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Old 01-28-2015, 08:56 PM   #15
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I have been with Deer Creek Corporate Services out of Montana for several years, we have never had an issue, we are fulltimers and use South Dakota for a mailing address. Now if you have a residence in a state such as Washington or Colorado I would not do it they frown upon it and may come after you. The tax savings are completely legitimate if done correctly.
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Old 01-28-2015, 08:57 PM   #16
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Old 01-28-2015, 09:01 PM   #17
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The attorneys who seem to have the best write-ups is Bennett. I think you need to look around and talk to some attorneys and then make a choice.
The Bennett law firm is who most of the full-timers on escapees.com use to handle their LLC's.
Before we bought our MH I emailed them for advice on setting up an LLC. Their reply was, since I am a legal resident of Indiana it is not legal to do so, and they declined to work for me.
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Old 01-28-2015, 10:31 PM   #18
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I'll add another vote for Bennett law firm. Bennett started the Montana LLC business and in my research they still know the most about it. They will evaluate your situation and advise you on the legalities that apply to your specific situation. You can do everything via phone, FAX, email, or mail.

A Montana LLC might be legal for you, illegal for you, or a legal gray area. Bennett will advise you based on your specific situation. Many people on the internet will scream that Montana LLC's are illegal, when, in fact, the legality depends on your specific situation.
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Old 01-29-2015, 05:00 AM   #19
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If you search the forums on this subject there are a lot of threads on it. One of the interesting things that might be of interest to you is buying diesel. There was a thread where they discussed various states laws on buying diesel fuel. According to the thread since you are buying the MH through a corporation it is classified in these states as a commercial vehicle and you have to have fuel permits to buy diesel. I do not know anything about this subject but did find it interesting what I was reading.
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Old 01-29-2015, 07:39 AM   #20
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One thing that many who have posted seem to have missed is that the OP is a Brit who does NOT reside in the US. That means that he is NOT cheating anyone out of any taxes. He is not tainted by being a resident of any state so he can choose a state to be a "resident of" for his driver's license and then register the vehicles accordingly. He could very well determine that Montana will be the state from which he will be licensed and then there is no issue whatsoever with his Montana LLC and he won't be dodging any sales taxes in any state because he is not a resident of any state other than Montana.
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Old 01-29-2015, 09:51 AM   #21
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It is crazy how this subject always tends to bring out the worst in people, and the assumptions that are made never cease to amaze me.
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Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
The idea of the Montana LLC is to cheat the tax man.
A few states have decided to do something about that.. And those who they went after now wish they had never heard of Montana.
The first thing that pooped into my head when reading this, wa8yxm, do you have a Montana LLC? Have you ever had a Montana LLC? My assumption is NO, by the way you worded your post. Why would you want to spread miss information and promote fear mongering on something you have no first hand knowlege of? The OP has a legitimate question.
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Those Montana lawyers will disavow you as soon as your home state comes after you for back taxes , interest , and penalties.
I am getting ready to write Illinois a check for over $12000. I have been in touch with Illinois Dept of Revenue. There is no way I can legally avoid sales tax.
Irose44 atleast appears to have first hand knowledge of the subject by his post, however I am sure there is another side and some missing facts of this story we are not hearing.

I agree with Palehorse, "Gold Star" for these posts.
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"The idea of the Montana LLC is to cheat the tax man.", is just not factual. I understand that this is your opinion, but please...The best advise that 'wadders' can receive is to contact attorneys in Montana that specialize in forming LLCs.
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Cheating the tax man or avoiding taxes is illegal in all states. Reducing taxes by following the rules is not.
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One thing that many who have posted seem to have missed is that the OP is a Brit who does NOT reside in the US. That means that he is NOT cheating anyone out of any taxes. He is not tainted by being a resident of any state so he can choose a state to be a "resident of" for his driver's license and then register the vehicles accordingly. He could very well determine that Montana will be the state from which he will be licensed and then there is no issue whatsoever with his Montana LLC and he won't be dodging any sales taxes in any state because he is not a resident of any state other than Montana.
wadders, let me see if I can help you cut through the clutter. First of all, I do not have a Montana LLC, and had never heard of one until I started reading this forum.

