Foreign Incorporation utilizing USA


I'm a Canadian citizen living in Canada and I've been investigating putting together a US-based corporation. My partner is a US citizen, but it appears that it will be difficult for me to be able to get a visa in order to conduct business in the US, unless I can fork up significant capital which I don't have and can't receive from investors

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but here are my working assumptions:

  • I can form and run a US corporation but I may not be able to travel to the US to run it...
  • I can only get a visa if I invest personal money exceeding $150k (EB-2)

So now for my question:

I'm considering forming a corporation outside the US -- perhaps Canada, perhaps Singapore (knowing one owner needs to reside there). I want to be able to hire contractors from anywhere in the world, but mostly in the US. After the company is successful, then we'd consider forming a physical location in the US. So anyone with experience in a similar situation able to share what they did or what might work in my case?


Incorporation Foreign Legal

asked Apr 24 '10 at 07:08
Startup Advice
55 points
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2 Answers


I've helped approximately 20 foreign (mostly European, one Singapore) companies set up operations here in the U.S. Typically, they want to create a U.S. entity (corporation or LLC) to serve as a legal firewall to keep U.S. liabilities in the U.S., away from the foreign parent. (As you may know, in the U.S. litigation is both prevalent and expensive.)

You might find Ten Tips for Success in the U.S. helpful.

Visa Basics for Entrepreneurs Coming to the U.S., unfortunately, comports largely with what you have learned about visas (and even when one qualifies for a visa, the process often takes many months).

Disclaimer: This post does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

answered Apr 24 '10 at 10:49
Dana Shultz
6,015 points
  • Great! You've been so helpful so far. I think you answered an earlier question for me before too. Well okay, so it's possibly best to form a US corporation anyways. Am I right to conclude that in Canada I can own and run a corporation in the states (especially with my partner being American). Seems like regardless, I'll have to deal with taxes in both countries anyways.... later I can always get my visa. – Startup Advice 14 years ago


Do you want to live in the US? If your visits are temporary, I'm not sure you need a visa. Managment of the company can be handled by the US citizen.

answered Apr 29 '10 at 03:40
Sharon Drew
957 points

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Incorporation Foreign Legal