Frequently Asked Questions

How do I manage my company from my country?

Depending on the type of business you intend to run, you may be able to operate remotely. There are no laws obligating the owners of a company to be physically present in the United States. So, the only limitations are practical ones depending on the nature of your business. My U.S. Business can help you take care of local needs from your home country.

How do I take money out of my company into my country?

There are many different ways to take money out of your company into your country. The “best” way to do it for you generally depends on your specific tax situation and the country where the money is going. Typically, you can receive money in the form of a salary, fees for services, dividends/distributions, or a loan (which, naturally, has to be paid back). Each of these types of “money transfers” has different tax consequences. You should check with your accountant and with your attorney which option is the most effective and efficient based on your specific personal needs.

How do I manage IRA and benefits?

You are not required to offer an individual retirement account (“IRA”)  or any other benefits (health insurance, retirement accounts, etc.) unless you have more than a certain number of full-time employees. However, although not necessarily “benefits” there are certain costs that may apply even if you only have a few employees. For example, you may be required to obtain worker’s compensation insurance covering employee injuries while at work, or you may be required to withhold money from salaries paid by your company to fund federal benefits programs, like Medicare, Federal Insurance Contribution Act (“FICA”), and Federal Unemployment Tax Act (“FUTA”).

How do I get taxed?

Generally, in the USA, companies will be taxed under one of four possible frameworks: (1) disregarded entities (for single-owner entities), which effectively do not exist for the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), so their income or loss is simply added to the income of their owner; (2) partnerships (for entities with multiple owners), which are not taxed at the entity level, but rather their income and loss is apportioned among the owners; (3) C-corporations, which are taxed at the entity level; and (4) S-corporations, which are special corporations that meet certain requirements and benefit from several tax advantages (ownership is limited to USA residents). You should discuss with your accountant which structure makes the most sense for you.

Why are we different?

Most entity formation services hand you a form or a questionnaire and let you figure things out by yourself. This often leads to mistakes being made during the formation of a business that can cost substantial amounts of money to fix later on. We take the time to listen to you and we guide you through the process so you can get it right the first time.

How to start a business in the USA for foreigners?

Starting a business in the United States is very easy, even if you are a foreigner, but once your business is up and running there are a lot of important legal obligations with which you and your business must comply. For example, you must appoint a local registered agent for the service of the process. You must obtain an Employer Identification Number (“EIN”) for banking purposes and to file your taxes. You must file annual statements with the state of organization of your company to maintain the entity active. You must pay federal and (if applicable) state income taxes. Compliance becomes even more important if you have employees, offer benefits, or do business in a regulated industry that requires specific licensing. My U.S. Business can help you navigate all of these requirements.

Can a non-citizen start a business in the USA?

Yes, except for very few regulated industries, there are no citizenship or residency requirements to own a business in the United States. However, if you also want to be an employee in your business and receive a salary from it, you may need a work permit. Even without a work permit, you can still get paid for director/executive services and receive distributions of profits. You should consult with an immigration attorney to understand the steps required to obtain a work permit and/or a Visa in the United States.

Can I get a Green Card if I start a business?

It depends on factors, including how much you invest, the type of business, and how many employees you hire. Generally speaking, you may be able to qualify for a Green Card through investment if you invest at least $1 million USD and hire at least 10 United States citizens or permanent residents as employees of your business. You should consult with an immigration attorney to understand the steps required to obtain a Green Card and/or a Visa in the United States.

Can I start a business without a work permit in the USA?

Yes, but you may not be able to receive a salary as an employee of your business. Even without a work permit, you can still get paid for director/executive services and receive distributions of profits. You should consult with an immigration attorney to understand the steps required to obtain a work permit and/or a Visa in the United States.

Which state is best for LLCs for non-residents?

Most people will immediately say that Delaware, Wyoming, or Nevada are the best states to form your business. The answer is more complex than that and it depends on where you will do business, the size of the business, and the type of operations being conducted. My US Business can help you better understand where to form/incorporate your business.

What do I need to open a business account in the USA?

The specific requirements are not uniform but rather depend on the requirements of each specific bank. Some banks offer a very streamlined account opening procedure online, while some others require physical presence at a branch (some banks outright refuse to do business with foreigners). So, we encourage you to interview a few different banks and find the best fit for you.

Typically, banks require two valid forms of identification (e.g. passport and driver’s license) for each signatory on the account, articles of incorporation or organization, bylaws or operating agreement, and a statement of the authorized persons of the entity (this can be a resolution, a certificate of incumbency, or another document attesting as to the authority of the person attempting to open a bank account). 

Can foreigners set up sole proprietorships in the USA?

Yes but… there is nothing to set up! A sole proprietorship is not a business entity, it is merely a form of doing business by an individual. We advise you to avoid doing this! It will expose you individually to unlimited personal liability and it is therefore very risky.