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5 steps to start a business in the United States as a foreigner

Taking the step to form a Company is challenging, so we present you the 5 steps you need to take to have your business running in the United States:

1. Choose your Business.

2. Choose the State of Formation.

3. Choose the Name for your Company.

4. Register your Business.

5. Start Operations.

1. Choose your Business

Here are several alternatives:

A) You already have a business in mind, and you want to start from scratch in the United States.

Deciding to start from scratch is not easy, but it is not impossible. It is important to identify the market aspects that can affect or benefit your business project and to build a business plan to evaluate the true potential, the costs associated with the initial operation and all the expenses that you may incur at the beginning, it is normal that new businesses have a bigger learning curve, so prepare yourself the best possible.

B) You already have a business running in another country and you want to expand it to the United States.

Your business has the potential to be expanded to the United States. Congratulations! You already have an advantage. Though, you should check all the market factors that can affect or benefit your business, build a development plan in the short, medium, and long term. Gather the necessary information about the expenses associated with your business to have a successful start.

C) You want to buy an ongoing business in the United States.

Finding an existing business that is for sale can be a very good option, just make sure that the business you are going to buy is something that you really enjoy doing to maintain the potential for success and you have all the necessary information to have a fair evaluation on its price and growing potential.

D) You want to buy a franchise in the United States.

One of the most frequent phrases is “I want to start a business, but I don’t know what business would be good for me”. When you don’t know exactly what business to start, a good alternative is to acquire a franchise, there are many options, budget, type of operation, etc. The best franchise for you is the one that matches your interests, in Aztec Project work jointly with franchise experts that may guide you in the selection and acquisition process.

2. Choose the State of Formation

Once you have decided on what business, one of the most important decisions you must make is where to establish it. In the United States there are 51 different jurisdictions, that is, each State could be the home for your business but different rules and processes are applicable so you must bring diverse considerations into this equation. Some important factors that you may want to ruse as guide are, the place where you want to setup your operations, where are the suppliers you may need, where are your potential customers, what are the local licenses I am going to need etc.

If your business is going to serve across the United States, then evaluate which state provides you the best logistics and geographic location. Do not forget to consider the place where you want to live, tax incentives, labor, operating costs, etc.

3. Choose the Name for your Company

Now that you know what business is and where, then the next step is to choose the name. It is very important that you have two or three options for names since registering the company the name is part of the process and if it is already taken by another company, you will have to quickly decide the next option.

4. Register the Business

Very good, everything ready for the Company formation, you will need the following information to carry out the process as a foreigner:

• Type of Business.

• Business Name.

• State of Formation.

• Names of the Partner(s).

• Addresses of the Partner(s).

• Business Address.

• Telephone and contact email.

With this information you will be ready for the formation process in which you must obtain:

• Professional Registered Agent Service (Required by law).

• Registration of LLC or Corp in the State of your choice.

• Tax Identification Number (EIN).

• Any additional processes that are required depending on the State of formation.

• Hire our services and focus on growing your business.

5. Start Operations

Ready to operate! Once you have obtained all the necessary documents and completed the formation of your company in the State of your choice, the next step is to open a bank account, for this you can choose to do it with a bank that has physical branches, or in a virtual bank, whatever best suits your business and professional plans. To open the bank account, check directly with the bank of your choice the requirements you need.


1. Can the business address be outside of the United States?

For some of the States it is acceptable that the initial business address would be outside the United States. Some others require a business address within the Unites States even if it is not in the state of formation. Though, some other States require to have a physical business address in the State where the company is going to be formed.  In Aztec project we provide you with the information that you require to form your company.

2. Do I need a Social Security Number to open the company?

No, it is not necessary.

3. What is the Registered Agent for and why do I need it?

The Registered Agent is required by law. It is a person or entity that acquires the obligation to receive on behalf of a company all the legal documentation that may be sent by the government, the IRS, or al lawsuit, etc. It must have a physical address in the home state of the company and be available during days and business hours. All companies must have a Registered Agent. You may hire a professional registered agent service with Aztec Project on an annual basis.

4. What is the EIN number?

It is the Tax Identification Number of the company, necessary to start operations. Aztec Project could make the process for your company to obtain the EIN number.

5. Do the company’s members have to live in the United States?

Not necessarily, most states do not require residency of the members to register the company.

6. I am a foreigner; can I start a company in the United States?

Yes. It is possible. In Aztec project we proudly assist US nationals and residents to form their companies and we are specialized in assisting foreign nationals to make their business projects into working companies.

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