Pros and cons of doing business in the U.S.

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Introduction

It is not lost on anyone that the U.S. is the Mecca of capitalism. The business culture of this country is admired by those who still consider it 'the land of opportunity'. Whether one agrees or not with the implications of capitalism as an economic doctrine, the truth is that in the U.S. they have known how to apply it for their own benefit and that of the entrepreneurs who decide to form a company. Creating a business in the United States (in spanish: crear una empresa en Estados Unidos) is relatively easy, more so if we compare it with other countries where opening a business is a complicated and expensive process, which scares away most potential entrepreneurs even before they start. But in addition, creating an LLC in the United States (crear una LLC en Estados Unidos) is something that can be processed without being American, or providing initial capital, which has made more and more entrepreneurs who have chosen this country to shape their projects.

Of course, not everything is rosy. So from the experience of someone who has been in business in the United States for a year, let's look at the advantages and disadvantages of doing business in that country.

Advantages of doing business in the USA

Let's start with the good things about doing business in the United States. There are many advantages here, I like three main factors.

Developed infrastructure

Doing business is facilitated by a well-developed infrastructure. For example, in the United States, the post office is the true engine of the economy. Regular mail is used to send documents, checks, goods, securities. Everything works very quickly and almost without problems. In practice, bank checks, which are still common in the United States and at first seem to be a relic of the deep past, turn out to be quite convenient.

 

For example, almost all communications with government agencies are done by mail. If you need to receive a document, you should generally download the corresponding file from the required department's website, complete it according to the instructions and send it to the required address, attaching a check with the amount written in pen to pay the fee. In a couple of days the documents will arrive, the check will be cashed and the desired document will be received soon. 

 

Other business needs are also easily resolved. For example, renting an office is easier in one of the coworking spaces, many of which also offer a postal address service. Additional accounting services can be requested from services such as Quickbooks. Or you can find a licensed accountant at Upwork who has a partnership agreement with such services; as a result, you will receive both the software and a personal accountant. 

An environment of opportunity

For several years in my country, I was co-owner of a business similar to my current project, although somewhat less technologically advanced. One of the main memories of this period is the constant struggle with clients, circumstances, requirements of different institutions, etc. In the US, doing almost the same thing, I noticed that the company is developing more actively with much less effort and resources.

 

In my opinion, the reason lies in the differences in mentality and attitudes towards business. In my country, the clients, as a general rule, are much more demanding, but at the same time they are not clear about what they want, they expect you to know and that when you show it to them they will already see it clearly. Chaotic and contradictory orders are quite common, as well as not making clear the terms of contracts. The process from first contact to closing a deal and receiving the first payment can take months.

 

In the United States everything happens much faster, and even when interacting with the same compatriots who have just moved. People here value their time and other people's time. In the United States, the concept of paid consultations is familiar to everyone. In my country, there is no value placed on the time of others, especially professionals. The fact that they pay for a job on time makes the client believe that he or she has a right over your whole life forever. I could write a whole monograph about the contempt for the time of others that civil servants have. This does not happen in the USA.

 

In my country, I was constantly thinking about how to increase income, testing some hypotheses, etc. In general, this is a completely normal and correct business process, but in the United States such opportunities appear out of nowhere, even thanks to a powerful market, a large population and the openness of people.

No unnecessary difficulties at the beginning

The first thing that strikes you when starting a business in the United States is how easy it is to launch a new project compared to the situation at home. I will make a reservation that here we are talking about the beginning.

 

The approach to paperwork is much simpler here than in my country. For example, I registered a company when I was still at home, and I didn't have to send any paperwork; all it took was scans of signed documents or even a simple photograph of them on an iPhone. Almost all documents (although not all) were signed on an electronic form and when applying for a visa. The only thing that will not work is opening a bank account this way, for that you have to go to the branch and sign the papers yourself.

