United States

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DOING BUSINESS

 


Local business incentives - Legal forms of companies - Registration and licensing procedures - Legal framework - Foreign exchange control - Regulations concerning equity investment - FDI inflows - Expertise of the political risk

Local business incentives

At a federal and State level, foreign investors may be granted funding allowances such as long-term subsidised loans. In order to encourage new businesses in their territories, the States have started a competitive battle aimed at offering investors the best services and advantages possible.
Foreign companies can benefit from aids, granted by three federal agencies:
- The EDA (Economic Development Administration) offers long term loans, with preferential rates for projects of creation and of activity extension leading to new immobilisations and jobs creation.
- The Small business Administration (SBA) offers guarantees for loans contracted by SME and can finance plants construction or material purchase by mid and long term loans.
- The Rural Development (depending on the Ministry of Agriculture - USDA) can garantee up to 90% og the loans granted to commercial companies that create jobs in rural zones.

 

Legal forms of companies

Form Number of partners/shareholders Minimum and/or maximum capital Liability Registration fee Release of financial documents
A sole proprietorship 1 person No minimum legal capital. The owner is liable for the company's debt Lower expenses as compared to a Private Limited Company No
A General Partnership At least 2 partners. No minimum legal capital. The General Partner is personally liable, with no limitation, for the company's debts and obligations. Lower expenses as compared to a Private Limited Company No
A Public Limited Company (PLC) At least 2 partners. No minimum legal capital. At least 1 of the partners is liable for the company's debt and obligations. The other partners' liability is limited to the value of the capital contributed. Lower expenses as compared to a Private Limited Company No
A Private Limited Company At least 2 partners. No minimum legal capital. Liability is limited to the value of the capital contributed. . Approximately 276 US$ not including legal fees. No
A Corporation half way between a joint stock company and a Private Limited Company No minimum. No minimum legal capital. Liability is limited to the value of the capital contributed. Approximately 276 US$ not including legal fees. Yes

Registration and licensing procedures
The status are composed of a Certificate of Incorporation and of (by-laws. The corporate name must be registered, by checking that it is not being used in the State or in the state(s) where the company intends to do business.
The certificate of incorporation must be registered with the Trade Register of the State where the company is located. Only General Partnerships do not need to be registered.

Legal framework
The reference text for foreign investments is the International Investment Survey Act of 1976. Each State has its own regulation aiming at or having an incidence on Foreign Direct Investments and of which the inspiration is more or less liberal.

Foreign exchange control
There is no currency exchange control in the US. Free conversion of currencies is carried out, as well as the right to transfer profits and capital, with no limitation or period of time during which the latter must remain within the State.

Regulations concerning equity investment
A majority holding interest in stock of a local company is legal in the US.  


Foreign Direct Investment inflows in United States

FDI inflows 2003 2004 2005 World rank (*)
2005
FDI inflows (USD million) 53 146 122 377 99 443 120/141
Source : UNCTAD - World Investment Report
Note : (*) World Rank = UNCTAD Inward FDI Performance Index. It is a measure of the extend to which a host country receives inward FDI relative to its economic size. It is calculated as a ratio of the country's share in global FDI inflows to its share in global GDP.

 

Last modified in 2006 - ongoing update
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