Guide to Starting a Business in the U.S.
If you are a foreign entrepreneur, it can be exciting to dream about starting a new business in the United States. And why would you not? The U.S. is the world’s largest economy, which translates to plenty of opportunities for small business owners.
But how do you make the move from your home country to doing business in the U.S.? This article will discuss starting your own business in America and offer some helpful tips for foreigners who want to start their own business abroad.
Reasons to Start a Business in the United States
It can be overwhelming and intimidating to move your entire life — including your business and professional career — abroad. However, there are plenty of reasons nonresident business owners will want to form a company in the USA.
Here are some reasons you might decide to make this big move.
One of the Largest Economies in the World
With a gross domestic product (GDP) of $21.43 trillion, the U.S. has, by far, the largest economy in the world. In fact, the U.S. represents nearly 25% of the total global economy. The country that comes in second — China — has a GDP of $14.34 trillion. With so much money flowing through the economy, that creates a lot of opportunities for small business owners.
Free Enterprise Is Encouraged
The U.S. is known for its free enterprise system of commerce, which encourages individuals to own and operate private companies. Business activities are allowed with limited government interference, although there are some checks and balances in place. Still, much of the economy is determined by competition and supply and demand.
Foreign Direct Investment Plays a Significant Role in the U.S. Economy
Foreign direct investment (FDI) has long played a role in the economic growth of the U.S., as it gives the country a global economic advantage. The U.S. is also the largest recipient of FDI in the world.
By the end of 2018, there was $4.3 trillion FDI stock in the U.S. and $253.6 billion FDI funds flowing into the country. Further, foreign-owned firms spent about $62.6 billion on research and development in the U.S. in 2017 and filed for 53% of all U.S. utility patents the previous year. So, foreign investors and businesses have an impact on American markets.
Pathway to a Green Card
If you are a business owner that plans to hire employees and wish to settle in the United States as a permanent resident, you may want to consider structuring an immigrant-based plan. The most direct pathway for business-based investors in the United States is the EB-5 program. Per current regulations, you will need to invest at least $500,000 USD - $1,600,000 USD in targeted employment areas and create at least 10 full-time jobs.
You can also consider non-immigrant visas that provide work authorization in the U.S. An L-1A or L-1B intracompany transferee visa, for instance, permits high-level executives, managers, or other specialized employees from a multinational company to work and live in the U.S. Another option is an E-2 visa, which grants entry to individuals into the U.S. who oversee a substantial investment in the U.S.