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Old 16-02-2014, 15:02   #16
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Re: Non USA citizen want to buy a boat in USA, how register the boat?

US documented vessels can be owned by a corporation or LLC. But the Chief Executive Officer of the corp must be a US citizen and/or 51% of the stockholders of the corp must be US Citizens for the vessel to receive US documentation. ref: USCG form 1258 "Application for...Documentation"
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Old 16-02-2014, 16:15   #17
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Re: Non USA citizen want to buy a boat in USA, how register the boat?

F51:
I do no think you are correct. here is an abstract from the site referenced below:

"Can a Non-Resident of the United States Form or Own an LLC? Generally, there is no restriction in state LLC laws that limit who can form a limited liability company or who can own a membership interest in an LLC. A non-resident of the U.S. is free to form an LLC under the laws of any state he chooses. Similarly, an entity based outside the U.S. may form and own a limited liability company in the United States.
Further, there is no requirement that the activities of the LLC be managed from within the United States or even that its activities be conducted within the United States. A foreign individual can form and operate his LLC from wherever he happens to be.
Although a non-resident of the U.S. can form and own an LLC generally, there are some restrictions on ownership of certain entities under various state laws that may restrict ownership for reasons other than citizenship or residency. For example, state law may require that all members of an LLC engaging in the practice of medicine be licensed physicians in that state or all members of an LLC engaging in the practice of law be licensed attorneys.
In addition, some requirements, such as obtaining a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), are more complicated if the only members are non-resident aliens. The application for the FEIN, Form SS-4, requires the name and taxpayer identification number for one member of the LLC. The taxpayer ID for U.S. citizens is normally their social security number, which an non-resident alien would not have. In order to complete Form SS-4 and receive an FEIN for the LLC, a non-resident alien would need to obtain an individual tax identification number (ITIN) prior to submitting the Form SS-4."


Can a Non-Resident of the United States Own an LLC?


Furthermore, since the LLC will not be operating company, there is not even any need for a tax ID.


I believe that a single foreign individual can establish a De LLC as sole member and that LLC can then purchase and re-document a US flagged vessel.


I am a US citizen and my vessel is owned by a De LLC with 2 members, but I am not an attorney and perhaps the next step is for an attorney with specific knowledge to comment?? Also, there is no equivalent of "chairman" in an LLC.
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Old 16-02-2014, 16:24   #18
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Re: Non USA citizen want to buy a boat in USA, how register the boat?

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Originally Posted by chrisjs View Post
F51:
I do no think you are correct. here is an abstract from the site referenced below:

"Can a Non-Resident of the United States Form or Own an LLC? Generally, there is no restriction in state LLC laws that limit who can form a limited liability company or who can own a membership interest in an LLC. A non-resident of the U.S. is free to form an LLC under the laws of any state he chooses. Similarly, an entity based outside the U.S. may form and own a limited liability company in the United States.
Further, there is no requirement that the activities of the LLC be managed from within the United States or even that its activities be conducted within the United States. A foreign individual can form and operate his LLC from wherever he happens to be.
Although a non-resident of the U.S. can form and own an LLC generally, there are some restrictions on ownership of certain entities under various state laws that may restrict ownership for reasons other than citizenship or residency. For example, state law may require that all members of an LLC engaging in the practice of medicine be licensed physicians in that state or all members of an LLC engaging in the practice of law be licensed attorneys.
In addition, some requirements, such as obtaining a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), are more complicated if the only members are non-resident aliens. The application for the FEIN, Form SS-4, requires the name and taxpayer identification number for one member of the LLC. The taxpayer ID for U.S. citizens is normally their social security number, which an non-resident alien would not have. In order to complete Form SS-4 and receive an FEIN for the LLC, a non-resident alien would need to obtain an individual tax identification number (ITIN) prior to submitting the Form SS-4."


Can a Non-Resident of the United States Own an LLC?


Furthermore, since the LLC will not be operating company, there is not even any need for a tax ID.


I believe that a single foreign individual can establish a De LLC as sole member and that LLC can then purchase and re-document a US flagged vessel.


I am a US citizen and my vessel is owned by a De LLC with 2 members, but I am not an attorney and perhaps the next step is for an attorney with specific knowledge to comment?? Also, there is no equivalent of "chairman" in an LLC.
Actually F51 is correct. All of your information is as well but it omits one small point. Yes, foreign citizens can form LLC's. Yes, LLC's are given status as US entities. However, the USCG has additional requirements for documentation. It's not enough for a Corporation, LLC or Partnership to be a US entity. It must also be managed by US citizens. Now as I said that management can be nominee, a person serving in that position but not truly having the control. It can also be done through a trust with the trustee a US citizen.

And yes there is an "equivalent of Chairman" in an LLC and that is the words the USCG uses. That person has different titles in different states. In Delaware it is a "Manager".

And yes he should consult with a Maritime attorney who would not only know the laws and regulations but would learn his specific situation and have experience in aiding similar.

But don't confuse the rules of forming an LLC or how it's treated for taxes and other issues with the USCG and it's additional requirements. They have specific requirements for Corporations, LLC's and Partnerships.
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Old 16-02-2014, 20:53   #19
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Re: Non USA citizen want to buy a boat in USA, how register the boat?

As a British national that owns a boat in the US...

Buying a boat isn't that hard, and registering it in a state is also pretty easy.

However, it's virtually impossible to get USCG documentation for it.

Whether you need USCG docs above state registration is another discussion......
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Old 16-02-2014, 22:28   #20
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Re: Non USA citizen want to buy a boat in USA, how register the boat?

You only need USCG registration if the boat is going beyond Canada - USA - Mexico. Taking state registration is easy for a foreign person but most of the states will be wanting some tax after 3 months or so and they don't care where you live only where the boat lives. I will avoid detail on tax because there are so many states with so many rules. I will say that the tax in Florida isn't too bad at a once only payment of 6% whether the boat is new or used.

