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What is an inexpensive way to start a US C Corp, even if you're overseas?

I know this question has come up a number of times and this new service from Stripe looks pretty cool:

https://stripe.com/atlas

5 Replies

Mike Moyer
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Mike Moyer Entrepreneur • Advisor
Managing Director at Lake Shark Ventures, LLC
Just go to the site for your state's Secretary of State and file online. All it costs is the filing fees.... Here is an example for Illinois: http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/business_services/business_not-for-profit/home.html -Mike
Robb Miller
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Robb Miller Advisor
founder at gnito
I like Atlas (by stripe), but also like Clerky.com
Shobhit Verma
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Shobhit Verma Entrepreneur • Advisor
building an adaptive recommendation engine
Thanks Michael, Atlas seems promising
Andrew Chapman
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Andrew Chapman Entrepreneur • Advisor
Publishing Entrepreneur and Author
As Mike Moyer pointed out, it's handled on a state-by-state basis in the US.Depending on the specific state, do it yourself. In many states, like mine (Virginia), it's not complicated enough to go through a service or attorney.

It was very easy - everything is online filing with just a couple hundred dollars in fees (variable depending on your corporate structure). The process is right on the corporation commission's front page athttps://www.scc.virginia.gov. It took me about a half-hour including the necessary learning. Here's the specific FAQ link for foreign entities -http://www.scc.virginia.gov/clk/befaq/forinva.aspx#a3

It gets a little more complicated if you're not located within the state, however, because you then need to have a registered agent in the state. Not a big deal since these are readily available (Google search "registered agent" for the state), but it's an additional level of cost and paperwork each year. Again, since this can be different from state to state, this may not be required in other states or the term "registered agent" may be called something else.
Michael Brill
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Michael Brill Entrepreneur
Technology startup exec focused on AI-driven products
To be clear, I was just posting the Stripe Atlas link because they just announced this offering that includes everything needed to form a Delaware C Corp (including formation and early stage corporate docs, legal advice, acting as RA, etc.) for $500 for beta customers.

On surface, this seems like a pretty awesome offering for non-US founders: not only does it save you a bit of money but it also provides a standard way to do it without people banging their head against the wall. Just read the docs, sign where it tells you to and off you go.

That obviously brings up the next questions about managing the entity, governance, reporting, etc. and it seems like that's a logical next step in the Atlas offering. Then partnerships with the Xero's and Shopify's for instant business operating systems... then plug in financing portals and you bring the cost of starting a new business to very, very little.

And then Stripe makes their money on shutting down all these ill-conceived businesses! ;-)

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