The definition of a foreign corporation is a corporation that was incorporated under the laws of a different state or country. Because states control corporation laws, and each state is different, corporations that do business from state to state are considered foreign corporations in any other state. Of course, corporations formed outside of the country also fall under the definition of foreign corporation.
To create a foreign corporation you will need to contact the state department of corporations for the state in which you wish to form your business. There are many services available that will do this for you, but you can do this simply by visiting the states website and applying. Many people choose to incorporate out of their area due to tax laws that other states may have regarding corporate taxes.
Once you have provided all of the relevant information to the department of corporations in the state where you are applying, you will need to set up a representative for your company in that state. This representative, who is required by law, will be your point of contact in that state should the need to contact you for legal matters arise. There are several companies which also offer this service and can be found by doing a quick internet search under the category “corporate agents”.
Once you have completed these two steps you are officially a foreign corporation. Next, to do business now in your own state you will have to register your corporation at the department of corporations in your state. You will file as an already established, foreign corporation and you will need to provide the state a point of contact – or corporate agent – that is available to be contacted in your state. This is a formality, but highly recommended. If you do not register an agent in any state which you are doing business in as a foreign corporation, the authority as corporate agent will automatically fall on the Department of State. They will become the official liaison for your company in regard to any legal matters.
When you file foreign corporation papers, make sure that you are aware of any and all laws and taxes that are associated with being a foreign corporation. The state you filled in may have special conditions for your corporation if you live out of the state. Your own state may also have stipulations for owning a foreign corporation. Each state law is very different and it is wise to educate yourself on any conditions that may apply to your specific corporation.
To apply for a foreign corporation in a country that is not your birth nation, you will have to check with the Federal State Department as well as all relevant agencies in the foreign country. Again, due to the nature of dealing with foreign countries, you will need to be very aware of all laws and taxes associated with owning a corporation that is based outside the U.S. borders.