If you want Caribbean registration I recommend Cayman Islands or British Virgin Islands.

Should you decide to keep a foreign registered boat in USA you will have to keep it moving in and out of the country according to the terms of your cruising permit. Once a year is common and US Customs will expect you to keep the boat out of the US for 15 days minimum. As owner of a foreign registered boat you can avoid state taxes provided you keep moving.
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Old 16-02-2014, 22:53   #21
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Re: Non USA citizen want to buy a boat in USA, how register the boat?

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You only need USCG registration if the boat is going beyond Canada - USA - Mexico.
I keep seeing this over and over, but after having done 2 3/4 circumnavigations and clearing in and out of > 65 countries with a state registered boat, I really wonder why anyone thinks you "need" USCG documentation. Some may want it, and some may be required to have it (mostly commercial fishing vessels), but generally it is not a legal requirement in the US or outside of it. Will it ease your transactions with foreign dignitaries? Many are of that opinion, but that has not been our experience.

Documentation does require US citizenship, so is not really feasible for non-citizens. State registration, on the other had, depends on state laws, and, as posted above, is easy enough for non-citizens in Delaware and numerous other states.

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WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR DOCUMENTATION?

The basic requirements for documentation are to demonstrate ownership of the vessel, U.S. citizenship, and eligibility for the endorsement sought.

HOW DO I ESTABLISH U.S. CITIZENSHIP?

Citizenship is established by completion of form CG-1258. In addition to individuals, corporations, partnerships, and other entities capable of holding legal title may be deemed citizens for documentation purposes. Corporations must be registered in a state or the U.S; the chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors must be U.S. citizens, and no more than a minority of the number of directors necessary to constitute a quorum may be non-citizens. In addition, at least 75% of the stock must be vested in U.S. citizens for a coastwise or fisheries endorsement.
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Old 16-02-2014, 23:32   #22
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Re: Non USA citizen want to buy a boat in USA, how register the boat?

I reflagged my boat from the US to the UK (Jersey). The insurance cost went down by about 60%.
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Old 16-02-2014, 23:33   #23
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Re: Non USA citizen want to buy a boat in USA, how register the boat?

For all of the previous posters in this thread:

You do not need to create a Delaware Corporation to register the boat in Delaware. Delaware issues state registrations to anyone. If any of you ever go to Turkey, you will see hundreds, if not thousands, of boats with US flags that are owned by Turkish citizens. Their boats are state-registered in Delaware. Their hailing ports are almost always "Delaware," although I did see one with "Della Ware."

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Old 17-02-2014, 01:32   #24
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Re: Non USA citizen want to buy a boat in USA, how register the boat?

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Originally Posted by bobsadler View Post
I reflagged my boat from the US to the UK (Jersey). The insurance cost went down by about 60%.
Boat insurance in the UK is seriously affected by what your sailing area is, for example. 44ft 100k
UK - 500 to 600
Med - 600 to 650
Carib - 2.3k to 2.5k
SE Asia & Pacific 2.8k to 3k
Is that the same for a US boat ?
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Old 17-02-2014, 03:46   #25
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Re: Non USA citizen want to buy a boat in USA, how register the boat?

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Originally Posted by Dsanduril View Post
I keep seeing this over and over, but after having done 2 3/4 circumnavigations and clearing in and out of > 65 countries with a state registered boat, I really wonder why anyone thinks you "need" USCG documentation. Some may want it, and some may be required to have it (mostly commercial fishing vessels), but generally it is not a legal requirement in the US or outside of it. Will it ease your transactions with foreign dignitaries? Many are of that opinion, but that has not been our experience.

Documentation does require US citizenship, so is not really feasible for non-citizens. State registration, on the other had, depends on state laws, and, as posted above, is easy enough for non-citizens in Delaware and numerous other states.
Your experiences are totally due to luck and not at all due to maritime legality. In theory every boat should have a national, not a state, registration. Anyone heading to foreign countries by yacht should know this and then assess their risks and liabilities under one flag or the other.
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Old 17-02-2014, 04:17   #26
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Re: Non USA citizen want to buy a boat in USA, how register the boat?

thanks for the responses are quite exclarecedoras, so I get a more definitive position on the matter will post everyone.
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Old 17-02-2014, 04:41   #27
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Re: Non USA citizen want to buy a boat in USA, how register the boat?

Exclarecedoras ? No way ! I prefer empanadas.
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Old 17-02-2014, 04:42   #28
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Re: Non USA citizen want to buy a boat in USA, how register the boat?

My first step would be check whether for Brazilian Registration the boat actually needs to arrive in Brazil and be imported - some countries require that, many do not.

I am personally not convinced that sailing the world with a non-national registration is a prudent thing to do. The fact others do so is a matter for them. My suspicion is that it is accepted in certain countries due to the influence of the USA (their backyard) and in others due to ignorance and / or not caring about the difference between State and USCG.......of course sometimes folks discover a reason to care.
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Old 17-02-2014, 04:50   #29
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Re: Non USA citizen want to buy a boat in USA, how register the boat?

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I am thinking of going the Jersey route. I understand you pay a flat fee that lasts for 10 years - thats a good long time to not have to eff about worrying about it once you get it all set up.
Yup - no annual paperwork

and da gubberment leaves ya alone on yer boat to sink or swim ......no armed poop inspections either (over here we have a strange idea on being "free" - other cultures have a different approach ).
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Old 17-02-2014, 04:55   #30
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Re: Non USA citizen want to buy a boat in USA, how register the boat?

The savboat is registered in Jersey and lives in Rhode Island but around here I am in a minority. Most are registered in the Caymans.
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