How to Start a Business in the USA as a Non-Resident. A Complete Guide.

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Setting up a business can be a wonderful experience, but it can also be daunting. The challenges of starting a business in a foreign country can be intimidating. With the political and economic atmosphere in the United States constantly changing, you may be uncertain if now is the best moment to start your firm.

The United States, on the other hand, has welcomed foreign enterprises for a long time and will certainly continue to do so in the future. In this article, we will have a detailed discussion on how to start a business in the USA as a non-resident.

The good news is that incorporating as a non-citizen is relatively simple, and many resources are available to assist you. This guide will assist you in navigating the challenges of how to start a business in USA for non-citizens.

Also Read, Top LLC Formation Services Of 2022

Setting up a business can be a wonderful experience, but it can also be daunting. The challenges of starting a business in a foreign country can be intimidating. With the political and economic atmosphere in the United States constantly changing, you may be uncertain if now is the best moment to start your firm. The United States, on the other hand, has welcomed foreign enterprises for a long time and will certainly continue to do so in the future.

If you are looking for how to start a business in the USA for India, the good news is that incorporating as a non-citizen is relatively simple, and there are lots of resources available to assist you. This book will assist you in navigating the challenges of how to start a Business in the USA as a Non-Resident. Read on to learn how to get started.

Also Read, How To Set Up An LLC In 10 Simple Steps

While being foreign, I believe that setting up a business in America is the best business decision I’ve ever made. It won’t solve your business problems, but it won’t create plenty of new ones either. It’s all so easy! If you are a non-citizen, non-resident foreigner who wants to start a business in the United States, then this article is for you.

Also Read, Best Stripe Atlas Alternatives For LLC

Looking for the best LLC formation services for your business? Here are the top picks for you:

Types Of Corporate Entities In The US For Non-Citizens

When opening a business in the US, there are two types of corporate entities that non-citizens can choose from. The first is an LLC which offers limited liability and profits receives lower tax benefits than other forms such as C-Corps or S corporations, however, they’re easy for anyone regardless if he has citizenship status so long as he meets certain requirements like keeping his own finances separate from those run through hired managers (who would report them accordingly).

Read Our Blog On Best Registered Agent Services For LLC

While it is common for foreigners to be advised to register a C-Corp, there are certain unique advantages to forming an LLC. The most important benefit is limited liability, which defends members from personal liability for corporate decisions or activities, and ensures that personal assets are preserved if the company goes into debt or issued. LLCs are also excluded from the rigorous documentation requirements of C and S-Corps, and profit-sharing between members is essentially unrestricted.

However, the C-Corp business structure is preferred by many new enterprises. The benefits of creating in this method are several, with the most commonly mentioned reason being the capacity to expand by offering unlimited shares, which is a characteristic that several investors find appealing.

There are various business opportunities in USA for foreigners, such as C-Corporation format also provides comfort to rich foreigners because it shields them from I.R.S. participation. Of course, that security comes at the cost of double taxation, but that economic harm may often be avoided by intelligent income tax, which can be designed to remove the majority of the double taxation.

How To Start A Business In USA As A Foreigner?

Without a doubt. This is as valid for multinational corporations as it is for sole proprietors. Though the exact percentage is hard to estimate, there are many foreign-owned US companies doing business in the United States and internationally.

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As a foreigner, you’ll have to jump through a few more hurdles, but they’re not very difficult.
The only exception is that you can’t create an S-Corp without possessing US residents as stockholders.

Do You Need A Business Visa For The U.S.?

You might be wondering what type of visa you need to start or expand your business in America. The answer depends on two things: whether it’s the current state and how many employees there are currently with the company? If yes, then L-1A visas will apply for international traders who want more than twelve months of trading experience before they bring their families over; whereas those running smaller operations could go down as E-2 which is applicable for employees operating for less than 12 months.

The E-2 visa is perfect for entrepreneurs who want to start their own businesses in the US. It’s also a great option if you don’t have any outside investment or experience, but still think this country could use some more innovation!

