Tapping into the US market can be extremely lucrative, particularly since you don’t need to have citizenship or residency to set up a business in the country. However, there are still some additional complications to take into account, such as international tax law, visa and other entry requirements and opening a business bank account. Of course, you will also need to go through all of the same procedures as a resident in order to set up your venture.
Foreign businesses are incorporated at a state level rather than a national level, but the process differs from one state to the next. You’ll typically need to register your business in the state or states you want to operate in, which means having a registered address. This address can be registered to either the owner of the business or any individual who is authorized to operate on behalf of the business.
Unsurprisingly, importing goods into the US can come with a lot of red tape, but this can vary enormously depending on your industry. You can learn more about the legal requirements pertaining to goods importation by visiting the Trade Information Center. Fortunately, you can often save a lot of time and hassle by working through a customs broker who will prepare all of the required documentation.
Taxation for Foreign Businesses
You will need to obtain an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) from the IRS before you’ll be able to start up a business anywhere in the US. These numbers are available to foreign business entities, which are not able to apply for a social security number like local residents. Other taxation rules may vary depending on the country you are coming from, and there are international tax treaties with certain countries.
Choosing a Legal Business Entity
In the US, there are three primary types of company, two of which apply to foreign business ventures. These are a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or a C Corporation. Most foreign investors will be best off choosing the latter, since it provides a greater degree of flexibility and scalability.
Opening a Bank Account
While opening a bank account is one of the most straightforward steps of all for a resident, it’s a completely different matter for a foreigner. This step needs to be carried out once you have formally created the company, so you’ll need to make sure you can open one before you register the company or do anything else.
Inc. Plan (USA) provides the full range of incorporating services to help you realize your business plans in the US. We serve 50 states and the global market.