Opening a company in the United States is a step that many investors take into consideration. The United States is one of the most important economies in the world, and has numerous financial opportunities that are unique compared to other nations.The favourable taxation rates in the USA with a lean and efficient bureaucratic system, make it particularly attractive to establish business operations on American soil.

Main corporate forms in America

As in Europe, the forms of company that can be formed in the USA are different, although they have minor and often more nuanced differences than those of European companies. For example, one difference is that in America there is not one company formation that is more suitable for large companies and one that is more suitable for small companies. All the main forms can be adopted to set up either a large or a small company, the difference being in the speed of the procedure and the type of tax adjustment the company will have to undergo.

In this sense, the investor needs to make an assessment solely in terms of opportunity and expediency.

The main US corporate forms are the Corporation and the LLC (Limited Liability Company, similar to the Italian Srl or the English Ltd). There are also less used forms such as the Limited Partnership (similar to the Italian società in accomandita semplice) and Sole Proprietorship, which is the only one dedicated exclusively to individual entrepreneurs.

The Corporation is a veritable capital company and, as such, allows the foreign investor to easily obtain benefits in the management of FIRTPA, the withholding tax for foreign investors. This advantage is also available in the case of a single-member Corporation.

The LLC, for the same result, requires a more complex structure. The advantage of the latter is that it’s easier to set up the company and has much lower costs.

How much does it cost to set up a US company and which States are the best?

To open an LLC in the USA all you need is just over USD 500 and a very short time to register and file documents. However, it is worth considering the help of an expert operating in the territory, which – while slightly raising management costs – will be able to eliminate any problems related to U.S. bureaucracy. Although streamlined and efficient, the US tax system also requires a certain amount of expertise to operate quickly and transparently, and since it’s a very complex system (where the penalties for non-compliance can be very heavy) it is advisable to contract a local expert.

Geographically, the investor can select any of the 50 American states to set up a company, although some areas are more profitable and have tax benefits that are particularly accessible, such as Florida.

Steps to follow after opening a company in America

In order to set up a company in the USA, you will need to follow some basic steps that will help the investor carry out the operation quickly and safely.

The first step is to elect a domicile for the company. This may be physical or virtual.

There are several possibilities in this respect, such as portals and agencies offering physical and non-physical spaces dedicated precisely to this purpose. An intermediary who takes care of the practicalities of opening a business on site is certainly able to suggest the best and most economical solution to pursue.

After the dedicated address, the next step is to open a bank account with a US financial institution, through which to manage the company’s incoming and outgoing economic flows.

The company will also need to have a US telephone number associated with it, which is explicitly required in most of the paperwork involved in opening.  This is true for eitheran LLC or Corporation.

Ideally the company should, in addition to the telephone number, also have a website, listing the main information and providing a point of contact. Remember that in the USA it’s even more common to use the internet to find information about people and companies than in the rest of the world, so this is a very important step.

Finally, the investor will need a Business Account. This is a crucial step in opening a company as it is the only way to be able to accept credit card payments.

This is generally handled in conjunction with the bank where you will open your American account, and it is important to do this now as credit cards are the most popular payment system in America, even for business-to-business transactions.