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There are some requirements if you start a business in the USA as a non-resident which you must follow:

  • You must be a citizen of a country with which the U.s has a trade and navigation treaty.
  • A proper strategic plan
  • While conducting business in the United States, a successful visa applicant must be acting in a managerial or executive position.
  • An candidate must have committed, or be in the process of spending, a considerable amount of capital in an existing and operating US business, and be entering the country under these circumstances.
  • The E-2 visa is initially valid for two years. After this time, the company’ operations will be evaluated, and if the visa’s requirements are associated with managing, the position can be renewed in two-year increments.

Read More: Comparison Between Professional Corporation Vs Professional LLC

Why Do Foreigners Need To Start A Business In The U.S.?

Looking for how to start a business in the USA as a non-resident? There are various reasons why you are unable to run your business online in your hometown. Some of them are as follows:


If you’re looking for a low-cost, government-backed bank account that operates in an increasingly unstable currency with quick transfers to basically anywhere then US banking might be perfect. The only thing not so great about it? There’s no shortage of competitors willing and able to provide these services!


You actually wouldn’t give this much thought if you’re from a country where starting a company is incredibly inexpensive and simple. In some countries, forming a new company, as well as annual renewal fees and any changes to that company, can cost thousands of dollars in government, legal, notary, and other fees.

For example, my friend, who wanted to open a tourist firm in Spain, is an example of this. To register as a retail agent, the start-up company would have to pay a €140,000 charge, backed by a €180,000 bond deposit. It’s in addition to all of the other application fees, except the ability to fund the company’s start-up expenses! The U.S, like most first-world countries, does have a reasonable budget for registration and renewal.


When dealing with clients from around the world, it’s important to realize that not all countries have an equally good track record online. For this reason, I was recently contacted by someone who operates a digital agency providing content and services for other businesses in his native Nigeria- but he needs help keeping up appearances due to poor internet access within country borders!

By trading through an LLC registered under Wyoming law though our company can leverage both reputation and trust as an American business, which means more sales opportunities without sacrificing security or integrity on either end.

Payment Processing

Not only are trades between countries beneficial for business growth, but they can also help people in need. In this case, we can easily see how using a US company to integrate Stripe’s payment processing services has allowed an amazing Nepali team to build their SaaS product with ease and at a low cost!

Ease of Operating

In some countries, company owners are forced to spend an obscene amount of time filing paperwork. If you’re living in a country where the native language isn’t English and getting this done can be quite difficult; not only will it take up valuable resourcefulness but also money that could’ve gone into doing other things like exploring new opportunities or spending more quality one-on-one meeting with clients/proceeds from business ventures overseas!

With non-residents and citizens alike, it’s easy to forget that the LLC is actually an operating entity. This makes sense because if you spend more than a day or two each year thinking about your actual business you’ll lose money!

Annual requirements for an LLC in Wyoming include filing a report and getting newly registered agent service. In addition, you must file Form 5472 with your tax forms when it’s time to renew them (every single year).

With a registered agent, all the responsibility of keeping up with things like filing annual reports and paying any fees is on you. You might be able to save some money by hiring someone else for this task but at least initially it will cost more than just doing everything yourself!


When it comes to taxes, the only thing better than being tax-free is saving money. If you live in a country with low-income taxes like many internet entrepreneurs do and want your company legally allowed for certain benefits but still not have any actual burden at its level (because all burdens will fall on personal levels), then registering as an LLC may be advantageous especially since they can get away without paying any corporate income tax!

NOTE: When it comes to taxes, there are no one-size-fits-all rules, so if you’re thinking of forming a US LLC but aren’t sure about the tax ramifications, I can’t express enough how vital it is to obtain expert guidance.

Which One Is Best For Foreigner Between LLC Vs Corporation?

As with other countries, there are many ways to trade in the United States. Some examples are as follows:

If you are a solopreneur or small business owner, an LLC is probably the best fit. They offer more flexibility than other types of companies for your liability and will protect against any lawsuits filed against both them as well as its owners with restrictions on how many foreign citizens can own one (in contrast to C-Corps).

