Can I move my UK company to the USA?

Thank you for your question. This response will cover two issues. First, it will deal with the general issue of whether a foreign citizen can establish a corporation inside the United States. Then, it will address the procedures you will have to go through to work for the company in the United States.

The United States has fifty different states all of which have different requirements for corporate registration. Oddly enough, however, there are no restrictions on foreign ownership of a company formed in the United States. The procedure for a foreign citizen to form a company in the United States is the same as for a US resident. And it is not necessary for a corporate founder to be a US citizen or to have a green card.

Ironically, though, the mere fact that you can found a corporation in the United States does not mean you can reside in the country and work for the firm. A foreign citizen may be a corporate officer and/or director, but may not work in the United States or receive a salary or compensation for services provided in the United States unless the foreign citizen has a work permit (either a green card or a special visa) issued by the United States. You can own a business but unless you have a work visa, you are not allowed to work for your company in the US (You can work for your company in your country).

You will be able to come to the U.S. and work for your business on an L-1 Visa as long as five conditions are met. First, your business must have an established presence in the United Kingdom and the United States and, be a firm with one of the following in both the UK or US: subsidiaries or a company operating division. Second, the UK and US business branches must be under the control of the same entity. Third, the firm must do business in both nations – the mere presence of an office in one country does not satisfy this criterion. Fourth, you must have been working at your firm for at least one year in an executive or managerial role. Finally, if you move to the United States, you must plan to work in a job that requires specialized knowledge or managerial work.

I hope this helps.

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