 

Starting with a new client is also easy. All you need is a verbal agreement and an electronic invoice, which indicates the paid work. Of course, to avoid problems and disagreements, it is better to sign an agreement that lists all the rights and obligations, but this is optional.

Life strikes back: the cons of doing business in the US

In life, everything never goes well, so in addition to the advantages, during the year of work I noticed some disadvantages of doing business in the United States. So, here's my personal anti-top from those times.

Everyone always wants your money

If you want to experience for yourself what it means to live under capitalism, start a business in the U.S. You will immediately become a wallet with legs for everyone around you.

 

Are you looking for an accountant to prepare your first blank report because you didn't have time to start a business? They will be happy to help you, you just need to arrange a consultation for $250.

 

The lawyers will advise you to seek additional advice, which increases the chances of a successful case (but does not guarantee anything) and is conducted at a rate of $300 per hour.

 

The lawyers involved in the registration of the company will not fail to offer to issue a separate set of shares, without which an innovative startup cannot live. "In the future, you may be able to offer options to employees," is very relevant for a small start-up company and costs only a couple of thousand dollars.

 

It's unlikely that you'll enjoy receiving mail in the US. Most of the time it's about different accounts, especially when it's about a corporate mailbox. And if half of the letters turn out to be spam, the other half is still several notifications from partners and government agencies, which cannot be ignored.

Interactions with authorities are not always logical

The state apparatus in the United States is quite developed, there are many different departments, whose functions are sometimes duplicated to the point of complete absurdity. The administrative structure also adds a headache, in which American states have fairly ample opportunity to create various rules and laws, including those governing business.

 

Sometimes this results in seemingly funny situations that nevertheless require separate efforts and costs. Example: we have incorporated a corporation in Delaware, a fairly popular jurisdiction for international start-ups. However, in the United States, my family and I live in Florida, here we have an office, a corporate account at the local Bank of America branch, etc.

 

It turned out that even though I had apparently already registered a company in the United States, I had to re-register in Florida under the threat of serious fines. An interesting observation: in Florida, there are local corporations (national corporations) and foreign corporations (foreign corporations). And a corporation registered in the US state of Delaware will be considered foreign in the US state of Florida. And it must go through the registration process with the payment of the corresponding fees, the provision of documents from the state of Delaware (where these certificates are also ordered by money) and the obligation to provide annual reports on its activities.

 

You need to be constantly alert

The United States is the Mecca of capitalism, a real bank with spiders and snakes. Almost all the niches are characterized by strong competition, all trying to earn their money. In general, this is good and advances many industries, but such desire for profit cannot take the most pleasant forms. If you relax too much, it will immediately result in direct financial losses.

 

A simple example from personal experience: after registering a company in Florida according to the above scheme, our corporate mailbox started filling up with letters very quickly. Apparently, one of the local departments leaked the database of recently registered companies to companies that provide them with certain services.

 

Everything would be fine, in the end they may offer something useful, but direct marketing in the United States is not like in my country. If everyone in our country is already used to taking shiny brochures out of the box (and throwing them away immediately), in the United States they are rarely sent, realizing the ineffectiveness of such promotion.

 

Instead, local marketers play on ignorance and fear of potential buyers. For this, for example, they disguise their advertisements as official messages from the authorities: they use official language, with letterheads similar to official ones, several phrases such as "Urgent! notification requires an immediate response", they threaten with fines...

 

Such announcements are sent not only to business owners, but also, for example, to car owners or parents. We were sent "lawsuits" to extend car service or health insurance for the company's children, with whom we never had any business. At first, such letters seriously embarrassed me, for example, I almost bought some stickers for $84 to avoid an alleged $1700 fine; luckily I thought to consult our accountant in time, who explained to me how everything works here.

Conclusion

Having weighed all the pros and cons, I can say that I like working in the United States more than I do in my own country. When a country has a true cult of entrepreneurship, you can feel it in everything. The United States is a country that is not without its drawbacks, sometimes quite important, but here you can earn money much more comfortably, without being distracted by solving secondary tasks.









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