I am the sole founder looking to start an import/export LLC; I will be linking food suppliers from Europe with retailers in the US. For example, I will find Olive Oil suppliers in Europe who want to sell their products to US supermarkets. The suppliers will ship the foodstuff to retailers; I am simply the middleman -- will I still be subject to Self Employment tax if i were to go the LLC route? How would I have to structure my business to avoid self-employment tax?
It is possible to have less exposure to self employment taxes as an owner of an S corp, rather than an LLC. However, this is but one of numerous issues one should consider when choosing an entity.
Employment / Labor Attorney
You would be best served by consulting with a business and/or tax attorney and a CPA. Good luck.
Consult with a local CPA
The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not considered to be legal advice.
There are pros and cons to using an LLC in your situation. You should consult with a business attorney directly to discuss more detail about your company, the goals for your company, and how different business structures may effect those goals.
You should meet with and schedule a consultation with an attorney who can review your documents and discuss your case in depth. You should not view any advice I have given as that of your attorney or creating an attorney client relationship, but only for the purpose of assisting you in finding help you need in your area.