Pasos para abrir un negocio en los Estados Unidos como extranjero y cumplir con requisitos migratorios:
Plan de negocio. Incluye un análisis de mercado para saber quién es el cliente, quienes son la competencia y a que precio puedes vender tu producto o servicio. En este mismo plan se incluye proyecciones financieras las cuales te ayuda ver que tan viable es tu negocio. Dato importante: El plan de negocio es requerido por los bancos para prestar capital.
Ubicación. El existo de tu negocio puede depender de la ubicación. En primer lugar, es importante saber en que estado de EE.UU quieres abrir tu negocio. Todos los estados tienen sus propias normas y diferentes tipos de impuestos. Estados como Delaware o Texas son de los más favorables para abrir un negocio. Y en segundo lugar, es importante escoger una ubicación de acuerdo al tipo de negocio. Es por eso por lo que un plan de negocio o análisis de mercado es importante antes de hacer una inversión.
Estructural Legal. Es la manera la cual se registra un negocio. Hay diversas estructuras y es importante consultar con un abogado o contador para saber cuál es la más apropiada. La estructura más común es la de Sociedad de Riesgo Limitado conocida como Limited Liability Company (“LLC”). Una “LLC” protege los bienes personales del empresario y ayuda a pagar menos impuestos. La persona(s) deben tener un pasaporte vigente para abrir la empresa. No es necesario ser americano o residente legal de Estados Unidos.
Banco. Todo negocio debe abrir una cuenta comercial para poder cobrar debidamente a sus clientes. Por ejemplo, hay bancos que pueden congelar las cuentas personales si sospechan algo raro como depósitos de cheque a nombre de un negocio, muchos depósitos electrónicos y etc. Recomiendo buscar un banco nacional, los bancos grandes pueden respaldarte en cualquier parte del país de EE.UU incluyendo en el extranjero.
Contacto. Para abrir un negocio en los Estados Unidos es importante tener a una persona como punto de contacto en caso de que los dueños no estén fiscalmente en EE.UU. Esta persona se responsabiliza de recibir correspondencia o notificación legal y entregarla a los dueños de la empresa.
Numero Federal del Contribuyente. Toda empresa debe tener este registro ante la hacienda federal conocida como el Servicio de Rentas Internas; es el departamento de gobierno que administrar los impuestos. El número es requerido para diversos trámites de negocio incluyendo el pago de sueldos y apertuda de cuenta bancaria.
Solicitar todas las licencias y permisos. Es posible que necesite consultar con un contador o abogado para asegurarse de que tenga todas las licencias y permisos necesarios para operar su negocio correctamente y legalmente.
Impuestos de negocio. La mayoría de las empresas pagan diversos impuestos, por ejemplo; impuesto sobre la venta (se le cobra al cliente), impuesto sobre los sueldos de empleados e impuesto sobre los ingresos. Es importante consultar con un contador para que te ayudar administrar los impuestos y estar al día con el gobierno americano.
Visas de negocios/inversionista: Existen varios tipos de visas como la Visa E o EB-5 de inversionista. Dependiendo del capital y el plan de negocio, el abogado de inmigración te asesora con las opciones disponibles para ti.
The income statement (Profit & Loss report) is a financial report that tells management, self-employed or shareholders how the business is performing in terms of revenue and where the money is being spent. The income statement is important to have on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis in order to make important decision. Not only will this report help the business owner be organized but in tax season there won’t be a need to hassle over all your receipts and invoices since you already have that one report that can answer the questions to your company’s tax return. If you’re self-employed that would be Form 1040 Schedule C, if you’re in a partnership then its Form 1065 or if you’re a corporation then Form 1120 or 1120s.
There are three sections to the Income Statement or P&L report:
SECTION 1: REVENUE
A) Sales. This shows how much the business has sold of its products/services .
B) Cost of Goods Sold. This includes all the costs that are directly related in the process of generating revenue:
Cost of merchandise
Freight & delivery
Additional fees in acquiring product for resell.
C) Gross profit. The differences between sales and “COGS”. The gross profit should be a positive number, unless you are selling your product/service for less than its costs.
Administrative and operating. This will include most expenses that keeps your business running, EXCEPT for loan repayments, owner draw and “other” payments that are reported in another report called the “Balance Sheet”.
Free QuickBooks Template. Download this template for a list of most common business expenses and a guide to creating your own income statement.
SECTION 3: NET INCOME
The difference between Gross Profit and Expenses.
Net income represents the profit generated during a specific time period that the business has operated. If net income is negative, this means that the expenses of the business are more than the generated sales. Again, if the business owner or manger is not looking at the income statement, he/she will have no idea that they are losing money despite their “great” sales.
Is having employees leaving a dent on your profits? It is time to look into your accounting to evaluate performance.
There are two popular business expenses that greatly affect revenue; payroll and inventory. Keeping adequate control of both expenses will keep your profits in good shape.
