Most people can do business in the United States, whether they are located or based abroad or not. However, there are advantages that come with owning a U.S. based business. It can be easier to gain buyer confidence when you own a domestic U.S. based company as well as when all business takes place within the continental United States. At the same time, anyone who is not a U.S. citizen will have a harder time establishing a business here. Read these tips for starting a business in the United States long before you become a naturalized citizen.
Consult with and Retain an Attorney
Immigration in the United States is neither a fast or cheap process. You can count on it taking a minimum of two to three years to become a citizen, and that is only if you are on the fast track. Most people interested in going into business are unwilling to wait years before they can get started domestically. An immigration lawyer can tell you more about business and employment laws in the U.S. and how you might be impacted because of your current immigration status. There are visas available for people wanting to work in the U.S. legally. Getting permission or authorization to set up a business here simply requires you to have your attorney file the right petitions and give you sound advice.
Start Your Business with a U.S. Citizen
Beyond needing to have certain types of identification in order to even be able to apply for a business loan in the U.S., banks follow a fairly rigid structure. In many ways, getting business credit is even harder than building personal credit. In fact, business credit is largely based on personal business credit scores, and if you are a non-U.S. citizen, your credit file is going to be fairly sparse. You can get your business off the ground easier if you partner up with a United States citizen. Yes, going into business with someone else always comes with risks, but this would be the case regardless of where you decided to establish your company. In the event that you want to get faster financing for your company through traditional means, partner with a trusted friend or relative who is a U.S. citizen.
Pay Attention to Changes in Immigration Law
In the U.S., immigration reform is a topic that is constantly being talked about. Each election cycle, there are promises of rules being changed and processes being revamped. While a lot of this talk is aimed at illegal immigration, there are various examples of valid visa holders being impacted by sweeping reforms. The entire way that the H1B1 visa works is impacting hundreds of thousands of visa holders, their spouses and families. Now that ICE is targeting more businesses, employers have to be even more careful during the hiring process. Just know where you stay immigration wise and talk to a legal professional about how any changes in law will have an effect on your business.
If you want to establish a business in the U.S., first learn if you authorized to do so. You might need to submit some forms and even wait a few weeks from the government for an official response. At the end of the day, if you ensure that you have lawfully formed your business, it can never be taken from you.