You don’t need to be a US citizen to own a US business
Yes, there’s a lot to know when weighing the pros and cons of establishing your international business in the US. Foremost, know this: you do not need to be a US resident to form a business in the United States. With that major issue out of the way, why even consider setting up shop in the US? There are attractive reasons like tax advantages, the cachet of doing business in the US, exposure to investors, personal liability protection – and much more.
Not surprising, the process is less than straightforward. It requires professional legal guidance, with real experience dealing with international clients, to counsel a foreign individual or a business on what to consider when establishing a business in the US. This is an exciting time for you, so get it right the first time.
TYPE OF ENTITY
A C-Corporation is the most common entity established by foreign nationals. This legal structure protects the owner by limiting their legal and financial liabilities. Although profits are taxed twice, once at the corporate level, and again as dividends to shareholders, a positive aspect is C-Corporations can offer unlimited stock. A C-Corporation is also a desirable choice for individual foreign owners because its structure limits red flags that trigger I.R.S. scrutiny. The cost for this shield is pricier. However, costs can be offset by a competent tax specialist, who will factor in a company’s lawful business expenses to reduce taxable income, alleviating a lot of the double taxation. At Bridge Law LLP we work with RSM, one of the largest and best tax and audit firms.
As a rule, it is best to set-up your international business in the state where its business is concentrated. However, if location is inconsequential, most advisers suggest Delaware incorporation. Delaware’s corporate law is extremely accommodating, especially to outsiders. A local physical address or local bank account is not required.
Other Delaware incorporation benefits:
- State income tax is not imposed on Delaware corporations not operating within the state
- Delawares corporate laws are fair, consistent, and well understood
- Investors prefer Delaware entities because common stockholders cant block a merger
- Delaware laws protect directors, including compensation from losses as a result of a lawsuit
CORPORATE IMMIGRATION CONSIDERATIONS
The process is not easy to navigate; nevertheless, non-U.S. residents can legally form U.S. companies. Choosing the right immigration attorney with experience in start-up immigration is integral. Your attorney will advise you on matters of work-related immigration visas and ownership – as well as which members of the company should arrive in the U.S. first.
*KHINDA WILSON LLP CAN HELP
First, do the research. Check the international experience of attorneys. Remember you don’t need to look to a huge international firm for help. You’ll find Bridge Law LLP has real world international experience, global knowledge, and local representation. Of the utmost importance is our firm’s access to the best global tax advisors and auditors, and corporate immigration counsel. Bridge Law LLP not only acts as a your trusted partner, but as an advocate to assure all matters and laws are made clear to foreign individuals or businesses looking to establish their international business in the United States.
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*The information presented in this article does not constitute legal advice, attorney-client relationship, nor tax advice.