Doing Business in the United States

Doing Business in the United States

By Michael Dye of Law Office of Michael B. Dye

The United States is considered one of the leading economies in which to do business or start a company. The United States leads the annual World Economic Forum’s study of global rankings for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis. The United States is the closest economy to the frontier, the ideal state, where a country would obtain the perfect score on every component of the index. With a competitiveness score of 85.6, it is 14 points away from the frontier mark of 100.

While on a comparative scale doing business in the United States is generally easy, there are some things that you will not be familiar with, and if you do not pay attention to them, they may cause some problems later.

Choosing a business location is perhaps the most important decision a small business owner or start-up will make, so it requires precise planning and research.  It involves looking at demographics, assessing your supply chain, scoping the competition, staying on budget, understanding state laws and taxes, and much more.

If you are planning to start a business, it is critical to determine your budgetary needs. Different businesses have different needs. Some businesses run on a smaller budget, while others may require considerable investment in inventory or equipment. Additional considerations may include the cost to acquire or renovate a building, or the purchase of long-term equipment.

The business structure you choose will have legal and tax implications. The different types of business structures that exist in the United States vary greatly, and include the sole proprietorship, Limited Liability Company, corporation, and partnership. Once you have determined the structure that works best for your company, the need to transfer personnel from your home country may play a vital role in ensuring your new business has the right type of expertise from individuals who know the in’s and out’s of your company’s operations.

Temporary work visas often used by investors and entrepreneurs often include the L-1 intracompany transferee visa. The immigrant investor EB-5 visa, discussed below, is an option for individuals seeking permanent residency (green cards) by investing in the United States.

L-1 intracompany transferees

This visa category is available for employees who have been employed by a multinational company abroad that seeks to open new business operations in the United States or transfer the employee to an existing business that is related to the company abroad. L-1 regulations also recognize that a visa may be issued for opening a new office.

·       L-1A for managers/executives

·       L-1B for employees with specialized company knowledge

E B-5: the “immigrant investor” visa

The US Congress created the EB-5 immigrant visa category in 1990 for immigrants seeking to enter to engage in a commercial enterprise that will benefit the US economy and create at least ten full-time jobs. The basic amount required to invest is $1 million, although that amount may be $500,000 if the investment is made in a “targeted employment area.” The US Congress created a temporary pilot program in 1993 that sets aside three thousand visas each year for people who invest in “designated regional centers.” Private and governmental agencies may be certified as regional centers if they meet certain criteria.  USCIS administers the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as “EB-5,” created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the US economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. Under a pilot immigration program first enacted in 1992 and regularly reauthorized since, certain EB-5 visas also are set aside for investors in Regional Centers designated by USCIS, based on proposals for promoting economic growth.

There are hundreds of investment opportunities available today, including five-star luxury hotels throughout the United States and multi-use commercial and residential real estate projects in every U.S. state and territory. Qualifying EB-5 projects are located throughout the United States in nearly every U.S. state and major city.

The Law Office of Michael B. Dye, and Dye Global Immigration Pte. Ltd. actively assists individuals and companies in Indonesia with their U.S. business, immigration and investment requirements. Founder Michael B. Dye is a former U.S. diplomat with extensive experience in Southeast Asia and throughout the world. You may reach DyeLaw’s international legal services department at www.mikedyelaw.com or by sending an e-mail to: mike@mikedyelaw.com or seasiadesk@mikedyelaw.com.

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