The American economy is booming these days, which is ideal not only for Yankees but for their friends in the Great White North as well. Canadians are facing an unprecedented number of business opportunities in the United States, though many of them are refraining from acting on these opportunities because they think they lack the knowhow needed to successfully compete in the American marketplace. The truth of the matter is that Canadians have a greater chance of success when it comes to succeeding in the USA than nearly any other foreigners.
Here’s how Canadians can start a business in the USA, and what you’ll need to look out for.
There are many options at your disposal
There’s a diverse number of ways that Canadians can do business in the United States, but for now we’ll mostly focus on the E-2 treaty investor category, as it’s by far and away the most popular and likely easiest option for most Canadians looking to venture into the Yankee market. E-2 investors do not receive lawful permanent residence, so you won’t become a full American citizen with the right to stay for as long as you want, but you will be capable of conducting business in the country for some time.
E-2 investors are permitted to stay in the USA to manage their burgeoning businesses for up to five years at a time, which is plenty of time to see if the American marketplace is where you want to make your fortune. You’ll want to review the American federal government’s formal webpage on E-2 treaty investors before you proceed, as you’ll need to determine your eligibility before anything else. As long as you come from a country that maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation with the USA (that’s you, Canadians!) you can become an E-2 treaty investor by investing a sizable amount of capital into the American economy in the form of your business.
You need to understand that the E-2 process is only reliable if you’re solely seeking to enter the U.S. to manager your business; if you’re trying to use it for other purposes, it can be revoked from you and your commercial dreams can be shattered, so stick to the rules at all times. Besides the E-2 treaty investor option, you can also become an EB-5 investor who holds a green card. This, however, requires a sizable amount of capital to work with as well as an extensive business plan that will prove your capacity to generate jobs in America.
Rural versus non-rural areas
When trying to come to the U.S. to start a business, you may need to spend more money if you don’t intend to come to a rural area. EB-5 visa investors are encouraged to invest their money in “target employment areas” (TEAs), which are rural areas lacking in investment that have a special need for new jobs. If you focus on a rural TEA, you’ll need to invest only $500,000 and create 10 indirect jobs for U.S. workers, whereas non-rural non-TEA investments will demand $1 million and the creation of 10 new direct jobs for American workers. This is so that the American government can encourage foreign spending in domestic areas that need it the most.
Take some time to read up on the EB-5 visa program if you’re an investor with large sums of capital waiting to be invested in the United States. To start a company in the USA, you may also want to review the various types of American companies and the tax and liability advantages offered by some of them, such as LLCs.
You must oversee and direct day-to-day operations in order to attain a E-2 treaty visa, and EB-5 visas are highly competitive as they’re very sought after all over the world. In time and with perseverance, however, you can quickly turn the American marketplace into your own thriving hub of prosperity. Always ensure your legal documents are up to date, and consider hiring the help of a legal professional if you have specific inquires about certain industries, some of which are regulated more stringently than others. Soon, you’ll be bridging the national divide in North America by bringing the American and Canadian economies ever-closer through you business.