It is not hard to find stories of immigrants from several countries who came to America and established successful businesses. However, is it possible for foreigners to buy an existing US business that is already operating? Keep reading to find out.
How to Buy a Business in the USA as a Foreigner – The Basic Elements
US law permits a foreign entrepreneur to buy an existing business in the United States. It is possible to buy an interest in a business as a passive investor or buy a business to get involved in the company’s daily management and operations.
In many cases, foreign investors may acquire a share of a US business while staying with their primary residence in their home countries. This passive approach permits an investor to receive income from the business without getting directly involved in it.
In this sense, foreign entrepreneurs who acquire an existing US business to be actively involved in the operations must obtain a visa that permits them to work legally, such as an E-2 nonimmigrant visa or an EB-5 immigrant visa (green card).
How to Buy a Business in the USA as a Foreigner – Will Buying a US Business Automatically Grant a Foreign Owner the Right to Work?
While foreigners are allowed to buy an existing business in the United States, working in the business while being physically present in the country requires a visa with a work permit.
Many foreign entrepreneurs who do not obtain this type of visa may own a US business while remaining as a director in the company. Therefore, it allows them to oversee the company’s operations without a visa, as long as they do not perform any of the business’s daily activities.
Operating a US Business as a Foreigner Owner – An In-Depth Approach
The United States’ dynamic economy welcomes different types of investors, including investors directly putting their capital at risk in a business enterprise or those who have equity in a US company without substantially being a part of its operations.
Generally, both types of investors have no major restrictions when buying an existing business – except for a few exceptions. US federal laws restrict the percentage of foreign ownership in companies of specific sectors, such as:
- Television broadcasting
- Marine transportation & fishing
- Defense industries
- Mineral leases and similar natural resources
- Electric, gas, and utility services
- Agricultural land
Therefore, foreign investors can buy hundreds of types of existing US businesses, as long as the business is not part of sectors that restrict foreign ownership under the federal or state level.
How to Buy a Business in the USA as a Foreigner – Tax Compliance
When it comes to taxation, the US system is particularly complex for foreigners (especially for first-time investors). Besides the licensing regulations applied at the federal, state, and local levels, foreign ownership of US companies incurs several tax consequences.
Nonetheless, one should not be afraid of the US tax rules. Ultimately, as long as you have proper legal guidance, this multi-layered interplay of federal, state, and local rules does not need to be overwhelming.
Are You Interested in Buying a Business in the USA as a Foreigner? – Immediately Contact an Expert Attorney at Jurado & Associates, P.A.
Whether you want to act as a passive investor or simultaneously invest and work in a US business, we have an accurate strategy for your case. Contact an expert business attorney from Jurado & Associates, P.A. by calling (305) 921-0976 or emailing Romy@juradolawfirm.com for an individual assessment.