Starting a new business in the US can be intimidating, especially for those that are not US residents. However, starting a business in the US is not as complicated as you may think. In any case though, it is best to contact a business attorney to ensure everything goes smoothly and there are no future misunderstandings.
Can a Non-Citizen Start a Business in the US?
Yes. In many situations, the process for a foreigner to start a business in the US is the same as it is for American citizens. Currently there are two types of corporate entities non-citizens can open in the US – Limited Liability Company (“LLC”) and Corporation. Any non-citizen can choose a C-Corporation (“C-Corp.”), which has double taxation. Permanent residents, although not US citizens may choose an S-Corporation (“S-Corp.”), which has pass through taxation.
How can a Foreigner Start a Business in USA?
Generally, there are no restrictions on foreigners starting businesses in the US. However, a visa will allow you to visit the US and visit your company. Moreover, it is important to note that just by virtue of owning a company in the US, does not give you the ability to work. So, what type of visa should you get if you decide to do so? L-1 visas are generally for foreign nationals who own or operate a business in other countries and are looking to expand their business by opening a branch in the U.S. E-2 visas require to write a small business plan showing how they will support a new, profitable business in the U.S. E-2 visas have other requirements such as the business owners must be from a country in which the US has a Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation; investing a substantial amount of money towards the business; and prove you have a controlling share of 50% or more of the business.
What State should You Register your Business in?
The answer to this question depends on where you will be conducting business and what state laws you prefer. Delaware is the most popular state for businesses to be incorporated because of how its corporate law protects shareholders and directors. However, in some cases it is best to start business in just the state you will be conducting business in.