Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States has reached a record-breaking $3.1 trillion. Additionally, the United States currently tops both the A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index and the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute’s Annual Index. Foreign firms’ investments in the United States benefit our economy in a multitude of ways―from building new factories and operational facilities to funding research and development to employing more Americans.
Even with these types of stellar statistics, widespread misperceptions exist in terms of foreign firms establishing new operations in the United States. We hear it all. Product liability claims. It’s expensive. The process is too complicated.
While there are processes to follow, requirements to meet, and some cultural differences to overcome, in reality, the United States is still one of the best places in the world to set up operations. The World Bank actually rates 189 countries each year, and the United States is rated No. 8 in the world for ease of setting up operations.
This week on the In Process podcast, a bi-weekly radio broadcast sponsored by Trusted Counsel, we revisit a previous interview with Yelena Epova, partner-in-charge of International Services at Aprio, formerly Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, the largest full-service, CPA-led business advisory firm based in Atlanta; and Karen Weinstock, managing attorney at Weinstock Immigration Lawyers, a premiere Atlanta immigration law firm.
“There’s a huge misconception with foreign companies that they all have to set up in Delaware because they will have tremendous tax savings,” said Yelena. “You can definitely expand on it more for intellectual property protection and other legal considerations, but if you don’t really have business in Delaware, it’s not going to save you tax.”
In terms of the cultural differences, “You need the right team that can guide you in how to bridge those gaps. Instead of focusing on what’s different, which is important, hone those skills that are similar between the two cultures,” said Karen.
During the course of the podcast “Why Foreign Business Owners Still Love the United States,” business owners―whether they’re in the United States or thinking about setting up an operation here―will learn:
- What makes the United States an attractive market for foreign companies
- The questions foreign business owners should ask if they’re considering coming to the United States
- How to recognize and overcome cultural challenges
- Immigration procedures and the different types of visas
- Timelines for establishing a U.S. operation
Stream the conversation with Yelena and Karen in the player below to learn what foreign companies need to consider when starting an operation in the United States. You can also subscribe to In Process on iTunes to receive this episode as well as future updates from the show on your smartphone.