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What is foreign entity registration?

Foreign entity registration is a legal requirement that allows a business to operate in a state or country different from its place of incorporation or business formation. This registration grants the business legal recognition and the ability to conduct operations within the foreign jurisdiction.

Isn't the term "Foreign Entity" reserved for non-U.S. entities?

The term "foreign entity" can be used at either the federal or state level. At the federal level, the Internal Revenue Service uses this term to refer to non-U.S. business entities. But at the state level, the term "foreign entity" can refer to any corporation or LLC that has not been formed in a given state's territory. So if you formed your business entity in a state other than the one where you actually conduct business, you'll likely need to register your LLC or corporation as a foreign entity.

How do I file as a foreign entity in the state where I do business?

State regulations for foreign filings vary. In most states, you will have to present the address of a Registered Agent who resides within the target state and who will act as an intermediary in communications. Most states will also require you to file a Certificate of Authorization or Good Standing. This state-issued document confirms that your legal entity actually exists and is prepared to do business in the target state.

Rocket Lawyer makes it easy to take care of your foreign filing paperwork. Reach out to our business services team to learn how we can help you with your foreign entity filing so you can get back to business.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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