Expanding your Foreign Business into the Texas Market
1. Business Formation and Structure
- Choose an entity for your subsidiary or new entity: Corporation, Limited Partnership, Limited Liability Company.
- Retain attorney and tax advisor to explore best legal and tax structure for the business (considering context of entire corporate group, availability of tax treaty benefits, and other tax strategies).
- Select an available name for the business
- Select a name that is available in Texas
- Consider registering a Trademark or Tradename to ensure the exclusive use of the name nationwide.
2. Obtain an Employer Identification Number
- Necessary for opening bank account
- Necessary for payroll, tax filings, and invoicing
3. Open a Bank Account with International Bank
- Select a bank with both local branches and international experience.
4. Obtain Applicable State Licenses and Permits
- Texas does not require a general license to conduct business, but consider what industry specific permits and licenses will be necessary for your industry.
5. Obtain Insurance
- Work with a broker or insurance provider to obtain customary levels of insurance for your given industry.
6. Visas and Immigration
- If employees from another country will be working for the new venture, work with an immigration attorney to obtain the necessary visas prior to working in the United States.
7. Site Selection
- Texas offers several major metropolitan areas including Houston, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth and San Antonio, as well as many mid-size cities with modern infrastructure near these large cities. Consult a commercial real estate broker about which city or cities are best for your operations based on industry, talent pools, and infrastructure.
- Inquire about the possibility of local incentives and tax abatements
8. Payroll and Human Resources
- Once you hire employees in the United States, retain a payroll service provider to ensure compliance with all income and payroll tax withholding and reporting obligations.
- Develop employee handbooks and/or employment agreements to establish guidelines for behavior and culture in the workplace.
9. Intellectual Property
- Determine if any of your intellectual property should be registered as a patent or protected as a “trade secret” through non-disclosure agreements and confidentiality agreements.
10. Localize Contracts, Terms and Conditions, etc.
- Contract law in some countries is similar to and the United States while other countries have significant differences. Retain Texas counsel to review existing contracts, employment agreements, terms and conditions, master service agreements, etc. for compliance with both federal and state law.