Open New Business in US -David Andersson, Dennis Olsen, Terry Preshaw

Hi Mr Ingram


I wondered whether you know of any Immigration lawyers who can help us set up a business in

Seattle.  I am a Canadian Citizen.


Having done that, we would then require an accountant who can do cross-border taxes for us.


Many thanks


david ingram replies:

I believe you are the person who phoned me in my car.  I know you told me what the business was and for the life of me, can not remember what it was.

You have four choices

1.   If you do not want to live in the US, you can set up a business, hire staff, and write all the cheques you want.  You can check the books, and you can display a product but not accept cash for it.  You would do this under the B-1 Business Visitor status which can be valid as long as you maintain a full time residence in Canada..
.  However, you can NOT live in the US full time, answer the phone, sweep the floor, or drive a delivery truck, etc., with a B-1 Status.

2.   Under the terms of an E-5 visa, you could invest $1,000,000 US (which today is a little LESS than $1,000,000 Canadian).   You must hire 10 full time US residents as employees for a two year period.  The advantage of this is that it gives you an immediate green card which becomes permannet after you have shown that your business has been active for two years with its 10 employees. (I feel old, I can actually remember when I could get $1.10 US for a Canadian dollar and expect that again by next summer.)

Another method is to make an investment of $500,000 in a bvusiness in an area which is not a major city.  for instance, an ionvestment of $500,000 USin one particular senior's home in Bellingham, gets you a green card with no management or other personal physical requirements.  David Andersson, a Vancouver Lawyer is one of the people behind this.  He is also a lawyer who can assist you with the R-5 processw OR the E-2 process described next.  David's Vancouver phone number is 604 608-0818. 

3.    The next possible Visa which gives you the right to live in the US for as long as the business is active, is an E-2 visa.  This requires a significant investment which might be $50,000 or $200,000 and is dependent upon the business you invest in.

Dennis Olsen was the US consul in charge of E2 visas in Vancouver back in the early 90's.  Then the US closed down the Vancovuer office and moved it all to Toronto.  Dennis left the US Consulate anbd set up in private practice.  The Vancouver office is again handling E2 visas.  You can find out a lot more by reading my Jan 15, 1995 newsletter which was written by Dennis Olsen.  Dennis practices in Everett, Washington but the phione numbers I had for him arenot in service so he must have moved.

4.   You could establish a business in Canada and then open a branch in the US and transfer yourself under the terms of an L1 visa.  If you already have the business in Vancouver, that might be an immediate possibility.

Another US immigration lawyer you might want to talk to has offices in Everett and Vancouver but works out of her Everett Office most of the time.  Terry Preshaw JD can be reached at (425) 259-1807  or ocassionally  at (604) 689-8472.

GOTO and click on 'entering The US' for a list of the various methods and visas.