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Can a Canadian Citizen Start a Business in the US?

If you are from Canada and live in that country, you may wonder, “Can a Canadian citizen start a business in the US?” If you don’t know the details about beginning a US business while living in Canada, the following information can help.

You can also contact me, at any time, with your questions to set up a business in the US. Email me at sam@mollaeilaw.com to get started. The following information should give you a basic overview so we can discuss you start-up needs and define what is best for you.

 

Can a Canadian Citizen Start a Business in the US Who Has Specific Investment Goals?

If you want to know, “Can a Canadian citizen start a business in the US who has specific investment goals?” you can do so, provided that you have a large amount to money to invest. While you can use more than one method to set up a business in the US, obtaining an E-2 visa remains a popular option. This visa is available to any citizen of an eligible treaty country, which includes Canada. If you have a significant amount of money to invest, holding this visa can help.

 

Do You Plan to Relocate to the US?

If you want to take this approach, I can help you with the steps to start your business in this way. Contact me by email at sam@mollaeilaw.com so we can get started today. If you plan to start a US business and eventually relocate to the US, you can make it happen if you hold an E-2 visa. 

While an E-2 investor will not receive permanent residence by applying for an E-2 visa, he or she still can reside in the US and manage their company for five years with no restriction on the renewals. Therefore, you can live in the US indefinitely and manage a business, provided you renew your visa status every five years.

A dependent spouse or children, under the age of 18 years old, can also receive E-2 status for the same period. Your spouse can work in the US and your children can attend school with this visa designation.

 

What You Cannot Do with an E-2 Visa

Moreover, about any type of business may qualify under an E-2 visa status. You just need to make sure that the business is both active and real and produces a commodity or service that will make money. You cannot invest in stocks or land that has not been developed. You also cannot buy residential properties so you can rent them. This type of investment is not considered an active business.

In addition, you cannot set up a business that is described as a marginal enterprise, or an enterprise that will not produce a sufficient income to make a minimal living. Just keep the following in mind – the lower the cost of starting a business, the higher the investment percentage. For instance, if you invest $100,000 USD, you must be able to contribute capital that is 75% of that amount. You only need to contribute 60% if your investment is $500,000.

 

Contact Me by Email with Your Questions

There is no minimum requirement for investing in a business under the E-2 visa status. In some cases, you can invest an amount as low as $50,000.

Each case is different. That is where I can help you with your start-up business plans. Email me to get the help you need if you are from Canada and wish to start a business using an E-2 visa status. I can be reached, for your convenience, at sam@mollaeilaw.com any time of the day.

 

Can a Canadian Start a Business in the US as a Limited Liability Company?

As a Canadian and non-resident of the US, you can set up one of two types of business entities, so if you want to know, “Can a Canadian Start a Business in the US as a limited liability company?” the answer is yes!

 

Setting Up a Company as a Non-resident

As a Canadian entrepreneur, you can set up a limited liability company  (LLC) or a C-corporation. You will find, however, that you will enjoy some noted advantages if you start an LLC. The most obvious benefit is protection from personal liability for your business activities. That means your personal assets will remain protected if you company is sued or you must pay a substantial business debt. 

You also do not have to keep books in the same way as you do for a C-corporation. You have more flexibility in this regard. Members of LLCs also enjoy almost no limitations on member profit sharing. Nevertheless, many new start-ups, begun be Canadians, begin as C-corporations. 

Canadians like the US C-corporation, as they enjoy more protection from any close engagement with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). They can also expand more easily by offering unlimited shares in the company. If you want to live in Canada, while running your US business, you don’t need to obtain a visa. You are not required to live in the US if you run a US business and reside in Canada. 

 

Some of the Visa Options – If You Plan to Move to the US

If you do plan to eventually move to the US to operate your company, naturally, you will need to apply for a visa. You can explore one of several visa options, including the aforementioned E-2 visa (if you plan to invest a substantial amount of capital).

The F-1 OPT (optional practical training) visa is designed for Canadians going to school in the US, whose business is related to what they are studying. An H-1B visa, which has special stipulations, generally requires that you begin a business as a passive investor.

 

Obtaining a US Green Card by Investment

If you can invest at least $500,000 upfront, you may qualify for a US Green Card by investment. In this case, you would become a permanent US resident.

If you are seriously considering operating a business and working in the US, you will need to consult with an immigration lawyer and seek my guidance as a number one business attorney as well. Contact me by email at any time with your start-up questions. 

Again, I can answer your inquiries and guide you in your business start-up goals. Contact me at sam@mollaeilaw.com so you can get started now. Don’t wait to begin a US business. The sooner you begin, the sooner you can realize your start-up goals.

I can answer all your questions about setting up a C-corporation or an LLC, and what state to register your business. Popular states include Wyoming, Delaware, and Nevada. Any of these states offer lower fees and make building a business less expensive. 

 

What to Do Next

The above information offers some food for thought, and therefore should be digested first before you begin a US business as a Canadian citizen. If you want to know, “Can a Canadian citizen start a business in the US?” you will be delighted to know that you can realize your business or investment goals in this country.

I can help you and guide you each step of the way. You will need to retain the services of a highly qualified business attorney. Contact me now at sam@mollaeilaw.com so we can get started now. I look forward to helping you establish your US business so you can meet your business goals and dreams.

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