Last month the United States District court in Orlando found that the membership interest in a Nevis LLC was subject to Florida jurisdiction. The court also found that Florida law, not Nevis law, applies to the creditor’s application for a charging lien because the situs of the asset determines what laws are applicable to issues related to the charging lien.
This rationale would seem to apply to Foreign trusts as well as Foreign LLCs. It appears that a Corporation or LLC where there were actual certificates for the membership interests that were not located within the state of Florida may have a different result.
The court rejected the claim that jurisdiction was in Nevis. They stated that unlike with a corporation, a membership interest “accompanies the person of the owner.” and as a result is subject to Florida jurisdiction if the owner of the certificate is subject to the jurisdiction. With some foreign LLCs a single member can have charging order protection, but under this court’s ruling, a single member foreign LLC would not receive charging order protection as only a multi-member LLC has charging order protection as an exclusive remedy.
Perhaps the bigger question is with good, strong, valid options for asset protection within the state of Florida, why spend the extra money, take the risk, or live with the results of the stigma of wrongdoing that is often associated with offshore planning?
To more about this case see WELL FARGO BANK, NA v. Barber, Dist. Court, MD Florida 2015