactions.

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No. All remote. The only time (from my experience) you’ll have to travel there is to setup the first wire payment (that can’t be done remotely I believe).

Correct (total, for the onshore + offshore component). Similar structure to what @StewartPatton recommended. Sure, you could setup in UK, but I don’t really know why you’d want to.

So basically there would be no sales tax. No corporation tax and no salary or dividend taxis to me. This is all OK proving I am not a USA citizen and I don’t live in the USA. All this available with a regular USA llc company? Any preference to what state I should set up in? And can anyone recommend an accountant or agent in usa to help me incorporate or give paid impartial adevice?

@international_man / why set up a LLP in UK instead of LLC in USA:

  • it’s a 1-2 day process
  • I am in the UK
  • a service provider would only charge $100

At least 3 good reasons to check details regards a UK LLP

Just sad it would not work for Octave1 as he is British. So for him it would be a LLC in the US than.
(Or a LTD in HK, I just made one last year with not any problems.)

For LLC in USA: I can hardly imagine that the US tax authorities would give one no hard time. It’s one of the worse countries. I hear in HK you can get away with things I would never dream of. I never hear that about the US…

I think you need to speak with either @StewartPatton or @FlagTheory – they’re the experts and can advise accordingly.

I think you need to be thinking longer term and looking for a structure that best suits your needs and your lifestyle. Quick and cheap shouldn’t really factor into the equation.

In Hong Kong you need to file audited financials yearly. The so called 0% tax setup that a few people parrot in these parts still requires you jumping through hoops every year with the IRD. Additional cost and headache and not worth it.

I’ve never seen any real issues dealing with the IRS - that’s not to say that it doesn’t happen - but you structure things so that should anything occur you’re insulated. The main reason why I like the US setup, is access to merchant facilities. The LLC just acts as a payment processor and the bulk of the funds are wired offshore every couple of weeks. The US can be a very tax-efficient structure for foreigners.