Depending on the kind of business activity your company would be carrying out and the US state in which you wish to establish your company, the process could vary a bit. However, the general procedure is more or less similar.
Decide upon a business structure for your company, based on the type of activity it would be carrying out. Generally, it is recommended that foreigners go with a limited liability company (LLC) and US residents with an S-Corporation.
Choose a state to incorporate your company in. If you know the state you would be operating out of, it is ideal for you to file your company in that state, for simplifying paperwork. If you don’t plan to have a physical presence in America, then you can file your company in any state. Many foreigners prefer to set up their business in Nevada, Delaware or Wyoming, as they are the most business-friendly and have the lowest corporate tax rates.
If you are not a sole proprietor running your business in your name, you need to register a trade name for your company with the US Company Register. You need to keep in mind factors pertaining to intellectual property like US trademark infringement clauses, copyright laws, etc. during business name registration for your company.
Designate a registered agent in the chosen state, to handle legal paperwork on your behalf. The registered agent is officially recognized by the state where your business resides, and is authorized by your company to accept services of process on your behalf.
In the United States, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) keeps track of a business through its Employer Identification Number (EIN). To obtain an EIN, you need a social security number. If you are a foreign business owner and don’t have a social security number, and are not eligible to get one, you can use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for the same. The EIN enables you to open bank accounts, pay taxes and hire employees.
To operate legally in the US, you’d need certain licenses and permits, depending on the type of your company and the business activity it carries out. For instance, companies in the healthcare, dentistry or architecture sectors require a professional license to operate, and those in BFSI or aviation require special permission.
Finally, get a corporate bank account opened for your company in a bank of your choice. For this, you would need: