<Setting up a branch in the US.
Enterprise Ireland have a guide for technology companies wanting to
start up business in the U.S. It provides information on marketing,
legal aspects, finance, operational issues, recruitment, and personal
and home issues. Although it is written from an Irish perspective, the
information it provides translates easily to an Indian company.
1. Locate a suitable business attorney.
Setting up a branch office does not involve the creation of a US
business entity. This means that the setting up expenses are less. You
will need a waters edge agreement which will ensure that only
profits earned in the U.S. are taxed in the U.S.
Choosing a suitable business attorney.
2. Locate an immigration attorney and begin the visa process. A visa
application can take from 2 to 4 months. Although the visa application
can be completed without an attorney, it helps to speed up the
The American Immigration Lawyers Association can help to locate an
3. Locate an accountant who can advise on financial matters including
taxation. Accountants charge between $50 and $500 per hour.
4. Complete local filing procedures.
5. Open a bank account.
1. Filing a business certificate.
You need to file a business certificate with the State of New Jersey.
This can be done online, see the link below. Filing fee is $125.00.
NJ Division of Revenue
PO Box 308
Trenton, NJ 08625-0308
2. Registration for tax and employer purposes
This must be completed 15 days before starting to trade.
When you register your business you will be sent the relevant tax
3. Permits and other regulations you will need to contact the local
county to ensure that you comply.
4. Unemployment and disability insurance.
Registration is required with Division of Employer Accounts, NJ
Department of Labor, PO Box 913, Trenton, NJ 08625-0913 (Phone:
5. If you intend to collect sales tax you must submit form NJ-REG at
least 10 days prior to your first sale. There is no fee for the
filing of this form.
6. Businesses with employees need a Federal Identification Number
(FEN). Contact the IRS http://www.irs.gov
For further information see
Online filing service.
Tax convention with the Republic of India
International Revenue Service
Temporary workers visa - L1-A visa
The temporary workers visa is the most cost effective solution.
Establishing a branch this way can cost an estimated $150,000 as
opposed to the $500,000 cost of applying for an investment visa. A
person in a managerial or executive position can be transferred to the
U.S for the setting up and running of a U.S. branch of the foreign
company. The visa is initially granted for one year and can be
extended for up to seven years. After doing business for one year in
the U.S. it can be converted to a green card. It also allows the
applicants spouse and dependants under 21 years to live in the U.S.
Visa application process
The application is made in person at the U.S. Embassy in New Dehli. An
appointment needs to be made. Lots of documents need to be produced. A
list of the necessary documents to support the application is given at
Form I-129 needs to be filed with the following:
Evidence of a relationship between the U.S. and the foreign employer
like an annual report, articles of incorporation, financial statements
or copies of stock certificates.
A letter from the aliens employer with details of dates of
employment, salary, duties and evidence that the employee has worked
for the employer for at least one year in the previous three years in
a managerial or executive capacity.
A description of the proposed duties in the U.S. and evidence that
these duties will be in a managerial or executive capacity.
Already has sufficient premises to house the new office.
Has or will have a qualifying relationship with the foreign employer.
That the U.S. business entity has sufficient funds to remunerate the
alien and to do business in the U.S.
Details of the organisational structure of both firms.
The financial size and condition of the foreign employer.
Evidence that the U.S entity will support the managerial or executive
within one year.
United States Embassy New Delhi
Instructions for completing petition for a non-immigrant worker. See
also the notes on applying for a Blanket L Petition if you intend to
transfer more than one employee.
The fee for filing I-129 is $130
Brief explanation of a L-1 visa.
Allows a temporary stay of 6 months for business purposes.
Estimated costs taking the L-1 visa route are around $150,000 to
establish an office.
Visa application - $130.
Business registration certificate $120.
Accountant $50 - $500 per hour.
Attorneys charge $125-$175 per hour.>
<Starting a business in New Jersey>
<india "us embassy">
<"new jersey" "foreign companies">
<new jersey "business requirements">
<"doing business in the usa" "foreign company">
<"doing business in us" immigrant "setting up">
<Hope this helps.>
Request for Answer Clarification by
21 Sep 2003 05:08 PDT
Thanx for the details.
I am sorry for the late responses, I am travelling in India and so
don't access my mail so regularly. May I please impose a little more
on you? May I request you to help me with the specific steps I need to
take to open just a branch office in New Jersey. Please would you give
me in 1,do this 2,do this 3, do this . . . format? With costs for
each of the activities.
Also please tell me if there is ay other visa category under which I
could transfer an existing employee to New Jersey to manage this
branch? Are you sure that the L -1 category costs $ 150,000
Can a friend of mine in New Jersey complete the formalities on my
Thanx a ton!! I am beginning to get clarity.