There are two types of Attorneys as it relates to this subject. There is what they "Transactional" attorneys and there is "Litigating" attorneys. Both have the places, but they are not the same. A Transactional attorney will do your coroporate fillings and set up your LLC, etc. That is typically the end of their scope of work. As lrose44 seems to have found out the hardway, a Transactional attorney is not the person you need to speak to if you have legal problems or issues, for that type of work, you need to seek out a Litigation attorney. If you try to resolve a legal problem with a Transactional attorney, you will just be wasting your time and money, that is not their bag of tricks so to speak.

wnytaxman in his post above this one, really states some great points. wadders, you are in such a great postion to cherry pick the best situation for your particular needs. The other huge advantage, that some have just plain overlooked in there rush pass along mis-information, YOU ARE NOT in the the system. You are not in any states data base, you do not have a home here in the US, you are not currently paying any state taxes, etc.

One of the key barriers to prove tax avoidance, is past history. I am sure Illionois was able to figure out that in the past, lrose44 had his vehicles registered in Illionois and was able through some quick internet work, connect the dots. wadders, you dont have a past here in the US, so your slate is clean, there is no possible way to pin any tax avoidance on you as you are not even a US Citizen let along a residence anywhere.

My guess is that a Montana LLC would probably work for you, but once again, I do not have any first hand knowledge of Montana LLC's. I would suggest that you get on-line and do some reading about all of the various states LLC's and see if there are some others that may work as well or better than Montana. Just because "everyone" uses Montana, does not mean that is the "best" place for you to form your LLC.

I have over 100 corporate entities, some in Texas were I reside, but some in other states like Nevada, Alaska, South Dakota, and Delaware, and some outside the US. I do not live in these other places, have never had residences in these other places, or even visit these other places. I do howver have good attorneys who advise me on the best ways to minimize my taxes, limit my possible liabilties, and how protect my assets. No idea how many millions with a big M I have spent in legal fee's over the years on both Transactional and Litigating attornerys wrestling with various State Comptrollers, IRS, County Tax Offices, etc. My MH for example is owned by an Alaska entity, registered in Texas.

Have learned a lot the hard and expensive way, sitting through a lot of depositions, and spending way too much time in courtrooms, there is no simple answer to anything. There are a lot of attorneys in the world, but very few good ones. Spend your time reading and researching, sometimes the most expensive is not always the best, however most of the good ones are expensive.

With regards to setting up and LLC, we always use the least expensive joint we can find to do this, and its rarely an Attorney. There tons of Transactional shops that do this for next to nothing. Same with registered agents, we usually go with the cheapest who does this in whatever state. Both of these tasks a blind monkey could do, and 99% of the paperwork you will get is canned stuff thats be reprinted a thousand times anyway. Once you get your LLC set up, seek out a Litigation attorney, pay him whatever his hourly rate is, mine is $500/hour for example, and have him tell you how to do things so you don't get your butt in trouble. IF you find the right Litigation attorney, he will have represented thousands of clients, and will know exactly what problems to avoid and what problems are complete hersay propagated by the internet.

Not sure if any of this helps, but I hope it has. Feel free to PM me with any questions, happy to help if I can. Good Luck!
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Old 01-29-2015, 12:53 PM   #22
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There is another consideration. If you license your RV in the name of a LLC you likely will need to get commercial RV insurance and have a Commercial Driver's license if the gross combination weight exceeds 26,000# if you have a toad, or gross vehicle weight exceeds 26,000 if you don't. The reason for this is it no longer falls under the general "recreational use" exemption in most states. You also will need to keep appropriate log books, maintenance records and also have a ICC fuel tax and DOT number. A lot of people use Montana LLCs and don't realize that their private insurance will not cover "commercial use" the fact that it is licensed to a corporation is evidence of "commercial use". You would have to prove to your insurance company and to any patrol officer that it wasn't really commercial use. If you get into an accident you may have to prove non-commercial use if you are driving with a regular driver's license. This may prove very difficult to do with it licensed to an LLC. You may drive around for years and never have a problem but if you get into an accident or run into an officer with an axe to grind you could be in big trouble.
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Old 01-29-2015, 01:33 PM   #23
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There is another consideration. If you license your RV in the name of a LLC you likely will need to get commercial RV insurance and have a Commercial Driver's license if the gross combination weight exceeds 26,000# if you have a toad, or gross vehicle weight exceeds 26,000 if you don't. The reason for this is it no longer falls under the general "recreational use" exemption in most states. You also will need to keep appropriate log books, maintenance records and also have a ICC fuel tax and DOT number. A lot of people use Montana LLCs and don't realize that their private insurance will not cover "commercial use" the fact that it is licensed to a corporation is evidence of "commercial use". You would have to prove to your insurance company and to any patrol officer that it wasn't really commercial use. If you get into an accident you may have to prove non-commercial use if you are driving with a regular driver's license. This may prove very difficult to do with it licensed to an LLC. You may drive around for years and never have a problem but if you get into an accident or run into an officer with an axe to grind you could be in big trouble.

