Comprehensive Guide: How to Register a U.S. Company for $39

Detailed Process and FAQs through the long-standing U.S. agency service provider, Northwest Registered Agent

Which Type of U.S. Company to Choose?

Selecting the right type of U.S. company should be based on your sales volume and business needs. The choice of company type can significantly impact tax obligations and, consequently, your overall profit.

I'm not an expert in this field, but for small teams, I recommend the LLC (Limited Liability Company) structure. LLCs have the advantage of no restrictions on shareholders, making them suitable for both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals. LLCs with a single member or multiple partners can be formed. The tax reporting for a single-member LLC is relatively simple, with annual tax and self-employment tax due by April 15th each year. For LLCs with two or more partners, the tax requirements can be more complex, so it's advisable to select a single member when registering.

It's important to note that filing taxes does not necessarily mean paying taxes, and you can even file zero returns. After registering a U.S. company, you can receive payments using virtual U.S. bank accounts provided by services like Payoneer or Wise. This is just a brief overview.

For businesses with a substantial volume of transactions and a strong emphasis on compliance, such as the need for a domestic U.S. business account, an LLC may not be the most suitable option. In such cases, it's advisable to consult with an accountant for timely tax reporting and compliance.

Is an EIN (Employer Identification Number) required?

An EIN, also known as an Employer Identification Number, is essentially a federal tax identification number for a company.

(Back in 2017, when I was applying for Stripe, I was still under the impression that an EIN was a personal tax identification number. I provided my name to someone I had asked to help me apply for an EIN, thinking it was quite amusing in hindsight.)

After your company is registered, obtaining an EIN is not a strict requirement. However, an EIN has numerous applications, such as when you apply for a Stripe account or other U.S. e-commerce platforms, many of which require an EIN. I personally recommend applying for an EIN sooner rather than later, as it can come in handy.

The process for applying for an EIN is actually free, but it involves filling out forms on the IRS website, and for non-U.S. citizens, it may require making a phone call. I haven't applied for one myself, so I'm not familiar with the exact process. Those who enjoy tackling such tasks can look it up on Google.

The cost of applying for an EIN through Northwest Registered Agent is $200. On outsourcing platforms like Fiverr, you can find cheaper options ranging from $20 to $50, but it's important to choose a service that provides the EIN confirmation letter.

You can register your company through Northwest Registered Agent and then find someone on Fiverr to apply for an EIN. Here's a reliable Fiverr service provider I've used many times, making the process convenient, quick, and successful. [link] If you prefer not to deal with the hassle, you can handle everything in one place with Northwest Registered Agent for $200.

Registration Process

Registering an LLC company with Northwest Registered Agent is a straightforward process. Here are the steps:

  1. Use the $39 application link to access their official website.

  2. Click the button to start the registration process.

3.Selecting a Registered Address

4. Enter your name; leave other fields as default.


6. Enter your email and password to create an account on the Northwest Registered Agent platform. This account will be used for all company maintenance tasks, such as annual reporting, applying for tax IDs, and deregistration.

7. Provide your  contact information, which doesn't need to be accurate, as they won't mail anything. It's recommended to use a valid address.

8. There are some optional steps; if you plan to apply for an EIN, select 'Tax ID.' The fee for applying for an EIN is $200.

9. The final step is payment. You can choose not to apply for an EIN, and the cost will be $39 follow my coupon link. 

10.After submission, log in to the platform to provide additional information as required. Then, patiently wait for the processing of your application. You can log in anytime to check the status. If you encounter any issues, email them, and they will respond during U.S. working hours.

Regarding U.S. company tax rates and tax issues

I'm not an expert in this area, and it's a sensitive topic, so I won't go into it.

Is it difficult or costly to deregister a U.S. company?

Dealing with multiple shell companies is common for cross-border e-commerce businesses. Some companies may become unused or unusable, and it's a good practice to deregister them in a timely manner. This helps avoid incurring maintenance costs and prevents potential damage to your credit.

