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Food for thought

European governments attack business!

By | Food for thought | 2 Comments

Thursday, European governments got together to attack people trying to own and control their businesses anonymously. The governments of France, Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain got together to create laws and try to enforce treaties to force banks and governments to reveal owners of businesses in other countries. For many years the high tax countries such as the US and Europe have been trying to find ways to attack developing countries from encouraging people to start businesses. Obviously if the business can be run in a lower tax jurisdiction it is prudent for the business owners to do that. Now, with the release of the “Panama papers” which were thousands of stolen documents from a Panamanian law firm listing the names and ownership of Panamanian registered companies, European governments are using this as an excuse to limit freedom of their citizens.

This follows the actions by the Obama administration in the US requiring extensive financial reporting under threat of jail time for Americans that own foreign businesses.

These actions are a great boon to residence some of the other countries that do not have to deal with these regulations and high taxes.

Maybe the problem really is not business secrecy but rather is high taxes and worse, higher regulation for many countries.

Establishing an online business in the US – Partnerships

By | Dining, Food for thought | One Comment

Basic Entities in the United States – Partnerships

Partnerships are similar to a sole proprietorship in that the individuals have personal liability. This means that each partner is liable for their own actions and the actions of the other partners. That is a big negative of the partnership versus a limited liability entity.

For tax purposes, partnerships are generally disregarded and the attributes of income and deductions are passed through to the individuals. That is why they are referred to as “pass-through” entities The partnership will file a federal partnership tax return as well state all partnership tax returns, but it usually does not have any taxable income at the partnership level. Rather, the taxable income is solely pass-through to the partners. Partnerships can also have some interesting tax issues. For example if people simply contribute cash to the partnership for their interest, it is easy. But if one person contributes cash and another person contributes assets, such as machinery and equipment or real estate, the basis of the asset in the partnership is dependent upon the basis in the individual member. This can present some interesting issues and differences between members and can result in different tax treatments for similar distributions.

Unfortunately, the personal liability of the individual partners for their own actions and the action of the other partners makes this undesirable for the operation of most businesses.In order to limit the liability of the owner of the business, it would be necessary to set up a limited liability entity. The two most popular entities in the United States are corporations and limited liability companies. Limited liability companies are a US creation and do not exist in most other countries. Corporations or other limited liability entities similar to that are available in many countries.

Establishing an Online Business in the US

By | Dining, Food for thought | No Comments

Basic Entities in the United States.

Anyone, even a non-US citizen and non-US resident can establish a sole proprietorship. This is simply operating the business under your own name. You have personal liability for the actions of any employees or any actions taken in the name of the business. The business can also have a trade name also known as a ” doing business as” name which is typically filed with the state. The advantage of a sole proprietorship is simplicity. There is not much you need to do to set up the business other than obtaining a tax identification number and possibly a trade name certificate from the state. Depending on how the services are rendered are rendered, there may be some licenses that are required but for most online businesses that it is not necessary.

Another advantage of the sole proprietorship is that it is taxed on the individual tax return. There is no double taxation. The sole proprietorship is simply taxed at the individual level for both federal and state purposes. Nevertheless, a significant disadvantage of a sole proprietorship is that if you want to add an additional owner to the business, it gets converted into a partnership. This requires a change in entity, a change in taxation and other issues.