The misinformation about LLC's abounds. An LLC is not a business nor is it a corporation. An LLC is an asset protection vehicle which is intended to insulate an owner from legal liability. In NO way will it impact the need for commercial insurance, commercial driver's licenses, or change the fact that the unit is a recreational vehicle not used for commercial purposes.

We even have situations where people will put vacation homes, personal cars, and other assets into LLC's to help protect themselves from the predatory attorneys we see on TV every day and night. Look upon the LLC as just being the box that the asset came in.
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Old 01-29-2015, 03:26 PM   #24
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Anybody reading these threads on this site pertaining to Montana LLC 's would really do yourselves a favor by scrutinizing and understanding what wnytaxman writes in his posts. Through the past few years, he's always been the voice-of-reason in these Montana LLC threads as there is SO much misinformation being posted even by prominent and respected members of this forum.

There is nothing inherently illegal pertaining to using a Montana LLC to register vehicles. Nor should there be any implication that the LLC automatically becomes a commercial endeavor. If your Montana LLC registered motorhome is being used exclusively for pleasure, it is NOT a commercial enterprise and is not subject to the operator being required to have a CDL. Nor does it constitute a situation where the individual owning the LLC will be required to abide by commercial rules or regulations, be subject to IFTA rules for fuel, etc.

Since Bennett Law in Missoula has been mentioned in this thread, I'd also like to point out that, yes, even though they are Montana lawyers and can't represent you or the LLC in your "home" state, they can and will advise you on the laws of your home state, however. If using a Montaa LLC, you must abide by the laws of the state you call "home." It's not a matter of abiding by Montana laws as Montana laws have really no bearing on whether a person using a Montana LLC will be subject to breaking the law. If the person using the Montana LLC is found to be breaking the law by using the Montana LLC, it will be in the state they call "home." Bennett can’t help you if you break the laws of your “home” state. That is something that they will clearly tell you upfront …that it’s YOUR responsibility to abide by the vehicle registration laws (what triggers registration) in your own state.

When we talk about "breaking the law in your home state," it has to do with the requirements that trigger vehicle registration. As long as one abides by those specific laws in their "home" state, there is nothing whatsoever illegal about using a Montana LLC. However, abiding by these laws is not easy and for the vast majority of RVers, will not be something that even should be considered. If one is to completely comply with the vehicle registration laws of their "home" state, they must be out of their state much of the time. If one is not retired, that is difficult to do. It works best for full-time RVers or those who travel out of their "home" state frequently.

When it comes to those contending that you are "cheating" your home state from taxes they deserve by registering your vehicles in a Montana LLC, that could possibly be true depending on how you look at it but certainly not illegal if you are in fact abiding by your state's vehicle registration laws. If you are doing things legally, are you really "cheating?" Some say "yes" and others, including myself, don't consider it cheating if nothing illegal is being done.

The Montana LLC to register a motorhome should only be considered if your circumstances can fit the parameters without breaking the vehicle registration laws of your state.
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Old 01-29-2015, 05:38 PM   #25
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Can anyone tell me if there is a definitive list of Montana LLC companies anywhere, or any recommendations of one of them. We are UK residents but will be buying an rv in florida and using it for 6 months around the south East States to start with. so we want to set up an LLC and register the vehicles through that.
Thanks for any info.
I'm sorry for my previous completely off-topic post. To be honest, I didn't even read the opening post.

Wadders, to directly address your question:

First, you are NOT required to use a lawyer to establish a Montana LLC. You must use a Montana Registered Agent, however. Some registered agents are law firms but, again, you do not have to use a law firm (they tend to be more expensive).

