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Old 26-02-2016, 06:13   #1
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Delaware registration for non US citizens

Hi guys! I was wondering if you could help me a bit here! My dad gave me some kind of assignment to register two jet skis on Delaware registration. Now, we're from Montenegro (ex Yugoslavia) and I have no clue what would be the first step to do this? Thanks in advance!
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Old 26-02-2016, 06:52   #2
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Re: Delaware registration for non US citizens

Yes, you can do this. Lots of foreign nationals register vessels (Im assuming jet skis will qualify) this way in the USA. First you form a Delaware corporation, then you transfer ownership of the jet skis to the corp.
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Old 26-02-2016, 07:16   #3
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Re: Delaware registration for non US citizens

First you need to understand that in the USA there are two ways to "register" a boat.

One method is to register a boat with the US Coast Guard part of the federal government. This type of registration is called documentation. Documentation is only allowed for US citizens or US corporations but also is not allowed or needed for small boats. For these two reasons federal documentation wouldn't make sense for you and your jet skis.

The second method it to register a boat with an individual state. All US states have a process to register the boat and, as far as I know, no states restrict this process to US citizens. State registration is usually easy, cheap and has no residency or citizenship restrictions so this would be the best method for you. You also can do this as an individual so would not have to set up a Delaware corporation unless you need to do this for some other ownership or tax reasons.

Information for Delaware state boat registration at this link.

Delaware Boat Registration Information

A couple of other comments. If you are purchasing the jet skis in the US you will probably have to pay state sales tax (similar to VAT but usually only 5-7%), even if you buy them used. Also, unless you want to have Delaware registration for some reason you can register in almost any state you choose. However, if you will be keeping the jet skis in the US you should register them in the state where they will be kept. Most states will require you to do this anyway if they are kept and used in that state.

Cost for state registration is also cheap. Figure USD $50-$150 depending on the state.
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Old 26-02-2016, 13:52   #4
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Re: Delaware registration for non US citizens

I have to wonder why. The cost of setting up a Delaware corporation is hardly worth it for a couple of jet skis.
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Old 26-02-2016, 14:51   #5
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Re: Delaware registration for non US citizens

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Yes, you can do this. Lots of foreign nationals register vessels (Im assuming jet skis will qualify) this way in the USA. First you form a Delaware corporation, then you transfer ownership of the jet skis to the corp.
I think OP is talking about Delaware state registration, which is very easy and does not require a corporation.

A foreigner only needs a corporation (which can be a Delaware corporation) if they want to get US Federal/US Coast Guard) registration (or "documentation" in the natives´ version of English). The corporation needs to have a US citizen as CEO/officer, which is commonly hired for that purpose.
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Old 26-02-2016, 18:59   #6
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Re: Delaware registration for non US citizens

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I think OP is talking about Delaware state registration, which is very easy and does not require a corporation.

A foreigner only needs a corporation (which can be a Delaware corporation) if they want to get US Federal/US Coast Guard) registration (or "documentation" in the natives´ version of English). The corporation needs to have a US citizen as CEO/officer, which is commonly hired for that purpose.
Probably simple State registration is easiest in this case.

There are restrictions foreign ownership percentages of a corp for USCG documentation. See NVDC site.
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Old 26-02-2016, 21:01   #7
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Re: Delaware registration for non US citizens

Or you could just pay your fair share of tax in in Montenegro to keep the schools, roads, hospitals etc running????

Just a thought
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Old 27-02-2016, 05:57   #8
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Re: Delaware registration for non US citizens

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I have to wonder why. The cost of setting up a Delaware corporation is hardly worth it for a couple of jet skis.
Not expensive to do...and have you priced a jet ski lately!
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Old 27-02-2016, 09:46   #9
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Re: Delaware registration for non US citizens

State registration is the only option for a jet ski they are too small to be a documented vessel.
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Old 27-02-2016, 10:58   #10
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Re: Delaware registration for non US citizens

I thought the advantage in a Corp. and Delaware was taxes on yachts. Hardly seems like worth the effort for jet skis. I would bet state registration in any state, with an address, is not likely to ask citizenship status? If so have a friend do it.
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Old 27-02-2016, 11:13   #11
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Re: Delaware registration for non US citizens

Yep. Maybe for taxes. But given state registration is not considered valid abroad then unless you want to keep your craft in the US, I would not bother.

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Old 27-02-2016, 14:17   #12
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Re: Delaware registration for non US citizens

If the jet ski is over 60 feet you will need a captains license.
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Old 27-02-2016, 14:48   #13
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Re: Delaware registration for non US citizens

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Yep. Maybe for taxes. But given state registration is not considered valid abroad then unless you want to keep your craft in the US, I would not bother.

b.
"not considered valid abroad" are you sure ? 96 % of turkish boats are registered in Delaware for tax purpose and I know they can freely cruise in Turkey as well as abroad (at least in Greece for sure) w/out any restriction. If "abroad" is anywhere outside US, how this can be possible ?

Thx

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Old 27-02-2016, 15:02   #14
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Re: Delaware registration for non US citizens

I thought this was jet skis, not mega yachts?
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Old 29-02-2016, 07:39   #15
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Re: Delaware registration for non US citizens

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But given state registration is not considered valid abroad...
This is simply not true. There may be some places where state registration is not considered valid, but there are many places (pretty much all of the Caribbean, for example) where it is.
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