Despite the growing competitiveness at the global level, the United States is still number one on the ranking of the world’s strongest economies. In this fertile environment, entrepreneurs can materialize their ideas and take advantage of this colossal market.
Is it possible to start a business in the United States without a visa? Read on to find out.
Can I Start a Business in USA Without Visa? – The Verdict
Many foreign nationals aspiring to start a business in the United States think they necessarily need a green card. However, US law does not require foreign individuals to obtain a visa before opening a new company or purchasing an existing one.
No law restricts a foreign entrepreneur’s ability to establish a new US business without a visa. Another aspect is that your legal address does not have to be in the United States if you want to form a company.
Non-US residents can enter the country with the purpose of forming a business, which does not require them to change their legal addresses.
Starting a Business in USA vs. Work Authorization – Full Walkthrough
While foreign nationals and non-residents can establish a business in the United States, it does not mean they can work for the company. Starting a business does not automatically give the right to engage in the company’s management and daily activities.
If you are not a US citizen, a permanent resident, or a temporary resident with proper work authorization, owning a US company does not necessarily allow you to establish your residence in the country and work for the company you have founded.
Considering this fact, many foreign entrepreneurs prefer to establish a branch of an existing company registered abroad.
However, the US federal government and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) encourage aspiring entrepreneurs from other countries to either open a subsidiary company or build a new business.
Without work authorization, your role in the company will not cover operational and managerial duties. Foreign entrepreneurs that prefer a more “passive” approach often establish a US business with a partner authorized to work.
While the authorized partner can take care of the business operation, the foreign partner can receive part of the profits without actively working for the company. However, this situation is not ideal for those interested in working in the company, which requires work authorization.
Starting a Business in USA Without Visa – Is It the Ideal Approach?
Whether a foreign entrepreneur should obtain a visa to start a business in the United States depends on his or her plans and goals.
For example, foreign individuals seeking to establish a C-corporation working with US partners with financing from venture capital firms or angel investors might have to decide between acting more from the backstage or actively performing on the front lines of the business.
Similarly, non-residents aspiring to establish a small business in the United States must get their hands dirty to materialize their goals, which requires a proper visa with work authorization.