In most cases, foreign individuals and residents form a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation (C-Corp) in the United States. This is attributable to the fact that none of these entities has a limit on the number of foreign owners. Partnerships and sole proprietorships are not widespread since they do not protect the owners from responsibility like a C-Corp or an LLC provides.

There is one exception to the rule that C corporations formed in Delaware are a popular choice for startups seeking venture capital. If you’re planning on looking for investor money, then this type of business structure may not work out so well because it does require some level of public disclosure with Securities and Exchange Commission filings or equivalent state agency requirements across all jurisdictions where your company operates – even if only locally!

How To Start A Business In U.S. For Non-Citizens?

When registering your business, there are a few steps that you will need to take. These vary from state-to-state and depend on whether or not the company is forming as an LLC (Limited Liability Company)or C corp., but they typically include:

STEP 1: Choose A Unique Name

To ensure your brand gets noticed, you’ll need a unique name that has not been previously registered in the United States. The US Patent and Trademark Office has an easy-to-use database where applicants can search for available trademarks under their desired category or keyword; just make sure it’s something people will know!

STEP 2: Register With State Agencies

Working with a “Registered Agent” is the first step to starting your new LLC. You need an agent who will register you, take care of all those legal formalities and fees for doing so, and give them 2 or 3 different company names depending on what type they think best suits their needs too!

Any state where you want to undertake business activities will almost certainly need you to register. This entails:

  • It is necessary to have a physical presence in the state.
  • In-person client meetings are held often throughout the state.
  • That state contributes a major portion of your company’s income.
  • If you have any employees who work in the state

STEP 3: Get A Registered Agent

When you’re running a business, it’s important to have an official who will receive all sorts of paperwork on your behalf. That person would be the registered agent!

STEP 4: File For Foreign Qualification

When you want to do business in multiple states, it is important that your company is licensed and compliant with all federal regulations. The best way for this to happen? Filing for a foreign qualification at other places where they also conduct activities!

STEP 5: File State Documents And Fees

The paperwork you’ll require will depend on the structure of your company and where you register it. In most situations, you’ll require the following information:

  • Name of the company
  • The location of the company
  • Directors, ownership, or management structure
  • Information on the registered agent
  • The number of shares and their value (for corporations)
  • The overall cost of registering your business in the United States is often less than $300, although this fluctuates by state and business structure.

STEP 6: Register With Local Agencies

You may need to file for licenses and permits from the county or city if you’re establishing an LLC, corporation (including nonprofit), partnership. You also have a few options when it comes time to register your business in that jurisdiction, depending on what’s being used as their trade name/fictitious name!

STEP 7: Open A Business Bank Account

It’s amazing how many people don’t know that they need an account in order to carry out business financial transactions. For example, if your LLC or Corporation is based out of the US and you want access to banking services like loans then it’s important for them not only to have a bank but one where fees can be economies via research because some providers may offer cheaper prices than others on similar types services so make sure before choosing which provider will suit best!

Which State You Should Choose To Register An LLC?

Generally, there are 2 most common states when it comes to registering online businesses such as:

  • Delaware
  • Wyoming

They are the best option for those who want to operate their business in a state without any taxes. Plus, you can save money by not having to pay taxes, if you are in the same state as your customers.

Delaware: Best Place For Investors

Delaware is known for being the best state when it comes to investment capital. The legal system in this country allows LLC memberships with minimal downtime due to its precedence rate which falls below average compared to other states’ courts or even countries’. There’s no income tax either but instead, you’ll find a franchise tax of $300 per year, flat out!

The legal system in Delaware is very business-friendly, which helps LLCs because they don’t have to worry about getting sued when operating their businesses. This allows them more time for other important tasks besides just running the company!

Wyoming: Best For Small Partnerships and Single Members

Wyoming is often a better bet than Delaware for those who are looking to establish themselves in the Wild West. The benefits of living there include most if not all that comes with practicing limited government, low taxes, and minimal regulation, however, it does lack some things you may want from your home states like diversity or culture!

Wyoming is the best state in America for entrepreneurs. It’s simpler, cheaper, and easier to register an LLC there than anywhere else! Wyoming is the perfect place to create an LLC because it’s cheaper, involves less paperwork, and provides greater privacy.


