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Re: [Czechlist] U.S. vs E.U. business registrations

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  • Michael Trittipo
    ... I apologize that I came late and by accident into the thread and haven t gone back to read its beginnings (being still under deadline), but the question to
    Message 1 of 7 , Mar 18, 2007
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      Bedrich Hadziu wrote on 03/18/2007 07:25 AM:
      > I acknowledge what you are saying but it is, to a degree, missing the borader point I was trying to make: the U.S. government has information on the companies operating in any state accessible.
      >

      I apologize that I came late and by accident into the thread and haven't
      gone back to read its beginnings (being still under deadline), but the
      question to the lawyer that I saw mentioned wasn't about *some* kind of
      info being *somehow* around; it was "whether there is a public
      _register_ of companies . . . established . . . under U.S. law."
      There's not. There's no such companies, and nothing at the federal
      level that looks at all like a _register_ of allowed businesses. (To be
      sure, there are security filings, etc. But that's not the same.)
      You're absolutely right that there are other more interesting and
      broader questions; but that was the question mentioned.

      > The basic record data on some corporations can be obtained from the Secretary of the respecitve State.

      First, you rightly say only "on some corporations." But that's not all
      all businesses. The Secretary of State of Minnesota knows nothing about
      me or many law firms, for example. So long as we remain sole
      proprietorships or partnerships, the state doesn't need to know.
      There's no record in that agency's posessions that would show we exist.
      One can begin doing many kinds of business without any need to tell
      anyone in any government; although to be sure, Kafka looks far too much
      like ground truth many days. :-)

      Second, and maybe this gets to a broader point worth emphasizing, the
      Secretary of State of Minnesota is not in any way part of the U.S.
      government. Thus, the fact that a Secretary of some state has some
      information does not mean the U.S. government does: there's no
      connection at all between the two. The states are not administrative
      divisions created by the central government; they existed and still
      exist as sovereign countries first and foremost, before they cede part
      of their sovereignty in some selected areas in order to join the union.
      Minnesota has the same relation (roughly) to the U.S. as France has to
      the E.U. (Well, a bit less contentious, maybe. <smile>)

      > Even if they do not, they need to file a tax return every year to the IRS which contains the basic data on the company. IRS files and keeps all the information.
      >

      Yes and no. First of all, that's not a _register_, and the question was
      about _registers_, not about "ways of finding various information" (of
      which there are indeed many, as you note). Second, tax returns don't
      look much like registration requirements. A tax agency doesn't care
      much about incorporators and authorized stock. Third, one state agency
      is generally ignorant of what another state agency knows, and what they
      know is not automatically known by any federal agency.
      > So, all in all, the U.S. government has the basic data on all companies accessible just as the E.U. governments do. Lot of this data, however, is not easily and freely accessible to the public, or it is not accessible to the public at all.
      >

      We'd probably have to define what is "the basic" data. But I lack time,
      and you're right that there is certainly a _lot _of data, to get to that
      broader level and away from the two specific questions of (1) a register
      and (2) what sovereign controls entity creation. And on a broad picture
      level, it can be entertaining to watch both the U.S. and the E.U. folks
      try to claim both (a) that all information is open to anyone freely, and
      (b) that everyone's privacy is guaranteed against idle snooping or
      organized collection. But those questions, as well as any about
      educational systems, must wait as I turn to the Czech massif --
      fortunately only its gravity field, not its minerals. :-)
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