What permits does a Canadian citizen need to open shop in the U.S.?

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The answer to your question will depend on two things: One, on whether you are planning to treat the music school as a for-profit or a not-for-profit corporation, and two, whether you are lawfully residing in Florida.

If you are planning to treat the music school as a for-profit company and intend to set it up as an S Corporation, you must be a resident alien in the state of Florida. Otherwise, you will be prohibited from getting S Corporation status.

If you are planning to treat the music school as a not-for-profit corporation, you must have a minimum of three directors (all of whom you'll need to list on the certificate of incorporation), plus you'll need a registered agent located in Florida.

Not-for-profit corporations (also called “non-profit corporations”) are also subject to other regulations in order to ensure their special tax status. Be sure to consult with an attorney who can advise you about the pros and cons of each corporate status and whether you can go forward with your plans as you're intending.

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