These are the people you need to talk to before exploring the US market
If you’re a UK-based business, you’ll doubtless see the attraction in exploring the US market. Not only does America have a wide appeal as a world leading economy, it’s also a location with a shared history and a common language and is a country that has mutually benefited from a special relationship with the United Kingdom. But, to ensure that you’re exploring the US market in a manner that minimises risk and maximises the chance of success, there are a handful of people you need to talk to first…
An international tax advisor
If you’re planning on exploring the US market, you must first be aware of the fact that your business will need to pay tax on any income generated in the USA. However, tax is not a straightforward affair in the US, especially for businesses based overseas!
For instance, you’ll need to pay tax at a local, state and federal level, often filing more than one type of return to the Internal Revenue Service, multiple times a year. The amount of tax you pay, and the way you pay it, will depend entirely on the way you structure your business overseas. That’s why it’s such a good idea to hire an international tax advisor to help you.
An international tax advisor will get to know your business, help you to navigate complicated tax issues, and enable you to understand important terminology such as as ‘401(k) plans’. They’ll also be able to recommend which state to incorporate in, and even help you to do longer-term tax planning to ensure your business is as profitable in the USA as it can be.
A reputable lawyer
The next person you should be talking to if you’re thinking of exploring the US market is a reputable lawyer. A lawyer (or attorney, as they’re often referred to in the USA) is best placed to advise you on important matters such as how to create a subsidiary, what legal and practical ‘structure’ this subsidiary should take, and other critically important matters such as the laws and regulations you’ll need to comply with.
However, just bear in mind that a US lawyer is likely to be an expert only in the state they operate in – not the laws of all of the USA. This is because laws vary from state to state, so you may need to consult more than one lawyer initially if you’re deciding where to set up.
A trusted business contact or advisor
It’s also well worth talking to a trusted business contact or advisor. You’ll have many questions about exploring the US market that a tax advisor or lawyer simply won’t be able to answer, such as questions focused around marketing, global logistics, scaling business models and other business-related subject matters. It’s important to run your plans by someone you can rely on to give you honest and well-informed feedback.
A business that has successfully made the move to America already
Before you set about exploring the US market, another person you could take advice from is a business owner who’s already successfully expanded into the US. It’s unlikely this person will operate in the same industry as you (as they probably won’t be willing to share tips and tricks with a competitor!) but, regardless, there’s plenty of invaluable advice to be had from business owners in other sectors. Hear about their first-hand experiences, learn from their mistakes, and be sure to ask them what they’d recommend or do differently if they were to start exploring the American market all over again.
Finally, talk to someone like us. At Foothold America, we’ve been there and done it, exploring the US market as a UK-based business and learning what it takes to succeed. We can share our knowledge, our contacts and our expertise, helping you to find and hire talented and knowledgeable US workers so that you can establish a presence in the US without creating a subsidiary. This low-risk, efficient and cost-effective way to ‘dip your toe in’ without any intimidating commitments is a sensible option for many businesses, so please feel free to contact us if you’d like to find out more.