LLC, single person, internet-only business: what state am I "doing business" in if I'm perma-travelling?


I have a question similar to this one, with one difference: I'm going to be running my business while travelling the world over the next few years, both in the US and out. (I'm a resident of California.) What does "doing business" count as in that case? Do I still have to pay taxes in California, or am I free to register in any one state? (Or do I have to register in multiple states, depending on where I'm working at the time?!)

LLC Location Legal Tax Business

asked Jun 12 '13 at 15:56
111 points
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  • You're free to register anywhere you want, but being resident of California (or "citizen" as you call it), the FTB might want its $800 from you. You might be required to register in the states you're working at, for the time you're working there. – Littleadv 10 years ago
  • Hehe, oops, changed to resident. I'm asking because most of the sources I've seen specify that you need to be "doing business" in California in order to qualify for the tax, but I'm not sure if it counts in my case. – Archagon 10 years ago
  • For example, the answers on [this question]( seem to indicate that it wouldn't be "doing business", while Dana Shultz's answer on [this question]( seems to indicate otherwise. – Archagon 10 years ago
  • @Dana is a lawyer. Writing without a nickname, I'm sure he does his best not to write nonsense, something all the rest of us anonymous posters are doing occasionally. If you want to be *certain* - you should get a proper legal consultation. – Littleadv 10 years ago

1 Answer


As I explained on my blog in When “Doing Business” isn’t “Doing Business”, it is important to understand the different meanings of "doing business":

  • The other OnStartups question to which you referred (which I answered) discussed "doing business" from the perspective of the state(s) in which an entity must or should register as a domestic or foreign (out-of-state) entity. That is one where a lawyer can be helpful.
  • Your question appears to be oriented toward "doing business" as a determinant of where taxes must be paid. That is one where a tax adviser who is familiar with multi-state tax issues can provide the right answers.

Disclaimer: This information does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

answered Jun 13 '13 at 02:18
Dana Shultz
6,015 points

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LLC Location Legal Tax Business