If your company has consistently reported zero taxes and has no debt issues, you can initiate the deregistration process online easily. The cost for self-service company deregistration on the Northwest Registered Agent website is $160. The process is simple:

  • Visit the Northwest Registered Agent website.
  • Enter your order number and contact details.
  • Confirm your information.
  • Select the reason for deregistration.
  • Review and submit the deregistration request.

Can a U.S. company be used to open a U.S. bank account?

Yes, it can be used to open a business account. After registering your company, you need to apply for an EIN (Employer Identification Number) to open a business account. Currently, Mercury Bank in the U.S. offers the option to apply online for a business account, and it is particularly friendly to e-commerce companies, with no management fees. Remote account opening with other U.S. banks is more challenging.

Can a U.S. company be used to register on Amazon?

Yes, it can. The process of registering on Amazon with a U.S. company is generally the same as with companies from other countries. You'll need to prepare:

  1. A U.S. company
  2. A U.S. address
  3. An environment for applying (ture US or  super browser or VPS)
  4. A U.S. credit card
  5. A U.S. bank account
  6. A U.S. phone number

When registering on Amazon, it's not recommended to use addresses provided by agents, as they are often shared among many users, increasing the risk of registration issues. It's advisable to rent a separate U.S. address for more security.

Can a U.S. company be used to register on Etsy?

Yes, it can. However, registering an Etsy account with a U.S. company does not guarantee account stability. Due to the lack of an SSN (Social Security Number) and being physically located outside the U.S., passing their verification process can be challenging. If your products are customized or fall into the handmade category, registering on Etsy with a U.S. company may be a more reliable option.

Can a U.S. company be used to apply for a Stripe account?

Yes, it can.

I might be one of the earliest people to share the method of registering for Stripe online. Looking back, there were many misconceptions in my previous sharing, but they didn't hinder people from successfully registering for Stripe and using it normally.

To apply for a Stripe account in a particular country, you first need to have a registered company in that country; this is a fundamental requirement. Stripe's criteria include:

  1. A registered company in the account's country (for example, for a UK Stripe account, you need a UK registered company; you can find an article on registering a UK company here).
  2. A tax number in that country (for the U.S., an EIN is sufficient).
  3. A physical address in that country.
  4. A phone number in that country.
  5. Your identification, passport, or driver's license (from any country; a passport is recommended).
  6. A bank account in that country (a non-virtual bank account, but using a virtual account has no significant impact).

If you have all of the above materials ready, your Stripe account application will be entirely compliant. Even if issues arise later, you can easily appeal them, provided you remain in compliance.

Can a U.S. company be used to register Shopify Payment?

Non-U.S. citizens can use a U.S. company to apply for Shopify,

However, according to Shopify's official requirements, you need to be physically present in the United States. The official documentation requirements are as follows:

  1. Identification card, driver's license, or passport (from any country).
  2. A valid IRS tax number (for non-U.S. citizens, you can apply for an ITIN, which we can apply for in compliance).
  3. EIN (if applying under the company's name, you'll need the company's tax number, i.e., EIN).
  4. SSN (U.S. citizens applying under a sole proprietorship need an SSN).
  5. Proof of presence in the U.S. (lease agreement and proof of local shipment within the U.S.).
  6. A U.S. bank account (non-virtual card).

So, the key requirements for applying for Shopify Payment are an ITIN tax number, proof of presence in the U.S., and evidence of local shipping within the U.S. Of course, not all of these documents need to be provided during the initial application; they may be requested during a secondary review.

My recommendation is to first register your U.S. company and apply for an EIN tax number. After that, you can attempt to apply for Shopify Payment (you won't need a personal tax number and address proof during the initial application). If your Shopify Payment application is approved, you can use it consistently, unless you face a high dispute rate or copyright infringement issues that trigger a secondary review. If your Shopify Payment application is not approved, using Stripe is also a viable alternative.

Additionally, while Stripe requires the use of a physical bank card, virtual cards such as Wise, Payoneer, and P-cards typically work without issues, and there are no concerns about card deactivation. Avoid using physical cards like Hua Mei or Velo for receiving payments, as personal cards cannot be used for business purposes, regardless of the country.


As for other issues,

I haven't thought of any at the moment. If you have questions, feel free to send me a private message.


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