Here is what you asked for ...it is the list of registered agents in Montana (click on the following link):

Directory of Registered Agents- Business Services - Montana Secretary of State Linda McCulloch

As you can see, the two agents mentioned in this thread are on the list (Bennett Law and Deer Creek Corporate Services). Not all on the list deal directly with RV registration but here are just a few that I know other RVers have used in the past (they are hyper-linked to take you to their webiste):

Bennett Law

Heggen Law (Montana RV Registration, LLC)

Deer Creek Corporate Services

Business Tech Corporate Services, LLC


Bjornson Law (Bjornson Corporate Services LLC)

All Day $49 Montana Registered Agent LLC <probably the least expensive and offers the most value>

I may have missed a few but, again, these are the more prominent ones that come to my mind immediately.
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Old 01-30-2015, 12:50 AM   #26
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The misinformation about LLC's abounds. An LLC is not a business nor is it a corporation. An LLC is an asset protection vehicle which is intended to insulate an owner from legal liability. In NO way will it impact the need for commercial insurance, commercial driver's licenses, or change the fact that the unit is a recreational vehicle not used for commercial purposes.

We even have situations where people will put vacation homes, personal cars, and other assets into LLC's to help protect themselves from the predatory attorneys we see on TV every day and night. Look upon the LLC as just being the box that the asset came in.
A LLC is by definition a "Limited Liability Corporation" which is a business entity. All corporations are business entities however all corporations are not "for profit". Legally even non-profit corporations have to have CDL drivers, have commercial insurance and pay fuel taxes. It doesn't matter if it is the local private school that has a bus or a church. Once a vehicle is registered to a corporation of any kind you are subject to business rules and laws. You don't get to have it both ways. If you want to license your RV in the name of a Business for whatever reason great you are subject to all the laws governing non-profit LLCs that are not registered under 501c3 or 501c4. If you want to have a personal vehicle that is recognized as non-commercial use, great then license it under your real name. Anyone can post here stating anicdotes that they have done such and such and never had a problem. That matters not one whit. The law is very clear on the subject. Any vehicle registered to a business is prima facia evidence of business use. You may not have an issue for years, but the risk is there. All it takes is an unfortunate accident and an enterprising personal injury attorney and you are in for a world of hurt. At trial they would argue that the driver was driving a 45" motorhome licensed to an LLC - read Corporation - without proper license, training, logbook, maintenance etc. and that caused the accident. The driver would be in the unfortunate position of arguing that the corporation isn't a real corporation just something set up to protect against liability. This would make it easier to pierce the corporate veil. This isn't to mention the law and tax enforcement headaches. I have a CDL and have volunteered for non-profits. I work for a major truck manufacturing company. Most people don't know but the mom and pop RV transport people have to have commercial licenses (depending on weight), insurance fuel taxes and maintain log books with hours of service records.

For the OP he doesn't need a complicated LLC he just needs to get a license from a state with permissive license rules.
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Old 01-30-2015, 10:51 AM   #27
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Once again, so much fear mongering and mis-information. I usually try to avoid these posts like the plague, as the old saying: Only and Idiot argues with and Idiot. But I read post after post, where people spout off information as fact, but the information has no basis in fact, just hyperbole and conjecture. Then there are the ones that double down on their mis-information and throw out more mis-information to further support their previous mis-information.
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Legally even non-profit corporations have to have CDL drivers, have commercial insurance and pay fuel taxes. It doesn't matter if it is the local private school that has a bus or a church. Once a vehicle is registered to a corporation of any kind you are subject to business rules and laws. You don't get to have it both ways.
You are 100% wrong with this statement, please do not spread mis-information. You can have it any way you want it depending on what activity your are engaging in. Also a school or church is not required to have a CDL driver just becuase they are a business. The requirement to have a CDL as it relates to a school or church, is based on the NUMBER of passengers a school bus is CAPABLE of carrying. IIRC, the number is 30 passengers, over 30 triggers the requirment to have a CDL, under 30 and its all good, but I am willing to admit that number could be 29 or 31, but the point is the same. The Church you go to may require this of you, but that is not the law.

I know this with 100% certainty as one of the business I own is a private school. We made the mistake when buying our first bus, that exceeded the 30 passenger threashold requirement, thereby triggering the requirement to have a CDL driver drive the bus. After several discussions with the TxDPS, we were advised, that we needed to get smaller buses in the future if we did not want to employ CDL drivers, which we did. Now all of our buses only are cappable of carrying 29 passengers, and none of our drivers are required to have a CDL. But what does this have to do with a Montana LLC, nothing.
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If you want to license your RV in the name of a Business for whatever reason great you are subject to all the laws governing non-profit LLCs that are not registered under 501c3 or 501c4.
Once again, 100% wrong. By your post, you show just how little you know about this subject. This topic is on a Montana LLC, but yet you are referring to a "non-profit LLC" and throwing in 501c3 & 501c4. There is no such thing as a "non-profit LLC", this does not existing in our legal system, nor is recognized by the IRS which governs non-profts. Once again, we are talking about a Montana LLC, not a non-profit structure. 501c3 & 501c4 are both non-profit structures, however we are not talking about them, we are talking about Montana, LLC.
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If you want to have a personal vehicle that is recognized as non-commercial use, great then license it under your real name. Anyone can post here stating anicdotes that they have done such and such and never had a problem. That matters not one whit. The law is very clear on the subject.
What law are you referring to? It is quite clear, you are stating your person belifs on this issue, and trying to make them law. Case law is in fact very clear on this issue, and it does not support your statement in any shape or form.

