Guide to Starting a Business In the U.S. As a Foreigner

Starting a business in the U.S can take some time when compared to being a citizen, but the process itself can be achieved with some careful planning and research. It will be necessary to have a basic English level at a minimum, as all documentation will be in English, and understanding it will be vital.

Starting a Business In the U.S.

Pick a company structure.

The first thing to do is choose a company structure, and within the US, there are several options depending on the type of company you’re running. A C corporation is a common choice because the company is liable if issues cause bankruptcy, rather than the individual, which offers some protection.

The income that a C corporation makes is taxed twice, though, once at the corporate level and again through shareholder dividends, but this can be minimized by using a tax preparer for pensions, salaries, and expenses.

To find out more about taxation and the benefits of different business entities, check out

Decide on a state to register the company in.

The main decider of what state a company should be registered in is the primary location of trade. If there’s a particular state where most products are sold or services are provided, this should be the state you incorporate.

Most advisors recommend Delaware for Nevada as the best state to register in for companies that don’t do business in one country.

Delaware has a flexible corporate law that offers the best protection for directors and shareholders and has flexible rules for foreigners. The website is available in multiple languages, and you don’t need to have a local physical address or American bank account.

Register your business.

The following process is primarily for Delaware, but will be very similar for other states, too.

  1. Choose a unique name.
  2. Select an agent that can receive legal documents for your company.
  3. Fill in a certificate of incorporation, a one-page document with the company name, address of the registered agent, the number and value of the shares the corporation will issue, and the corporation’s name and address. There will be a small fee to finalize the registration process, starting at $89 and increasing depending on the business’ size.

When the business is incorporated, a report must be filed for $50, and then pay an annual franchise tax starting at $175. While the paperwork is reasonably straightforward, you can instruct a professional or agency to help with the process if there are any difficulties.

Acquire an EIN (Employer Identification Number).

To begin trading, employing people, or even opening a bank account and paying taxes, you’ll need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN). To do this, you must apply with the IRS, which is free, avoiding any services that claim to help with this process for a fee.

With this, you can begin trading as an officially registered company. As a foreigner, this process may be challenging depending on your experience, so it will often be beneficial to consult with specialists in law and taxes before making any decisions.

Doing so will likely save you both time and money in the long run, as you make the best decisions for your business.

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About the author

Pamela Orange

Pamela Orange is a Professional Blogger, Freelance Writer, Digital Marketer and Positive Thinker. She loves to write inspiring posts on self-improvement, technology, blogging, seo, family, relationships, sports, health and other aspects of life.

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