Today’s business owners, investors, and high-net-worth individuals need a personal legal advisor who can devise comprehensive solutions regarding personal, business, tax, and mobility concerns. Our private client services are multidimensional, combining our in-depth knowledge in business, immigration, tax, and wealth preservation to create customized solutions for multinational individuals and families.
Pandev Law’s private client services include inbound business, tax, and immigration planning for foreign families investing in the United States, relocating to the United States, or passing wealth to US resident beneficiaries. We also develop and implement effective outbound financial, business, and immigration strategies focused on investing, working, and living abroad. Our attorneys have extensive experience guiding clients through the US expatriation process.
Our broad geographic reach enables us to provide borderless private client services. We have represented individuals and families with financial and personal interest on every continent of the world. Our clients include investors, business owners, families, private equity fund partners, private trust companies, and family-controlled companies, among others. We provide counsel in a wide range of private client areas, including:
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A comprehensive immigration strategy not only determines the right visa category for you and your family’s needs, but also encompasses pre-immigration tax planning and investment structuring. Each US visa category has different requirements, restrictions, and tax consequences for the holder. Our experienced business, estate planning, and immigration lawyers understand all aspects of the US immigration process and have helped multinational families achieve their goal of moving to the United States while also protecting their wealth. Our pre-immigration planning services include:
There are over a hundred different US visa categories each with its own requirements and processes. Your visa category determines how long you can stay in the United States and what you are allowed to do while you are in the United States. Your visa category and the amount of days you spend within the United States in a year also impacts your US tax resident status. Choosing the right visa category for your and your family’s needs is absolutely critical. Our immigration lawyers have a thorough understanding of all US visa categories and can develop an immigration solution tailored to your objectives.
The United States is one of a few countries that taxes its residents on their worldwide income. Even nonresidents are taxed on US sourced income, such as income, interest, and dividends from US business operations, compensation for services rendered in the United States, and rents and royalties from US real estate investments. Given the significant tax consequences, a pre-immigration tax plan is a critical component of a comprehensive immigration strategy for those who wish to preserve their wealth after moving to the United States.
There is a difference between US residence for income or estate tax purposes and US residence for immigration purposes. Subject to certain exceptions, a permanent resident (a green card holder), even if a conditional permanent resident, is treated as an income tax resident of the United States. Even a non-permanent resident visa holder who spends the requisite number of days in the United States may be treated as an income tax resident of the United States. Moreover, a person physically present in and intending to remain permanently in the United States will be treated as an estate and gift tax resident. If a person dies as an estate and gift tax resident, that person’s worldwide assets will be subject to estate tax even if the person was not a US income tax resident. An individual who is not an estate and gift tax resident could still be subject to federal gift tax on transfers of US tangible property and that person’s estate is taxable on all US property valued over $60,000 at a maximum rate of 40%.
Our estate planning lawyers understand the significant tax implications of relocating to the United States and can devise a custom tailored pre-immigration tax plan for you and your family. Our attorneys use various strategies to minimize US tax liability for prospective immigrants, such as establishing trusts and intermediate entities for qualified dividend distributions, using related-party debt and foreign tax credits, and obtaining a step-up in US tax basis of foreign assets through various transactions.
Many US visa categories have specific investment and business ownership requirements. For example, to qualify for an E-2 investor visa, the applicant must demonstrate that treaty country nationals own at least 50% of the E-2 business and that the invested funds come from a lawful source. The L-1 visa requires that the US petitioning company demonstrate a qualifying relationship, such as a parent, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate relationship, with the foreign entity from which the beneficiary is being transferred. While the H-1B visa permits the beneficiary to be a shareholder of the petitioning company, it requires the beneficiary to have an employer-employee relationship with the petitioner which makes it difficult for the beneficiary to control the company or serve on the board of directors.
Before a visa application can be approved, all the relevant corporate relationships and investment transactions must be correctly executed and documented. Our business and immigration attorneys have a thorough understanding of the requirements of each US visa category and have extensive experience with company formations and cross-border transactions. We advise on the best legal structure for your US company and investments, focusing on providing optimal solutions from an immigration, tax, and business perspective. Our lawyers take an objective approach, never advising on what investment should be made, instead focusing on how the investment transaction should be structured so that it achieves your goals.
The United States has rigorous reporting requirements for US taxpayers who hold foreign bank accounts or foreign assets, or who may receive a gift or inheritance from abroad. If you fail to disclose your foreign assets to the IRS, you can be subject to severe penalties which in some cases can exceed the value of the unreported assets. Our wealth preservation lawyers thoroughly understand all five US voluntary disclosure programs. If you are a US tax resident considering a foreign investment, we will advise on structuring the deal so that it minimizes regulatory risks, maximizes tax benefits, and ensures compliance with disclosure requirements. If you are a foreign national wishing to relocate to or make an investment in the United States, we will develop a comprehensive strategy that complies with all reporting requirements thereby mitigating the risk of enforcement actions and compliance issues.