Who wants to wait months before they start making money? It’s not easy finding the right company, but I’m here with some good news: There are ways for you to make sure that your new US LLC is set up and ready within a week!

If you are still not sure whether a US LLC is right for you, then you must check out the United States Government’s Business to access information to get started and grow easily. Still, have questions? Don’t hesitate to leave your question in the comment section below! I will definitely answer you all!

FAQs On Non US Residents Incorporating in the USA

1. Can I own or participate in a US business if I am not a US citizen?

The procedure for a foreign citizen to form a company in the US is the same as that of an American resident. There isn’t any special requirement aside from being able and willing enough, which most people who try find themselves meeting both qualifications easily!

2. Can I work in the US if I own a Corporation or LLC?

Not only must you have the right documentation, but acting as both director and shareholder of a US corporation is allowed without a visa. However, performing your duties within America’s borders on this type o governmental position generally isn’t and could lead to fines or even deportation if discovered!

3. Do I need a visa to own a US business?

Working in the United States is not easy for everyone. If you want to run your own business, it’s important that you know about all of the different visas available and how they affect working from home or abroad with a US-based company. The following list includes some popular options:
1. E-1 Treaty Trader Visa: An E-1 visa holder is only allowed to work in the activity for which they were approved when the visa was issued.
2. E-2 Treaty Investor Visa: The E-2 visa allows you to travel in and out of the US, and work legally in the business.
3. EB-5 Job Creation Visa or Permanent Residency Visa: The EB-5 visa is expensive. The basic requirements to get an EB-5 visa are that you must invest at least $1,800,000 in a US business and create 10 jobs for US workers over 2 years.
4. L-1 Multi-National Transfer Visas: The L-1 Visa is a great way to bring in foreign employees who have experience and skills that your company can use. These people will help you grow, so it’s worth taking the time needed for them!
5. H-1B Visa: The H-1B visa is a great way for US companies to hire people who hold skills in specialized fields. These visas are not limited only to those with careers related directly to the employer’s business, which means you could potentially find yourself working as part of an office support team or handling tasks like cleaning up after experiments gone wrong!

4. How long is the incorporation process?

Processing can take anywhere from two days to weeks, depending on if you pay for expedited service. It’s important that we note the Office of Secretary of State is backed up often so your wait time may vary!

5. If I don’t have a physical office in the US, do I need a business license?

You may not need a US-based office if you have an LLC or corporation. If the business activity is related to a specific county and city, then it’s possible that their license requirements will apply in addition to any state-imposed ones on top of this pile!

6. What documents do I need to submit to form my business in the US?

Signing up for an EIN is quick and easy. We know how difficult it is to start a business and we want you to succeed. That’s why our team will help with the rest of your paperwork, including preparing an application for registration as well as sending instructions on what type or format these documents need so that they can be returned properly!

7. We want to create a US branch of our company. Is that possible?

The United States is a vast and complicated landmass containing some of the most unique legal systems in the world. In order to set up shop as an American company, you’ll need properly formed status within our borders, either by forming a corporation or limited liability company (LLC). The first step would be deciding which state best suits your needs- each come with their own benefits depending on what type of business entity that they’re looking into establishing!

8. Can my foreign company be the owner of a US LLC or Corporation?

If you want to be able to take advantage of any tax breaks that come with forming an LLC or corporation, then it’s important for your company’s status as well-known in its home country. A US lawyer can help make sure everything goes smoothly when registering, just remember there are some rules about who may serve at each level within the structure!

9. Do I need a US address to incorporate a business in the US?

No, you don’t. When hiring Active Filings to provide registered agent services for your new business or LLC formation in the US we offer unlimited mail forwarding! This means that when it comes time for opening bank accounts or obtaining your EIN (Tax ID), all the necessary documents will be sent to whichever address is designated in advance!

10. Can my foreign company be the owner of a US LLC or Corporation?

When forming an LLC, you can appoint your own foreign company to serve as a “managing member.” A corporation has no such option and must choose between appointing Directors who will be its shareholders (and not involved in management) or none at all which latter choice may suit some organizations better than others.

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