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Interested In Opening A U.S. Business As A Non-Resident? Here’s An FAQ To Help You Get Started

If you’re interested in opening a business in the United States, you may be surprised to hear that you don’t actually have to be a resident. However, there are a number of technical factors that differ from those that apply to U.S. residents and citizens. Here are some answers to common questions about opening a U.S. business as a non-resident.

What are some of the benefits of starting a U.S. business as a non-resident?

There are a multitude of benefits U.S. business can provide to non-residents. First, there’s the possibility of significantly lower taxes on any income generated in the United States. Should your company go public, you’ll also have the ability to list your company on the official U.S. stock market, which has countless advantages in and of itself. If after a few years you’re considering selling your business, you’ll often have a much easier time finding a buyer than you would with businesses incorporated elsewhere. That’s because U.S. companies often carry higher prestige, and not just among American citizens. In general, a U.S.-based company will make it easier to access U.S. investors, public markets, and venture capital funding.

Finally, if you hope to become a resident of the United States in the future, then owning a U.S. business may make it easier to get a visa.

Are there any negative implications to starting a U.S. business as a non-resident?

Just as U.S. businesses have their advantages, there are a few things non-residents should be aware of. For instance, Business.com writer Jimmy Rodela says, “Although non-residents are expected to undergo the same process as those living in the U.S. when forming a business, there are conditions and limitations specific to foreigners that you must be aware of. For instance, setting up a bank account, securing a visa, and international tax regulations are three of the procedures that non-residents find the most complicated.”

What are the main company structuring options?

Those who are not citizens have two primary structuring options: They can either create an LLC or a corporation. LLC benefits are centered around convenience, as you can learn how to form an LLC online very easily. However, it’s important to understand that S corporations are exclusive to U.S. citizens, even when it comes to shareholding: S corporations can have no more than 100 shareholders, and each one must be a resident of the United States.

What is a registered agent?

When you create an LLC or corporation in the United States as a non-resident, you will need to establish a registered agent. Both corporations and LLCs require an official who can receive paperwork, such as service of process, on behalf of the company, and this requires a physical U.S. address. However, this registered agent can be virtually anyone, and there are many companies offering registered agent services to non-residents.

Ultimately, corporation and LLC benefits for non-residents usually outweigh the risks. For more information about starting an LLC or corporation from outside the United States, contact My USA Corporation.

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