Please, please, please read and upvote! If you have any advice, it'll be life saving. Plus, I put like an hour of writing into this post :))
I'm a 5 figure-profit ecom store owner and I've been waiting for a long time to turn 18 and be able to set up legal entities/bank accounts easily without the need for arguing with adults / convincing them to support me. I finally am 18 years old, but this whole process is becoming far more complicated than I expected, as I don't have an address of my own. I am from State A, currently going to college in State B, and my parents in State A are not exactly supportive and i would like to minimize the usage of that original address for business purposes. I also can't really go to any banks right now to physically set up an account on my own, so I'd really prefer to set this up online. I'd also like to retain as much anonymity as possible / not use my actually dorm room as my address for anything really business-related (unless its forwarded)
I have pretty extensive experience in ecom/marketing, have made sales before, it's time for me to set up a separate bank account and legal entity (LLC –> will apply for an s corp in the future maybe). I would be greatly indebted if you all could help me set up a plan to go about this.
Budget: I don't mind spending a few hundred dollars to have this all set up, it's a headache and I don't mind getting slightly ripped off to just get it all done correctly and legally, so I can focus on growing sales (have hit 5 figures in profit in the past).
Here are my current plans:
- LLC Setup — Northwest Registered Agent for LLC formation in State B. Will use them to get the EIN or just get it myself since I heard it's easy. Also will use them as a registered agent every year I think.
- Bank Account-
- Top Choice: Azlo? (Heard mostly good things, but relatively new) Also BoA has an online set up option, but I haven't really heard positive things about BoA so I think I'll stay away.
- The issue is that Azlo (and all other banks) requires verification of personal address and business address.
- These are the requirements: https://support.azlo.com/hc/en-us/articles/360000308667-Updating-your-address
- Personal address is fine, I have ID from State A.
- Business Addresses get tricky. Registered agents services, PO boxes, traditional virtual mailboxes are flagged by the database from the bank and they will threaten to close your account unless you use a real address. Many people will probably recommend the services that some of the mail carriers like UPS have PO boxes with "real addresses", but those eventually get flagged anyway. The only option I can think of right now that I've heard from other people has worked is getting a virtual office, which usually costs around $75 a month, and like $200 for the set-up costs. I can use them for mail forwarding, and also a physical address for setting up anything. It's a bit expensive but it's affordable given my historical sales / projections. I'm also going to school in a large city so there's tons of these services, and I could just walk to those offices if I really wanted to to pick up mail or check it out.
A few questions
- How the hell do taxes work? I've heard that the IRS wants a real address the same way banks do, so I could just use that virtual office for that right?
- Any suggestions to improve the process? I'd like to cut costs where I can, but not at the expense of privacy or being in accordance to the law. I'd love suggestions for other banks, mail forwarding/address ideas, etc. Or personal anecdotes. Anything helps!