What kind of documentation does a non-citizen need to start a business in the US?

lawtrades Sole Proprietorship

Starting a new business is definitely exciting, but it’s also something that requires a lot of planning beforehand. The US is actually incredibly open to non-citizens starting businesses here, but there are a few things you should understand before you get started.

For example, you should have an understanding of the proper formation of your business. That is, the type of entity your business will be. The most common formations are:

It’s common for non-citizens to be encouraged to form a C-Corp, but the primary advantage of forming an LLC is that there is a limited liability, so the individual’s personal assets are protected. There also happens to be less bookkeeping requirements and fewer limitations on profit sharing for LLC businesses. However, C-Corp remains a great option simply because it allows businesses to expand easily with unlimited stock options.


Do You Need a Visa?

Technically, no. You don’t need a visa to start a business in the US, however many people prefer to have one simply because it can make things a little easier as far as coming and going in the country. For that reason, many people opt for the E-2 visa which is commonly referred to as the “startup visa.”

If you’re interested in the E-2 visa then make sure that you meet the proper requirements:

You must be from a country that is part of the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, or Navigation with the US.

You must invest (or plan to invest) a significant amount of money in a US business

You must be able to prove that you have at least a 50% share of your business

For more information, check out my blog: Are E2 Visas Suitable for Entrepreneurs?

Of course, you should talk to an immigration attorney to make sure this is the proper avenue for you to take. For more help, get in touch with LawTrades. We connect people with the best freelance attorney for their situation. Simply fill out the online form and start receiving proposals from the fully vetted lawyers on the site.