Starting a new business is usually tied with complex regulatory schemes. It will be even more complicated if the company itself will try to expand beyond the home country. Any foreign citizen who wants to grow his business in America will undoubtedly undergo various complexities and arduous processes, from getting the correct visa up to knowing the U.S. law. Indeed, the American dream of owning a business is not limited to U.S. citizens, so foreign people have a massive opportunity to be globally competitive in the industry.
To start building this dream, you must have enough knowledge of how and where to begin. It is essential to get more information, especially about your visa and other requirements, to avoid unwanted dilemmas and wasted efforts in the long run. With this, to help you and other business enthusiasts, here are a few helpful tips on starting a business in the U.S. as a foreigner.
Select the Best Types of U.S. Business Entities
A foreign entrepreneur can build a business in the U.S. but with limitations, one of which is forming an S corporation. This type applies only to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien. Despite this, you can still choose between the two types of Business Entities – C Corporation and the Limited Liability Company (LLC)-, which are still effective in some ways. These two types provide personal liability protection for your business, and it also gives tax flexibility.
The C Corporations, also known as shareholders, is a legal structure for a corporation, in which the owners are taxed separately from the firm. With this, the shareholder’s assets are still safe from the company’s legal and financial debts. Meanwhile, a Limited Liability Company (LLC) is one of the United States’ business structures, whereby the LLC members are not responsible for any of the company’s debts and liabilities. After all, if you choose either of these two, you must still file a business registration paperwork in the country where you decide to build a business.
Find the Best Business Location
Doing a business outside your home country is not something you can do on a whim. It takes various considerations, such as finding the best location for your new business. However, before anything else, you must take note that you must first choose what type of business you plan to have – restaurant, mall, professional building, and others. In this way, you can have a list of standards on what you find in a place.
As a foreigner who aims to expand a business in the U.S., one of the best strategic ways you can employ is to find a suitable business location. It may take time to conduct research and sort things out, but eventually, your firm will grow and bring more clients. After all, the success of your business will depend on how profitable it can be in the marketplace, regardless if you are a foreigner or a U.S. citizen.
Prepare All The Requirements
In setting up your business in the United States, it is understandable that you might undergo frustration because of the too many requirements you need to prepare and accomplish. Some of these include your business permits and licenses, which you can obtain depending on what type of business you choose. You may also need to consider FAA license, Liquor license, DOT permits, and others.
But before you finally step into all of these, you must first inquire with the country clerk, Secretary of State, and local government to know the requirements you will need. If you rush things and open a business without considering these factors, you might end up getting a penalty. The worst case of this possible scenario is that it might oblige you to close your business until you obtain all the requirements. Hence, to prevent this from happening, you need to follow the rules so that everything would be manageable.
Work with a Licensed Agent
Appointing a licensed agent is helpful to your business. This statutory agent or a resident agent is responsible for accepting service of process on behalf of a company. “Service of process” means official government notifications, such as a notice from the Secretary of state or any other legal report. Some examples of documentation that a licensed agent takes are the notice of lawsuits, court summonses, subpoenas for information, tax notices from the IRS and local authorities, etc.
Having a registered agent can assist you in having a constant corporate compliance responsibility. However, if you failed to employ an agent in which you must have one, the state might reject your qualification documents. So to make your dream business a success, you have to put this factor as your upfront consideration.
Follow U.S. Tax Code
As a rule of thumb, every business owner needs to follow the U.S. tax code. Otherwise, they might face various penalties and fees. As a foreign entrepreneur or even a U.S. citizen, it is part of your obligation to pay taxes. But you have to take note that the taxes you give and the ones you charge to your customer will depend upon what type of business you have.
There are some situations in which you will need to collect the sales tax quarterly and then submit it to the state. You are required to file a specific tax form before you collect taxes from your customers. If this may sound hard for you to handle alone, you may also employ a lawyer and an accountant to help guide you with all of your undertakings.
As you may have understood all the factors above, you may come to realize that starting a new business in other countries will need you to possess a risk-taker character and a willingness to embrace all the complexities. Everything will be even more complicated if you will not live in the country where you want to invest your luck. But you have to remember that all great things come at a cost; you only have to be still and trust the timing of your business’ success.