How do I successfully expand my company in the US? – techcrunch

here is another version From “Dear Sophie,” the advice column that answers immigration-related questions about working in technology companies.

“Your questions are vital to the spread of knowledge that allows people around the world to rise above boundaries and pursue their dreams,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration attorney. “Whether you are in people ops, a founder or looking for a job in Silicon Valley, I would love to” answer your questions In my next column.”

Meczyki.Net+ members get access to a weekly “Dear Sophie” column; Use promo code ALCORN to buy a one or two year membership at 50% off.

dear sophie,

I am an entrepreneur in Guatemala and want to come to the United States to expand my tech company.

What is the best way to do that?

— Groundbreaking Guatemala

Dear Groundbreaking,

What great news are you seeing dealing with the US market. recently podcast (Which has actually been trending in your country for the past several weeks!), I discuss my thoughts on how to best position a startup for immigration success. Should any founders want to make their way to the United States—or if they’re already here and want to start their own venture—we discussed the details. There are also options for newly formed companies with limited funding.

It is important to know your options when setting up your company in the United States. This knowledge enables your company to successfully sponsor you, your founding team, and other potential employees for Visa and Green Cards if necessary – potential investors will also feel more comfortable investing in your company. Super important, isn’t it?! Before you delve deeper into your plans, I recommend that you consult with both a corporate attorney and an immigration attorney to assist you in your efforts.

A Composite Image Of Immigration Law Attorney Sophie Alcorn In Front Of A Background With The Logo.

image credit: Joanna Bunyak / Sophie Alcorn (Opens in a new window)

LLC vs Delaware C-Corp

One of the first decisions you will need to make is how to structure your company in the US. A business or corporate attorney will be able to help you make this decision. In general, both corporations and LLCs are able to sponsor individuals for US visas or green cards.

What I usually see in the startup ecosystem is that most VCs prefer to invest in a C corporation created in Delaware (Delaware C-Corp). This is primarily because Delaware laws protect investors, and Delaware C-Corps can distribute two or more classes of stock and stock options to employees, investors, and board members.

No US residency or citizenship is required to set up a Delaware C-corp, and it can be done within a day. For more information on this topic, listen to my chat About startup law with my good friend and trusted colleague Lindsay Mignano, founding partner of Smith Shaporion Mignano, a corporate law firm based in San Francisco that focuses on startups.

Also, talk to your professional lawyer about the ownership structure of these entities. For example, one possibility is that your Guatemalan company may own your US-based company. However, most investors prefer to invest in a parent company based in the United States, so you may want to consider setting up your American company to own your company in Guatemala. However, if you have already distributed shares in your company in Guatemala, this can be a cumbersome process that can wait until you are ready for a funding round. Then, you can do what’s called a Delaware flip—and you should definitely advise your corporate attorney to do so.