Can a Green Card Holder Own a Business in the US?

Green Card, also known as the Permanent Resident Card, enables non-US citizens to legally live and work in the United State. You can receive the card through marriage, application through family or employer sponsorship, through refugee or asylum status, or through the US Green Card lottery. Whatever the case, being Green Card holder (US permanent resident), you can engage in any legal work depending on your qualification and preference. Moreover, permanent residents are fully protected by the laws, and enjoy a number of rights and privileges as US citizens. One of these rights is the freedom to own a business in compliance with all the applicable state rules and regulations.

Here are Steps on How can Green Card Holders Become Business Owners in the US?

The United States presents a wide range of investment opportunities for all entrepreneurs regardless of whether they are U.S. citizens or immigrants from other parts of the world. For non-citizens, you can start any legal business in the country on condition that; you are a work visa holder, business visa holder or a Green Card holder. What’s even better for the Green Card holders is that they can work in their own business without any limitations unlike other visa holders. You can rely on online US business services such as dealstream.com to discover some of the available opportunities in different states. This will help you to identify the various SMEs and SBAs on sale, and many other hanging fruits in the United States.

Besides, once you become a permanent US resident, you can be a shareholder for S corporations. Generally, there are a number of options through which a card holder can become a business owner in USA including:

  • Starting a small business – You can venture in any legal activities such as start a retail store, property development, service business, and many more.
  • Purchase and existing business – You may opt to acquire an existing business and continue its operations.
  • Partner with other like-minded US investors (Partnership).
  • Register a Limited Liability Company (LLC).

Key Considerations for Permanent Card Holder Entrepreneurs:

Though as a Green Card holder you follow the same rules and procedure as other US-born investors when setting up your own business, you need to consider the business formation and operation rules that apply in your state.

1) Choosing a business structure

business structure

One of the critical steps is to determine your business structure, which involves choosing to operate as corporation, LLC, S corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship. It is important to consult experts regarding ownership status, tax implications and other regulations that may apply for your entity of choice.

2) Opening a U.S. Business Bank Account

US business bank account

Another important step is to establish a US bank account for your business. Banks will ask you to produce the valid permanent resident card, as well as business formation documents like the articles of incorporation and US address for the business among other things. It is important to confirm all the requirements from your bank.

3) US Tax Considerations

US Tax Considerations

You need to familiarize yourself with the US government bureaucracy to ensure that your business remains in good standing with tax and other regulatory authorities. You will have to comply with all the US business tax filling and payment requirements. You will be required to file and pay both state and federal taxes on your business income and self-employment tax, sales tax, Medicare tax, exercise duties, and social security depending on the nature and type of your business. However, given the complexity of the US tax system, you need to consult an expert to determine obligations applicable for your business. You can also determine your overall business obligations and learn how to apply for your business tax identification number through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

To sum it up, a Green Card holder is free to pursue their investment dreams provided they remain in compliance with all applicable business formation and operational laws, and ensure that honest and legal business practices are strictly adhered to.

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