I am considering forming a C Corp using Stripe Atlas:
but first want to understand the ongoing costs and obligations.
I am an Australian citizen and not a US resident. I need the C Corp to establish and operate some websites targeting the US market; or putting it another way, I need an EIN, sales tax certificate, US credit card processing, and bank account. To begin with, I will be the sole shareholder, and will fill all required corporate roles. At least initially, all work will be conducted outside of the US. We will not have any US-based permanent employees, or own any facilities in the US. We will, however, use US-based services such as banking, credit card processing, web hosting, mail forwarding, legal services, accounting services, etc.
It is my understanding that I will be able to charge the C Corp for all services that I legitimately provide to it, and that so long as those services are performed outside the US, there will be no US-based personal income tax or personal income tax reporting. Is that correct? And if so, how does the IRS determine whether the fees charged are reasonable?
There will be work done on behalf of the C Corp before it has sufficient revenue to pay for the work. Would it be possible to invoice the C Corp for these services at a later date?
It is my understanding that all persons or entities (including myself) who do work for the C Corp which is conducted outside of the US should be required to submit a W-8BEN to the C Corp, together with a signed statement saying that no work will be conducted within the US, and keep filed as supporting documentation in the event of an audit. Is this correct? If we use US based freelancers or contractors, they would be required to submit a W9. Is this correct?
Can completed IRS forms be obtained electronically (eg emailed as a scan or digital photo)?
For other products or services purchased by the C Corp (eg web hosting, mail forwarding, software, hardware, SaaS, hotels, transportation, etc), I believe that we only need a receipt and do not need to complete any additional forms. Is that correct?
I am aware of the following ongoing costs to keep the C Corp legal:
Pay a registered agent in Delaware.
File an annual report with Delaware.
Pay an annual Franchise Tax to the state of Delaware.
Remit any relevant state-based sales tax.
Pay federal income tax on profits (quarterly installments).
Is there something missing from this list?
I understand that it is important for a C Corp to keep reliable financial records, and to document all major decisions (in my case, presumably as consent resolutions). I also understand that the company bylaws will outline obligations for shareholder and board of directors meetings.
I understand that I need to request a BE-13 exemption from the US Department of Commerce:
Are there any other mandatory administrative requirements that I should be aware of?
Finally, can anyone recommend a startup friendly accountant, ideally one that is familiar with foreign owned C Corps? Familiarity with Stripe Atlas would also be a bonus.