Practical Legal Advice for Overseas Businesses with Andrew Leyden

Michael MicheliniCorporate, Podcast, Taxes4 Comments

Episode 7

Today we’re in for a treat – Andrew Leyden, my good friend having met in the Hong Kong startup community, a retired American lawyer, spills his guts on how it is as an American doing business overseas, as well as straight up legal advice and tax advice. Again, he and I want to be careful, don’t quote us – please consult a professional tax accountant or attorney for your specific case! Enjoy this one everyone!

About Andrew Leyden

Andrew is an attorney and entrepreneur based in Hong Kong currently working a variety of projects. Most recently he developed the Hong Kong Air Pollution app which provides a detailed and international view of the current air quality in Hong Kong. He also worked with the World Bank providing technical support to a development project in Southern Africa.

He has extensive experience in running small companies, serving as the Vice-President of Wavesonix, an internet consumer appliance company based in London. Before this he was the founder of PenguinRadio, an Internet radio device company based in Washington, DC. Andrew has also worked with the Institute for Applied Science, assisting in the development of fledgling Russian technology companies seeking access to Western capital and markets.

Prior to his entrepreneurial work, Andrew served a Counsel to the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Capitol Hill. This capped a seven-year career on the Hill where he also worked in the personal offices of two members as a legislative aide, handling telecommunications and technology along with national security policy matters. He is a published author of a military history work on the first Persian Gulf War.

Andrew graduated from the University of Notre Dame Law School (1997) and did his undergraduate work at the University of Illinois (1987). He is a member of the Illinois State Bar.

Topics Covered in this Episode

  • Introduction of Andrew Leyden
  • What kind of legal advice do you give an American entrepreneur or small to medium sized business owner opening up a company offshore from USA. And steps to take
  • The “myth” many have of “Don’t owe, don’t file” – every American needs to file there taxes.<
  • Differences in legal structure of hk from usa in your experience
  • Say they have been here a few years and forgot to file in usa… what to do
  • What are some fun examples of legal issues you have heard about for american expats
  • Copyright issues based on where your hosting account (web server) is located.
  • DCMA Digital Millennium Copyright Act examples.
  • Business partnerships aren’t always right being 50/50. Boilerplate legal contracts and then having a lawyer review it – rather than asking the lawyer to find the contract for you. A good idea of having 20/20 split with each partner, and then a 30/30 performance granted to each partner if they contribute what they agreed to from the beginning.
  • What do you think the biggest benefit of having a Hong Kong company to operate a global business?

People / Companies / Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Episode Length: 28:22

Thanks so much for coming on the show Andrew! Listeners are always nervous about tax implications when incorporating offshore (Americans for sure!) and thanks for shedding some light there.

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[…] Andrew Leyden talking about Fbar and US tax reporting on episode 7 […]

inno10
Guest
inno10

Does this mean every person who starts a company in Hong Kong, (assuming your a USA citizen) has to file the form 5471? Seems like this would be a drawback to opening a company in HK due to the additional paperwork

Michael Michelini
Guest

Yes, these forms are needed for any international business for an American citizen, a hassle and a lot of us citizens complain about it.

Entrepreneurs hate extra red tape but in order to do international business as an American it is a must,

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[…] had Andrew Leyden come on the podcast to give us some insights on the US regulations on disclosing overseas bank accounts. At that time […]