Let expand on this even further, let say one wanted to start up a car rental business, we can call it Hartz. We then went out into the world and purchase several cars to rent. People flocked to our lot to rent our cars. Because all these cars were owned by Hartz LLC, would every renter be required to have a CDL? Of course not. IF every renter had their own Auto Insurance, would each renter be required to buy "Commerical Insurance"? Of course not. I know for a fact, that millions of cars are rented each year by ordinary people, who do not have a CDL or "Commerical Insurance" and the sky has not fallen yet.
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Any vehicle registered to a business is prima facia evidence of business use. You may not have an issue for years, but the risk is there.
Just becuase a vehicle is registered to a business, does not meet the threashold required to prove business use. This practice of protecting assets is used throughout the US and is recognized by the courts as such. While it is clear that you do not agree with this practice, it does not make it wrong.
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All it takes is an unfortunate accident and an enterprising personal injury attorney and you are in for a world of hurt. At trial they would argue that the driver was driving a 45" motorhome licensed to an LLC - read Corporation - without proper license, training, logbook, maintenance etc. and that caused the accident. The driver would be in the unfortunate position of arguing that the corporation isn't a real corporation just something set up to protect against liability. This would make it easier to pierce the corporate veil.
Yup, 100% wrong again. Not one single word in that statement is remotly close to the correct. Case law is very clear on this subject. If your statement was true, every rental company & leasing company would be out of business tomorrow.
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Most people don't know but the mom and pop RV transport people have to have commercial licenses (depending on weight), insurance fuel taxes and maintain log books with hours of service records.
This is a true and corrects statement, finally. Here is why. IF a person is engaging in a activitiy whereas money is received as a result of this activity, IE transporting vehicles, then this activity is considered a "Commerical Activity" by the fedral motor vehicle code and thereby triggers one of requiremets for a Commericial License IF the overall weight of the vehicle meets the weight limits requiring such. Its a two part threshold, A. is money involved? B. is the vehicle(s) involved over the 26,000 lbs threasold. IF yes to both, then Commerical License is required.

Once again, the OP asked for help on a subject he was unfamilar with. Some have contributed good and helpful information, some have not. Please do not engage in fear mongering and spreading mis-information, it does not help the OP, nor does it help anyone else who may have questions on the subject.
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Old 01-30-2015, 12:26 PM   #28
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Excellent comments, DegoRed. I also disagree with much of what msturtz has written. But such is the nature of internet forums.


First, LLC is legally defined as a Limited Liability Company ...not corporation. A small technicality, I know.

Vehicles can be held in a Monatana Limited Liability Company and if no business is being conducted and the vehicle is solely being used for personal use, pleasure, or the purpose of vacationing (and residence as in the case of a motorhome), it has been determined that even though the vehicles are owned by a "company," it does not define it being a "business endeavor" and there is no case law to define it as such.

Again, this applies to IFTA fuel rules, the operator needing a CDL, the insurance on said vehicles needing commercial insurance, etc., etc.

Therefore, one can still have a company which holds vehicles that is not a "business endeavor" for the intents and purposes of having to abide by rules and regulations typically associated with a commercial enterprise.

Although the OP has not given us a lot of information, I'm assuming that the Florida dealership in which he is purchasing the Class A motorhome is advising him to register the vehicle in a Montana LLC for the purposes of "avoiding" the Florida sales tax which could be quite substantial if purchasing a new diesel pusher. Since he is not a Florida resident and is a visitor to the U.S., I see no obligation for his having to pay Florida sales tax especially considering he is only going to be in the country for about six months.

These threads about Montana LLCs get so contentious and I for one do not want to engage in heated arguments trying to convince others of my understanding in using a Montana LLC and the criteria one should consider when entering into such an arrangement. Therefore, I'll try my best to abstain from any further comment in this thread.
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