IT Companies: USA Business Registration and Licensing
For IT firms who are succeeding in their home market, the next opportunities for growth can often be found overseas. According to research, nine out of 10 British tech companies are planning to go global with their operations. The benefits of doing so can be self-evident – taking your tech firm to new cash-ready markets where IT problems can be resolved by the solutions you provide.
‘IT, software and computer services’ are a significant driver of growth for UK creative industries. In 2016, official government statistics show the combined sector exporting £27.1bn worth of services worldwide – of which nearly half (48%) were IT-related. And it is perhaps little surprise that Brexit uncertainties are prompting British IT firms to look beyond the European Union for their next step.
The USA: Why Grow Your IT firm Across The Atlantic?
It is often said that Britain and the USA share a ‘special relationship’. Both nations are each other’s single largest foreign investors – so the foundations are there on which your company can build. It can also help to know there are many shared values and cultural touchpoints. As such, your IT firm won’t need to fundamentally rethink how you do things – particularly on a day-to-day basis.
But there are challenges you first need to deal with to make a success of opening in the US market.
What Do You Need To Consider?
There are many similarities between the British and American way of doing business. But there are also some important things to remember. Some are obvious, while others are less so. According to the World Bank Group, the USA only ranks 55th in the world for starting a new business. This means it’s vital you’re equipped to overcome the challenges you might face.
Here Are Some Factors To Consider:
Business type: Do you know what type of business you should. Do your research on which type best suits your IT firm – whether it’s a Corporation (C-Corp) or a Limited Liability Company (LLC).
Location: This depends on how far-reaching you plan to offer your services. If you plan to operate in one state to begin with, it makes sense to incorporate your US operations in the same state. But, for those planning on offering across state lines, there are some states that are more business-friendly.
One example is Delaware, which has even given its name to the practice of Delaware Corporation.
Business registration: Once your preferred location is chosen, it’s essential to register your business – and to apply for federal trademark protection for both your brand and intellectual property (IP). It is a good idea to enlist the services of technology and IP legal specialists such as Withers to help you do this, as well as to avoid unwittingly infringing the rights of an existing third party.
Documentation: It’s vital to have a full understanding of the tax structures, insurance requirements and immigration status when entering the US market. Not doing thorough research or seeking help on such matters could incur substantial costs in the long run.
The Importance Of Registering Your Business
The most important reason your IT firm should register and trademark your brand and IP once in the USA is to protect yourself. If you have a strong product offering or service provision, someone might wish to replicate your success by copying your approach and even trade off your name.
The correct registration, licensing and trademark can also instil confidence in the customer. It shows them that you care enough about your brand and IP to protect it. It also highlights that your brand is worth protecting – so must be of a significant quality and reputation.