Quick tips for Canadians
If you’re a Canadian living part of the year in sunny Florida and thinking about starting a small business, you may be wondering if you need a work permit. The short answer is: it depends.
First of all, it’s important to understand that the United States has strict immigration laws and obtaining a work permit can be a complex process. However, even if you don’t have a work permit, you may still be able to do certain things in the United States as a business visitor.
As a business visitor, you can participate in business activities such as attending meetings and negotiating contracts, but you can’t work or be paid by a U.S. company. This means that you can’t run your business on a day-to-day basis while in the United States under this status. However, you can still invest in your business and make decisions about the direction of the company.
If you want to work and run your business in the United States, you’ll need to apply for a different type of visa. One option is the E-2 visa, which is available to foreign investors who are starting or running a business in the United States. To qualify, you must invest a significant amount of money in the business and have a controlling interest in the company.
Another option is the L-1 visa, which is available to business owners and employees who have worked for a related company in Canada for at least one year. This visa allows you to transfer to a U.S. branch of your company or start a new business in the United States.
So, to sum it up: if you’re a Canadian citizen living part of the year in Florida and want to start a small business, you may need a work permit depending on the type of business you’re starting. If you don’t have a work permit, you may still be able to visit the United States as a business visitor and invest in your business, but you won’t be able to run the business on a day-to-day basis. The E-2 visa is available to foreign investors, and the L-1 visa is for business owners and employees transferring to a U.S. branch of their company.
Starting a business in a new country can be intimidating, but with the right information and some determination, you can turn your entrepreneurial dreams into a reality. Working with the proper advisors is also important. Make sure you reach out to the experts you need before making any investment in the U.S. to give you peace of mind as you start your new business ventures.