Our wealth preservation lawyers have experience with all offshore and foreign asset compliance matters, including Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), Foreign Account Tax Compliance (FATCA), inbound immigration rules and expatriation, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and the Bank Secrecy Act. We understand and guide clients through the reporting requirements for gifts from individuals and corporations, distributions from foreign trusts, and ownership of foreign bank accounts, trusts, disregarded entities, and corporations. Not filing the relevant disclosures not only subjects you to significant penalties but also suspends the statute of limitations on your tax return until the applicable forms are filed with the IRS.
As the government continues to broaden the list of circumstances that require disclosure filings, the burden grows on taxpayers to remain in compliance with ever stricter regulations. Whether you are seeking advice in preparing a comprehensive foreign asset compliance strategy or you have learned of your noncompliance and are seeking representation in an IRS enforcement action, our attorneys can counsel you on the proper manner in reporting all foreign assets. Our principal attorney served as a Trial Attorney at the US Department of Justice, which allows him to leverage relationships and knowledge gained as a government attorney to provide comprehensive compliance advice to clients.
Direct investments are a significant component of any high-net-worth individual or family’s investment strategy. Whether you are considering investing in an established business, an emerging growth company, real estate, or artwork, our attorneys can help you comply with regulatory requirements, improve your tax efficiency, and navigate cross-border issues as you deploy your capital globally.
Clients value our multidisciplinary approach, combining our business and wealth preservation practices, and our customized, creative legal solutions in structuring investments. Our attorneys understand the complexities of direct investments and provide strategic legal guidance encompassing corporate, estate planning, and immigration considerations. Most of our clients have personal and financial interests in more than one country. We understand the cross-border investment process and have experience developing innovative legal solutions tailored to the specific needs of multinational individuals and families.
We continue to represent and advise clients after the initial investment has concluded. We represent clients in regulatory compliance, corporate governance, and commercial transactions while they continue to hold their US assets. We also provide effective legal solutions that help clients identify, structure, and implement their exit strategy from their US investments.
Pandev Law is widely regarded as a leading law firm in the area of US expatriation. Our attorneys have a thorough understanding of the tax and immigration implications of expatriation. Regardless of the reasons why you wish to renounce your US citizenship or permanent residence, our lawyers will help you navigate and provide strategic advice throughout each step of your expatriation process.
There are many reasons why you may wish to renounce your US citizenship. You may be an accidental US citizen who acquired US citizenship by birth but has no ties to the United States. You may be living abroad and find the extensive annual US tax reporting and tax filing requirements burdensome. You may be a foreign-based entrepreneur whose everyday banking activities are constantly obstructed due to your US citizenship. Or you may simply be sure that you will never wish to live in the United States again and do not see a reason to continue to hold US citizenship. No matter your personal reasons for seeking expatriation, our team of experienced expatriation lawyers can prepare your customized exit strategy from the United States.
Our attorneys have experience advising both US citizens in relinquishing their citizenship and long-term US residents abandoning their lawful permanent resident status. Our attorneys rely on our firm’s extensive immigration, tax, and wealth preservation experience to create multidisciplinary expatriation strategies for our clients. We aim to minimize your tax liability while ensuring completion of all legal formalities of the expatriation process.
Our attorneys analyze whether you are a covered expatriate subject to the US exit tax. If it is impossible to avoid a covered expatriate classification, we develop customized, creative solutions to avoid or minimize your US exit tax liability. Our expatriation lawyers represent you before the US Department of State (DOS), US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), filing all necessary legal forms and documents and preparing you for any in-person interviews. Our attorneys will work with all your other professional advisors, including tax advisors, to ensure your final US tax returns, including Form 8854, are successfully prepared. Our custom tailored expatriation strategy will always include your unique post-expatriation plan, especially if you will continue to have US assets, investments, business interests, or if you plan to visit the United States temporarily after expatriation.
Before your expatriation process can be finalized, you must establish citizenship in a jurisdiction other than the United States. If you are not already a dual citizen, you will need to obtain a second citizenship prior to expatriation. Our attorneys are highly experienced in the citizenship by investment process. We keep up to date with the various citizenship by investment programs available worldwide. We advise clients on the best citizenship program for their particular needs and help guide them through the citizenship application process.
When deciding the best citizenship by investment solution for our clients, we perform a comprehensive multi factor analysis. We consider the required investment amount and the type of investments that qualify an individual and their family members for the program. We carefully review the income, capital gains, estate, inheritance, gift, transfer, and withholding tax rules of the jurisdiction to ensure that the citizenship will benefit our client’s overall wealth preservation plan. Other important factors we consider include the length of the application process, visa free travel and mobility, the strength of healthcare and education systems, and stability of banks and civil institutions in the jurisdiction.