The following are steps to consider when managing your employees:
Corporate Organizational Chart. Small businesses should take for example these types of structures even if your business is not a large corporation with a tall flashy building. These charts work well with any small business with employees in order to better structure job duties, responsibilities and identify unnecessary positions.
This structuring is done to help establish policies, rules and ways of working. It also helps in reaching business objectives by maximizing workflow. Without this chart, employees will basically be all over the place and consequently will cause the whole workforce to be slow, causing an unnecessary economic leak. Organizational structure improves efficiency by providing clarity to employee regarding their duties, responsibilities and reporting to the right superior.
Think Outsource. Depending on the type of business you have, sometimes it will be more cost effective to hire an independent company to deliver a specialized service at an affordable rate as an alternative to having an employee with a full salary. For example, you can outsource your accounting to a local firm and meet with your accountant monthly or quarterly to discuss your finances. If you’re a healthcare practitioner you can outsource your billing to local or online companies specializing in billing and coding. Before taking such action be sure that this won’t negatively affect your quality of service or product for your clients or business objectives.
Minimize Overtime Costs. By having an organizational structure in place along with a time and schedule system, businesses could save a lot of money by avoiding paying overtime. According to the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA ) the overtime pay rate for eligible employees is one and one-half (1.5) times their regular working hour rate of pay. A time and schedule system is an effective way organizing employees.
There are more methods available to improve employee efficiency however, I am not a specialist in human resources but I do recommend hiring a consulting HR firm that can help structure your company to improve efficiency and save money.
Using an accounting software does not replace the accountant.
Small businesses owners, especially those that have just started their business think that software is all they need to manage their financials correctly. Why even bother hiring an accountant or bookkeeper when you can save money, right?
Then one day you receive a letter from the IRS requesting for your balance sheet information such as asset depreciation, owner’s draw, or perhaps they want to inquire about a tax deduction you took as “political contributions”. Yep, have fun with that.
Things to consider before doing your own accounting:
1. Expenses. Not everything is a business expense. Your loan repayments for auto, business mortgage or credit card payments are not business expenses and should not be registered the same way you would register inventory or office supplies. Loan repayments, along with personal expenses are recorded on the balance sheet.
2. Balance sheet. What in the world is a balance sheet? This is the place where you register everything your business OWNS and everything your business OWES (bills, loans, taxes, etc), plus personal expenses and personal withdraws you make from your business account. This information is used to complete a business tax return, and or by bankers when you need a loan.
3. Sales Tax. Paying sales taxes is not an expense because you are basically “collecting” sales taxes from the consumer (your customers or clients) and turning it over to the government. Sales tax is NOT a tax on your sales!
4. Tax Planning. Your accounting software will not give you tax advise based on your current financial circumstances. What if you’re a sole proprietor and you need to convert to an S-Corporation in order to save taxes? Or perhaps you need to pay someone and you need to decide between a w-2 employee versus an independent contractor. Having the input of an accountant is never a bad idea.
5. Owner’s equity. Is the money you put IN and the money you take OUT of your business. Keeping track of both things will help calculate your “net worth”. It’s important to keep track of these figures for banking and tax purposes.
So, are you ready to take on your own accounting? Consider hiring an accountant that is willing to train you to use your accounting software and you can do most of your accounting. For the tricky and most technical transactions you can have your accountant step in plus review the rest of your work. This is an affordable way of keeping your accounting records secure. Check out our previous 5 tips on hiring an accounting professional.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if one day you have an accident and can’t go to work and collect salary for a short period? What if you have family that depends on you? Having income protection can be a very valuable option.
For the sake of simplicity let’s call this subject “income protection” in case of a temporary disability. Just like anything else in life, the things we value the most and the things that we NEED the most sometime require some type of insurance. There is auto insurance in case of an accident, mortgage insurance, and home insurance. All those insurances are very important in case the inevitable was to happen. The same thing applies to this situation. There is disability insurance that can help alleviate the lack of income in case of a temporary disability. There are several options and features that these type of insurance carry. For example, you have short term or long term and you choose one or both depending on your needs.
With a disability insurance policy you are guaranteed that you will get monthly insurance payments (after meeting certain requirements and time) to cover for the loss of wages/salary due to an injury that has temporarily disabled you. These monthly payments will be based on your current income to cover your monthly cost of living.
If you are self-employed and have employees along with other monthly expenses then it is crucial that your business have a backup plan in case you can’t attend to your business as the key person that generates most of the profits. If as a business owner you purchase disability insurance you can also add the option of insuring your business overhead costs. You and your company will both be temporarily insured in case something was to happen to you.
I enjoy sharing valuable information, however I am not an insurance adviser, but as an accounting professional I coordinate with insurance advisors to assist my clients in obtaining financial security in case something was to go wrong. If you are interested in learning more about disability insurance I recommend researching your local insurance companies that handle these type of insurances and speak with an agent.
If you need assistance with your business finances or taxes feel free in contacting us at Business Solution Center | Eeliffee@bsctexas.net | 956-466-4503 in Brownsville Texas.