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Question added to topic Legal Basics For StartupsSeptember 12, 2008

Is it legal to do accounting in the U.S. for foreign companies?

I have been looking online for at-home accounting jobs. As a result I have been approached by several companies from other countries that want me to handle the accounting for their U.S. customers, accepting U.S. payments and forwarding them to the companies. They claim to need someone in the U.S. to perform this work because U.S. banks will not allow them to have an account here as their businesses are not registered here. Is this legal? It seems like it would be an ideal situation for me.
While there doesn't seem to be anything amiss with this arrangement on its face, make sure you do your due diligence to find out whether the foreign companies are on the up-and-up.

Ask about the nature of their businesses. Speak to the customer (and check each one out, too). The last thing you want is to find yourself unknowingly in the middle of a money-laundering scheme.

You may also want to speak to your bank about the size (and regularity) of the payments you expect to be making to the foreign companies--U.S. banking regulations may have stringent limits on the amounts that can be transferred back and forth.

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq. is an award-winning New York City attorney, edutainer and author. Under her Ask The Business Lawyer brand, she reaches thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners with her legal services, professional speaking, information products, and LexAppeal weekly ezine. She also writes the Making It Legal blog.

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