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Foreigner Starting An Online Business In USA

by Qingqing Miao, published: 2013-02-20 22:50 viewed: 376 times
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Question from Osama,

I am not a U.S. citizen and not living in U.S. I have been thinking of starting an online reseller business for U.S. customers. I have researched and have few online wholesellers and suppliers in mind to begin with, also a team to start designing website. I wanted to ask, being a non U.S. citizen, am I eligible to start an online business across America? Am I to be considered a normal entrepreneur? What limitations and obligations will I have if I can start such a business?

Answer:

If your business targets U.S. customers and deals with U.S. suppliers, it is probably a good idea to incorporate a U.S. company. This could limit your personal liability in operating your online businesses. You may need to establish a U.S. subsidiary/branch office or register your foreign corporation with the appropriate state. You need to be aware of the Internet laws as well as sales tax withholding rules. Also, there may be specific rules relating to the products/goods you are trying to sell.

The SBA has a very good website that can help you navigate the issues:
http://www.sba.gov/content/starting-online-business.
It is highly recommended that you consult with an attorney.

The above answer is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice.

Answer provided by:
Qingqing Miao
Ellis, Li & McKinstry PLLC
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