Figure out what kind of business formation is right for your needs, talk to an attorney if necessary, choose a business name, and register your business name with the secretary of state in which your business operates.
Incorporation as a business isn’t as easy when you relocate constantly as part of your family’s commitment to your husband’s military service. You can incorporate in your current state, but when your spouse gets orders to PCS to the next duty station, you have to re-incorporate (that might not be the correct technical term?) in you new state of residence as a foreign corporation.
If you’re thinking, “but service members can keep one state or residence, can’t they?” you’re partly right, but not entirely. Active duty military can sometimes maintain a single state of residence throughout their careers, but for spouses, that’s not always the case.
The Military Spouse Residency Relief Act (MSRRA) allows a military spouse to maintain residency in a state where their service member is a resident, so long as the military spouse lives there at some point, too. This is a step in the right direction for military families, but it doesn’t help all of us.
Case in Point: My husband holds residency in his home state, but we’ve never been stationed there together. As a result, I can’t join him in that state residency, and I don’t qualify under MSRRA. Instead, when I had to give up my home state residency for residency in the state where he was stationed when we got married. From there, we moved overseas (with the Army). The result? We have different states or residence, and while he can keep his home state when we PCS back to the U.S., I’ll have to change my residency again — to whatever state we’re stationed in next. The MSRRA helps many families, but it doesn’t help ours right now.
So the first question for a military spouse to answer after deciding what kind of business entity to incorporate as (L Corp, C Corp, LLC, etc.), is where to incorporate. And for the military spouse (ahem, this military spouse) stationed overseas, that’s not a simple question to answer.
I want to take you on my journey to incorporation. I hope that by documenting this journey publicly, I can help other spouses navigate the waters more smoothly, and that I can raise awareness about policies that make entrepreneurship (a concept that is often viewed as the best solution to the military spouse employment conundrum) more challenging for the military spouse than for his or her civilian counterpart.
More Posts About Establishing My LLC as a Military Spouse:
One Military Spouse Entrepreneur’s Journey to Incorporation, Part 2
One Military Spouse Entrepreneur’s Journey to Incorporation, Part 3