This post about legal tender is a bit off-topic for this blog. However, I am writing it because it clears up a common misunderstanding, about which I recently wrote on Quora. Please see On every US dollar bill the message “This note is legal tender for all debts public and private” is printed. How is it then legal for some businesses to not accept cash?
The U.S. Department of the Treasury discusses whether the “ legal tender ” language on U.S. currency requires that cash payments be accepted. Quoting a portion of Legal Tender Status (link and emphasis added): (more…)
At-will employment permits either an employer or an employee to terminate their relationship at any time for almost any reason. This post explains why at-will employment is the norm in the U.S.
I am basing this post on a Quora question that I answered recently. Please see Why are labour laws governing companies almost non existent in North America, compared to Europe? (more…)
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…)
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.
I have written several times about potential undesirable consequences of misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor. It’s time for an update.
In 2012, California Labor Code Section 226.8 took effect. That statute is directed toward willful (i.e., voluntary and knowing) misclassification of employees as independent contractors. Consequences can include the following. (more…)
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.
I found a recent Quora post concerning Interesting Infographics about the U.S. quite entertaining. I realized it could be a quick way for international readers of this blog learn about Americans’ perceptions of the most important issues that they face.
The infographics address topics as diverse as: (more…)
I have helped dozens of foreign clients launch their businesses in the U.S. Almost every impediment to forming a corporation and running the business under that corporation can be overcome. But there’s one problem I have not been able to solve: Opening U.S. merchant accounts (for processing credit and debit card transactions) if companies does not have personnel in the U.S.
The first potential stumbling block is opening a bank account if the client has no U.S. personnel (and no home-country bank with an affiliate in the U.S.). See Post-formation Issues for Foreign Companies Coming to the U.S..
Yesterday, in San Francisco, I talked to one of the many foreign attendees at the Game Developers Conference. He told me about a game he had developed, which featured a giant rooster.
In the developer’s native language, the word for “rooster” is similar to the English word “cock”, so he called the game “Giant Cock” and submitted it to Apple’s App Store. Apple rejected the game without explanation. (more…)
Forming a corporation for a foreign client is a lot like forming a corporation for a domestic client. (See Foreign Companies: Form a Corporation when You Come to the U.S.) Having gone through the process dozens of times, however, I realize that there are three important post-formation issues that foreign clients often need help addressing: (more…)