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Starting a Business in America as a Non-Citizen

by Contributing Author

America being a country flowing with milk and honey holds her pride as being a free nation. You, as a foreign or non-citizen, might be wondering if it’s possible to set up your own business in America. 

Well, the good news is yes! You are allowed to start a business in America as much as a regular citizen. 

America is a flourishing land that presents many opportunities to those willing to seize it. This is why many foreign individuals are attracted to set up a company or a small-scale business within the country.

Research shows that in 2017, about 3.2 million non-citizens ran their businesses in America. This article highlights the reasons why setting up a business in America is favorable and steps to going about it successfully.

Why Non-Citizens Choose to Start Up a Business in America

As many people migrate to America to start a life, they get captivated by the favorable business environment that the nation possesses. Some major reasons why non-citizens set up businesses in America include;

#1. The Banking System

The nation of America has government-backed, low-cost bank accounts that are operational with a stable currency of high value. As an account holder, you are sure of quick fund transfer to anywhere in the world. 

The digital banking system enables you to operate even outside the geographical territory of the country. This is favorable for sustaining a business.

#2. Less Complicated Operation Method

In some countries, the rigors of starting up a business can be overwhelming. From the numerous paperwork to the language barrier problems for non-English speaking countries, the processes could be complicated. 

However, opening a business in America is less complicated as you can set up your business in a short time by following due process.

#3. Fees

In some countries, the cost of setting up a business could run into thousands in legal, government, notary, and various other fees. This alone could discourage you from setting up your own business. 

However, in America, registration and renewal are seen to be relatively affordable. 

How to Set Up Your Business In America as a Non-Citizen

Most foreign companies and citizens incorporate their American businesses as a C-Corp or a Limited Liability Company(LLC). They go for these because neither of these entity types restricts the number of foreign owners. 

Setting up your business as a non-citizen may seem like a huge task but it isn’t. The process might not be extremely fast but rest assured that the entire process which could take up to five weeks yields satisfactory results. 

The processes to follow include;

Step 1: Have Your LLC Registered

To begin this process, you should work with a “Registered Agent”. This person is someone who can ensure the registration of your new LLC. 

All you have to do is to pay the required fee, present some two to three company names, give some personal information, and your business details. Your new LLC usually gets registered within 72 hours.

Step 2: You Need a Physical Address for Your Business

You must get your business an actual physical address in the country. Making use of your registered agent’s address might get flagged down to prevent future occurrence of problems. 

And also to avoid a lot of businesses being registered to one address. Your physical address is important as IRS paperwork, mails, or credit cards can be sent to it and avoid any mixups.

Step 3: Apply for Your Employer Identification Number(EIN)

To set up your bank account, you’ll require what is referred to as EIN, which is a number the IRS gives you. The EIM is a tax file or social security number. 

This number is given to only business entities. By using a fax service, you’ll most likely get it within 4 weeks of applying. Your virtual address service can also scan and open the letter for you

Step 4: Set Up a Bank Account

Setting up a bank account is as easy as it gets thanks to virtual banking systems. You needn’t worry yourself with the traditional method, as you can have it done via a virtual bank in a matter of minutes with low fees. 

Your new business must have a bank account attached to it to run major transactions successfully and safely. 

Step 5: Set Up a Reliable Bookkeeping System

The lifeblood of a successful business is a flawless accounting system. You must set up a proper accounting and bookkeeping system to ensure the smooth running of your business.

You could decide to do it manually or via the help of reliable apps to make work faster and easier.

Final Words

Setting up a business as a non-citizen in America isn’t as stressful as it may seem to be. As a foreigner, there are many business opportunities the nation presents within its favorable trading environment. 

If you’ve been worried about avoiding the rigors that come with starting up a business of your own, look no further. The country commonly referred to as a land of the free is a sure place to live the American dream even as a non-citizen.

If you need assistance from an international tax accountant, please contact us. 

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