In Europe, popular citizenship by investment jurisdictions include Malta and Montenegro. Caribbean countries, such as Antigua, St. Lucia, and St. Kitts and Nevis also provide citizenship by investment programs. Grenada is an attractive citizenship by investment option for US expatriates who continue to have US business interests. Grenadian citizens are eligible for a US E-2 visa which allows non-US citizens to temporarily reside in the United States to direct and develop a US enterprise. Our attorneys possess the depth and breadth of experience to develop the most effective second citizenship strategy for your and your family’s needs.
Pandev Law’s attorneys have extensive experience counseling closely held companies, private companies, and family businesses. We provide a wide-range of services from representation in formation of companies, to shareholder agreements, commercial contracts, acquisitions, financing, succession planning, and intellectual property protection and licensing.
Choosing the correct legal structure for a new venture is critical. This is especially true for foreign entrepreneurs who face challenging tax and immigration compliance requirements. Our attorneys bring together our business law, intellectual property, immigration, and estate planning experience to develop the best structure and rules for your new business. We have experience forming limited liability companies, C and S corporations, and partnerships in both the entrepreneur’s home state or business-friendly jurisdictions, such as Delaware and Wyoming. We use agreements and extensive planning to implement organizational structures which facilitate growth and reduce the risk of costly shareholder conflicts. Our lawyers advise on the right management structure, confidentiality, repurchase rights, competition and buy-sell restrictions, and assignment of inventions.
Raising capital is essential for new ventures to continue to grow. Our attorneys draw on their multidisciplinary experience in business and startup law to advise on debt and equity financing. We have a deep understanding of the pre-seed, seed, and series financing process. We routinely represent companies in convertible equity, convertible debt, sale of common stock, regulation crowdfunding, and seed round preferred stock transactions.
Our closely held company services included drafting specifically tailored contracts in sectors ranging from technology to fashion, hospitality, finance, consumer goods, and healthcare, among others. We have a long track record of successfully representing clients in negotiations and providing strategic advice throughout the negotiation process, always focusing on our clients’ objectives and needs.
Representation in mergers and acquisitions is a core component of our closely held company practice. Our attorneys have deep experience representing foreign investors in expanding their US business holdings. We devise investment strategies and structure acquisitions to protect our clients’ interests, maximizing liability protection and tax efficiency. Our lawyers understand the importance of a comprehensive exit strategy whether through selling the business or passing it onto the next generation. We regularly represent sellers of businesses, advising on the best transaction structure and negotiating critical terms, such as sellers’ ongoing duties, liability, non-competition, and confidentiality.
Business succession planning is essential for closely held and family-owned businesses. As a business matures, leadership has to consider shifting ownership and executive responsibilities to the next generation. Given the personal relationships, business interests, and legal considerations involved, such transitions can be quite challenging.
Our attorneys devise real-world legal solutions focused on preserving company value and viability across generations. We provide strategic legal counsel on balancing individual, family, and business interests with the goal of developing a business succession plan that is effective irrespective of whether the transition occurs as part of a planned retirement or an unexpected death or disability. We use various business succession strategies, including establishing private annuities, trusts, and lifetime gifting arrangements as well as negotiating stock transfers and buy-sell agreements to improve tax efficiency and to avoid family disputes.
We strongly believe that the best business succession plan begins the moment a company is formed and must continue to adapt as the business matures. As part of our company formation services, we counsel clients on the business, tax, and transfer of ownership advantages of all business structures, including limited liability companies, S corporations, and family limited partnerships. A sound business succession plan implemented at the launch of a new enterprise ensures transparency and predictability which minimizes the risk of disputes and maximizes the company’s growth potential across generations.
We understand that you would like your wealth to go to your family, loved ones, or charities of your choosing. Our wealth protection practice develops creative wealth preservation solutions for high-net-worth multinational families, individuals, trusts, and closely held businesses. We serve as your personal general counsel, crafting comprehensive solutions to all of your worldwide transactional needs, whether it’s purchasing a vacation home in Florida, selling an investment property in New York, or investing in a Silicon Valley startup.
Our global wealth protection practice spans every continent of the world. Our attorneys have a deep understanding of the international dimensions of wealth transfer and corporate succession planning as well as cross-border estate planning. For your hard earned assets to be passed on to your desired beneficiaries requires careful planning and navigation of relevant income, gift, and estate tax rules. Our attorneys devise customized estate, asset-management, and business succession plans for multinational businesses, individuals, and families. Our wealth protection lawyers use various legal vehicles to deliver successful asset protection solutions to our clients, including dynasty trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, intrafamily sales and loans, buy-sell agreements, second citizenships and residences, wealth replacement life insurance trusts, and non-voting common stock recapitalization of closely held corporations, among others.
We understand that personal situations, finances, and goals are ever evolving. Your wealth protection plan must be continuously adapted to the changing circumstances of your life and the changing laws and regulations in the jurisdictions to which you are exposed. Our wealth protection lawyers work with you over your lifetime, collaborating with all your other professional advisors, to preserve your and your family’s wealth.