This post answers a question I have been asked many times: How can a foreigner open a bank account in the U.S.?
This question usually is asked by foreign entrepreneurs. They want to start a business in the U.S. And to do so effectively, a U.S. bank account usually is required. (more…)
Je suis Charlie (French for “I am Charlie”).
This post supports freedom of expression, generally, and more particularly Parisian satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, which was the victim of a massacre by Islamist radicals on January 7, 2015.
Being a bit of a francophone and francophile (see Paris: What a Difference a Decade Makes), and having relatives in Paris, I feel it is especially important to join millions of people throughout the world proclaiming that we value freedom of speech and that we will not be intimidated by thugs. (more…)
This post about limiting directors’ voting rights is based on my answer to a Quora question. (See Can a business owner draw up bylaws/articles of an organization that limit voting rights of directors?)
The incorporator or shareholders may approve a certificate of incorporation or bylaws that limit directors’ voting rights. (more…)
A friend recently showed me a ridiculous article that RBS posted on its website last year. (Please see The five trends shaping Germany to 2030.)
That post isn’t ridiculous because of the article’s content. It is ridiculous because the disclaimer RBS provided following that article, at 994 words, is almost twice as long as the article, itself!
RBS Disclaimer Details
Furthermore, if one reads the mind-numbing disclaimer word-by-word, one finds some interesting content.
I recently have received several inquiries about whether a foreign company or its owners need an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) when they bring their business to the US. The answer is, “No.” The rest of this post explains why that is the case.
When a company wants to do business in the US, it needs an EIN (Employer Identification Number).
For a foreign or foreign-owned company, obtaining an EIN can be intimidating. This is especially true if the principal officer lacks a US social security number. (The EIN cannot be obtained quickly and easily online.)
In a recent article (Foreign Entrepreneurs Learn Art of the American Pitch), the Wall Street Journal discussed the role of “pitch coaches” who help foreign entrepreneurs promote themselves in the US. While the article focused primarily on pitches to investors, it applies to selling one’s business to clients and colleagues, as well.
The thrust of the article is that selling in the US is different from selling in other countries. In my work with international clients, I have seen the same thing.
Here are some of the ways that pitch coaches say pitches need to be tailored to work best in the US.
Frequently, an international prospect or client will tell me that he wants to create an Inc. to run his business in the in the United States. This post explains what an “Inc.” is and where the term comes from.
History and Other Countries
For centuries, in the interest of fostering economic activity, governments have recognized certain types of businesses as separate legal entities. Investors’ liability is limited to the amount invested (“limited personal liability”). Investors’ other assets, beyond the amount invested, may not be taken to satisfy the business’s debts or other obligations.
Last week, global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney released its 2013 Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index. The major surprise: For the first time in more than a decade, senior executives in large companies chose the US as the most favorable place to make foreign direct investment (FDI).
According to Kearney, the US rose to the top for the following reasons:
- After downturn-induced cutbacks, companies are investing in productivity-enhancing tools and equipment.
- The dollar has weakened, while wages in developing countries have risen.
- Most notably, China slipped to second place because increasing labor costs raise questions about the long-term attractiveness of China’s development model.
While working with one of my international clients several months ago, I re-learned a lesson that I already knew: The meaning of a word (in this case, the definition of Director) may depend on the context.
I duly prepared a Statement and Designation by Foreign Corporation and had it signed by the client’s most senior officer. That officer’s title, translated as “Director,” was entered onto the form.