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The Visa Requirement

Once a foreign entity had made the necessary feasibility tests and had made oneself familiar with the stringent requirements and is convinced whatever business is going to be operated here, whether it is selling industrial goods that could be manufactured here or could be imported, what is required is to apply for a visa at the US Consulate of country of origin.

What the office can offer after going through regulatory procedures that will require a question and answer session, as well as a presentation of some proof, it is possible for the foreigner to obtain the E family visa, in this case the one that is issued for investors which is the E-2 non-immigrant visa. The requirements are the foreign entity should belong to a county that has treaty with the US if possible and at least 50% of the company to be opened is owned by what the offices call treaty foreign national.

They also require the particular trade to be in existence already in the US and the entity seeking the visa should work at some capacity at a higher level. The foreign investor seeking to come to the US to do business should have invested at least $100,000

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and the investor’s not coming to the US could affect and put the investment at a risk. The authorities expect the investment to be enough to start the venture while at the same time it should not be marginal, where it is not the sole income of the investor, but the intent is to create employment in the US.

They also require knowing at what level the venture is in terms of whether it is already in operation or it is in the process of becoming operative. After meeting these requirements the entity will have to agree to leave the US after five years if the entity does not meet other requirements such as renewing the visa for another five years since that is the amount of time the visa grants, or if the individual foreign entity can legally change the non-immigrant status.

It is possible for the individual to be an immigrant after meeting certain requirements including getting married to a US national. Then there are other possibilities where spouse and minor children could enter the US through such a visa (6). What this demonstrates is any entity with a desire to invest and do business in the US is welcome to enter to the US if the foreigner meets all the requirements. Once in the country with such an arrangement it is possible to get all facilities that includes bank account, renting properties for work place as well as for residential purposes.

It is possible also to buy properties for various purposes that include renting to generate rent income. Overall, there is no limitation as to what such a foreign entity with E-2 visa can do in the US. The success of the business, however, depends on the acumen of the investors who are in charge and who could be local or could come from abroad with the business if the business is big. Various jurisdictions have special incentives in place to attract new investors and businesses both locally and from abroad.

States such as Florida, Delaware, Wyoming and Nevada have attracted many businesses by simply eliminating the state income tax, as well as by introducing other incentives. Each state has its own incentive to attract outside business as well as to keep local businesses from migrating to areas that are availing competing advantages. Conclusion It is possible for any business that is not from the US to open business in the US whether it is from a country that has a treaty with the US or not. What is important is to know that certain businesses do not require being in the US in person.

For example, starting a business selling industrial goods in the US is possible by simply exporting the goods to buyers in the US from an outside office. That could save the business the complication of filing income taxes, renting a workplace and hiring employees. It is also possible to use an agent residing in the US. However, it is not possible to avoid paying tax on the income generated at a fixed rate of 30%. With such arrangements it is possible to avoid going to the US in person, renting a place of work and meeting all the requirements that have to do with hiring employees.

With such an arrangement, an agent could receive the goods and warehouse them in warehouses owned or operated by the agent and supply the goods for clients as the need arises. The other method for big or small businesses that are already established is to open a branch or a subsidiary office in the US. Here the complication will be more because the office needs staffing mostly from local employees at the lower level since businesses can only send into the country personnel at the managerial level or those who have special skill or training.

Such an arrangement is not different from starting a business in the US except that it is suitable for businesses not owned and run by one investor, such as partnerships or corporations. Another form of business to start in the US is when an investor wants to open a new business or to run an existing business in person or send managers in the US to run a business. Such an arrangement requires the obtaining of visa from the US Consulates and there are certain requirements in place that are not very stringent as long as they meet the major requirements.

When that is the case the business entity will get similar treatment local companies are getting in terms of what kind tax to pay. Also all requirements involving running a business and hiring employees are applicable if a foreign entity want to go into the US to start and run a business. The particular field, industry or sector chosen such as selling industrial goods do not have any kind of special impact on the venture except that each industry has its own sector office the new foreign business has to deal with wherever the business is opened.

Any incentive and tax break available for domestic business will also be available for the foreign business. Such individual entities have permission to stay in the US only for five years through an E-2 visa if they are investors, with the possibility either to renew their visa or to change their status in the future being available. Other than that, the success rate depends on what kind of execution method applied since the US is one of the highly advanced markets in the world where there is aggressive competition in almost any field.

The winning combinations in such intensive marketplace are quality of goods or products brought into the market place, the price charged and the kind of marketing strategy applied in order to reach the would be prospects. Any falling behind in any of these areas could cost the business dearly as the turnover of businesses going under and entering the market is high, where it is only those that are conducting business with the utmost care that could survive and thrive.

Observing the rules and regulation of the country is also important since not doing so could cost a lot of money. In some instances, it might be possible to lose the permit of doing business in the US if the integrity of a given business becomes too questionable. It is possible to obtain credit from the available capital market, as well as selling stocks as long as the requirements in place are met is also possible. Hence, there is no barrier to enter the US market as long the product, with its business strategy and plan is a winning one.


1. Foreign National Starting Business in the US. December 3, 2007, <www. groco. com/media/pr_foreignnationals. aspx> 2. The World’s Largest Tax Haven. December 3, 2007, <www. lectlaw. com/fielsh/bbg33. htm > 3. When are Foreign Companies Engaged in Trade or Business. December 3, 2007, <www. taxprophet. com/foreign/foreign_co_ETB. shtml> 4. Starting a Business in the US. December 3, 2007, <www. illinosbiz. biz/nr/rdonlyres/97F6B198-85F6/4523-808F-676B526E84DF/0/startingabusinessinillions_june05. pdf>

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