Thanks for your question! Because it involves two different issues, I will address them separately.
Generally, there are no restrictions on foreign company ownership in the United States. Foreign citizens and U.S. residents must follow the same procedures to form a company in the United States. Moreover, you do not have to be a US citizen or have a green card to own a corporation or limited liability company in the United States.
With this said, you should be certain that incorporating or forming a limited liability company, as opposed to forming a sole proprietorship or partnership, would be the best move for your business. Consider your business’ structure, tax situation, liability exposure, and management concerns when making this decision. Firms that have a formal management structure and will issue publicly traded stock soon are the best candidates for incorporation.
Each state has different incorporation requirements. I can provide more specific advice if you mention the states you are considering placing your corporation’s headquarters in. This decision is important because your state will have unique laws relating to mergers, fiduciary duties, filing requirements, and taxes. For these reasons, many companies that do most of their business in large states such as California or New York choose to place their headquarters in Delaware because the state has:
· Lower franchise taxes,
· Easy filing requirements,
· Business friendly statutes and decisions
Ironically, though, the mere fact that you can form a corporation here does not mean you can work for it without prior government authorization. F1 visas permit non-naturalized immigrants to study in the United States as full-time students. After seeking approval from the Department of Homeland Security and their college’s international student office, F1 visa holders may work up to twenty hours per week on their campus during school and full-time when school is not in session.
You can also apply for Optional Practical Training, which would allow you to work off campus in a profession related to your academic course of study for up to twelve months. You will also have to complete a Form 1-9 to demonstrate that you are eligible to work for a corporation in the U.S.
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