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US citizens as shareholders in a non-domestic LLC - effects

Effects of a U.S. citizen becoming a member of an LLC formed by a non-U.S. citizen

Effects of a U.S. citizen becoming a member of an LLC formed by a non-U.S. citizen


If a non-U.S. citizen (non-U.S. resident) has an American Limited Liability Company (LLC) and is integrated into the Operating Agreement (Social contract) adds an American citizen as a shareholder has several tax and legal implications. In this article, we look at how these changes affect the status of the LLC and taxation for both the US and non-US shareholder. We will also discuss how taxation for EU-Citizens in Europe if they are involved in an LLC.

Introduction to the formation of a US LLC by non-Americans

The formation of a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in the USA by non-Americans is a popular option for foreign investors and entrepreneurs. An LLC offers flexibility, Limitation of liability and favorable tax treatment. For non-U.S. citizens, forming an LLC means that they can do business in the U.S. without having a physical presence. The LLC can be owned and operated entirely by non-US citizens, making it an attractive choice.

Status of the LLC upon admission of a US shareholder

If a non-US citizen includes a US citizen as a partner in the operating agreement, the status of the LLC changes with regard to its tax and legal classification. The LLC retains its status as a US company, as there is at least one US citizen as a member. This change brings with it additional compliance requirements, especially if the LLC was originally wholly foreign-owned.

Tax implications for the US shareholder

The American shareholder is subject to normal income taxation in the USA. This means that he must declare his pro rata profit from the LLC in his annual tax return. The profit is taxed in accordance with the tax laws applicable in the USA, which means that the US shareholder can apply the same tax rates and deductions as any other American taxpayer.

Taxation of the non-US shareholder

The rules on the taxation of non-resident aliens apply to the non-US shareholder. This means that he only receives the pro rata profit from US sources but not profits from other countries. Taxation is done according to US tax laws for foreign investors, which often means that the non-US shareholder must file forms such as the 1040NR with the IRS.

Compliance requirements for the LLC

The addition of a U.S. shareholder and the participation of a non-U.S. citizen may require the LLC to file additional forms with the IRS. These include Form 5472 (Information Return of a Foreign-Owned Corporation), which must be filed if an LLC has a foreign interest. These forms are used to make the LLC's ownership and financial transactions transparent and to ensure that all tax obligations are met.

Taxation of EU citizens in the case of participation in an LLC

For EU citizens who hold an interest in a US LLC, income is taxed in their home country in accordance with the tax laws applicable there. In many European countries, profits from foreign sources are taxed differently than in the USA. Generally, the LLC is treated as a corporation and the shareholders must declare their profits as dividend income or foreign income. It is important to understand the specific tax rules of the home country and act accordingly.

Practical steps to comply with tax and compliance regulations

To meet the tax and legal requirements, you should take the following steps:

  • Preparing and submitting tax forms: Make sure all required forms such as the 5472 and 1040NR are properly completed and submitted by the deadline.
  • Observe accounting obligationsMaintain meticulous bookkeeping to document and track all financial transactions of the LLC.
  • Adhere to deadlinesPay attention to all relevant deadlines for filing tax returns and other required documents to avoid penalties and late payment interest.


The addition of a US citizen as a shareholder in an LLC formed by a non-US citizen has important tax and legal implications. While the LLC retains its status as a U.S. company, both the U.S. member and the foreign member must pay tax on their income in accordance with applicable tax laws. In addition, compliance requirements such as filing forms with the IRS must be met. For EU citizens, a different tax regime applies and it is important to follow the specific rules of the home country. By following the practical steps outlined, you can ensure that all tax and legal obligations are met.


What happens when a US citizen becomes a partner in an LLC?
The status of the LLC remains as a US company and the US shareholder is subject to normal income taxation in the USA.

How is the profit of a non-US shareholder taxed?
A non-US shareholder only has to pay tax on the proportionate profit from US sources.

What compliance requirements arise from the addition of a US shareholder? The LLC may need to file additional forms such as Form 5472 with the IRS.

How are EU citizens taxed when holding an interest in an LLC?
EU citizens must pay tax on their profits according to the tax laws of their home country, often as dividend income or foreign income.

Which tax forms do non-US shareholders have to submit?
Non-U.S. shareholders are often required to file Form 1040NR to declare their U.S. income.

How can LLC compliance requirements be met?
Through careful bookkeeping, timely submission of all required tax forms and compliance with all relevant deadlines.

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Disclaimer: Please note that the above dates, tax rates and regulations may change over time. Do not make any independent decisions without first consulting an expert for your individual situation. It is in your interest to always receive individual information from an experienced expert who knows your situation.

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