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can you get a DBA or LLC without physical location?

Discussion in 'Other Governmental Matters' started by techwiz44, Aug 22, 2019.

  1. techwiz44

    techwiz44 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I don’t know if this is a legal issue, a taxation issue, or a general accounting issue.

    From what I can tell most city, county, and state governments have a mentality that has never left the early 1900 pony express time period. Everything seems to be designed for brick-and-mortar.

    Let me explain: I am a IT computer consultant/programmer/all-around geek. I can work anywhere that has access to the Internet. I could live on a sailboat, a houseboat, or a motor home. I can provide professional services from a public park picnic table that’s covered by Wi-Fi (of course it would be inside an encrypted VPN tunnel). My physical location can change daily. I offer my services to my existing and new clientele and they pay me for my knowledge and experience and problem solving abilities. All I need to conduct business is an Internet connection and a cell phone. And I’m finding that most of my clients prefer to receive updates by email so I don’t even need the cell phone most of the time.

    Let’s say my home office is in a suburb of Chicago (it isn’t really), years ago I paid the local County officials a filing fee for a DBA [doing business as-- assumed name] license. This allowed me to go to a bank and open up a business checking account where I could deposit payments from my customers. As the years progressed I found I needed the ability to accept credit card payments. This need is easily solved with the square card reader. I send my customer an online invoice and the money just appears in my bank account. I can receive a check and deposit it through the ATM. With today’s banking system you can pull out your smart phone and take a copy of the check and email it to make a deposit.

    I pay all my bills online so I’m not tied to any brick-and-mortar. So what’s the point of this diatribe?

    I want to change banks and I need another DBA. If I go file for one they’re looking for another physical address tied to brick-and-mortar. And technically they want me to renew it every year.

    I want to go to 100% online banking and the banks or credit unions that offer such services will require that DBA form. That means I have to go pay some worthless County bureaucrat an additional filing fee to do business in my company name. That original DBA form expired over 20 years ago. Technically I was supposed to renew it every year, but since I moved out of that County 19 years ago and already had my bank account in my business name I never bothered to renew anything. So far every single County that I’ve checked wants the applicant to claim a physical address. I’m not opening up a nail salon and I’m not cutting anyone’s hair. I’m not selling them hamburgers and I don’t need a liquor license. Of course they can offer you a home business license if you can show them that there is no human traffic coming in and out every day. But none of this really applies to professional services primarily done online. None of the city, county, and state governments have a freaking clue about today’s high-tech economy. If you read the fine print on all of these business license applications you are technically supposed to have one for every city and county that you do business. That’s not going to happen!

    The point I want to make is… by design want to be a nomad, a geeky gypsy if you will grant me that description. I want to be 100% mobile and I never know where I may migrate to next.

    All I need is an online bank account tied to a network of ATMs that will allow me to make deposits and withdrawals. The tax issue also becomes a nightmare. So if I do a programming job while I’m sitting at the dock in Miami do I file a state income tax form for Florida when I don’t live there? Two weeks later I could be in New Orleans, and if I do additional professional services while any transient dock in that port do I have to file a Louisiana state income tax form? Again, that’s not going to happen. I can file my income on the federal form but this state-by-state crap would be unmanageable.

    Does anyone have a suggestion as to where I could obtain a DBA where I have no physical presence?
    Even if you have a corporate filing the bureaucrats still think with the mindset of brick-and-mortar. So an LLC would probably not be much different.
    Insurance and D/L renewal would probably also become an issue. I’m thinking a P.O Box or Mailbox might help. Ideas?
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    It's a legal issue. Actually statutory. You're in Georgia by your IP address so let's start with the Georgia LLC statute:

    2018 Georgia Code :: Title 14 - Corporations, Partnerships, and Associations :: Chapter 11 - Limited Liability Companies

    You may be able to use a PO Box for your business activities but you MUST have a physical location for your registered agent. See 14-11-203:

    2018 Georgia Code :: Title 14 - Corporations, Partnerships, and Associations :: Chapter 11 - Limited Liability Companies :: Article 2 - Formation :: § 14-11-203. Formation

    LLCs in any other state have to comply with the statutory requirements which also require a physical location for your registered agent.
     
  3. techwiz44

    techwiz44 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I could have posted this under a VPN tunnel with different IP's from 30 different cities including Phoenix, masking my real IP is child's play. With two clicks this post would show Germany or Hong Kong if need be. I just need a biz checking account. Really don't need the overhead of a Corp, still have the seal and Articles of a Corp I owned in Texas. I am aware of the need for a registered agent as that's how most of the Delaware Corps run things. How about a DBA instead if a LLC?
    Do any states offer DBA's without residency or physical location. Are DBA's also controlled by Statute?
     
  4. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Quite possibly. Since you're so well versed in the tech world, I'm sure that you are able to use any of the various search engines to do your research for you. Alternatively, you may wish to speak with an attorney that specializes in business formation. Best of luck to you.
     
    army judge likes this.
  5. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Sure, you can operate as a DBA anywhere but you are still subject to registration statutes.

    Of course, if you are a scammer who wants to operate anonymously, be my guest.

    Otherwise, accept the fact that you have to comply with registration laws (someplace) in order to operate a business.
     
  6. techwiz44

    techwiz44 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Quite possibly. Since you're so well versed in the tech world, I'm sure that you are able to use any of the various search engines to do your research for you.

    Turns out that is true. It took some unique phrasing but I found my answer. Filed and paid online and I already have a new DBA good for 5 years for a whole $20.00. Now I can go Bank shopping for a online Bank or credit union with a good ATM network so I can travel and still make money in my Business name. No scamming involved.

    BTW, if the answers I got are representative of the talent available in this forum, your profession can be replaced by the IBM "Watson" AI computer.There are computers with AI that can perform routine surgery. Will not be long before an AI based computer will tear thru all the legal filings and arguments and a small staff of lawyers will be able to do the work of hundreds. People will still be involved, but many less will be needed. Oh, I meant to use my shadeyou VPN account so 'adjusterjack' could see that my posting IP was in Latvia. Oh well... next time.
     

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