EXPLAINED: How To Start A Business In USA For Non-Citizens

Vova Even Sep 25, 2023
8 People Read
Table of Contents
  1. Things You Should Never Ignore As A Non-Citizen And Non-Resident While Starting A Business In The USA
    1. How Can Non-residents And Non-citizens Easily Operate Amazon Business in the United States?

Disclosure: Hi! It's Vova :) Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. I get a commission if you purchase after clicking on the link, this does not cost you more money, and many times I can even get a nice discount for you. This helps me keep the content free forever. For you. Thank you! :) 

Things You Should Never Ignore As A Non-Citizen And Non-Resident While Starting A Business In The USA

Hey, welcome to my new article in which you will know plenty of information on how to start a business in the USA if you are a non-resident and non-citizen.

My name is Vova Even, and I'm an active seller on Amazon.

I have a YouTube channel where I share my reviews of essential tools for Amazon sellers.

It consists of over 700 videos on Amazon FBA now, so I’m sure you will love it.

I also offer courses on Udemy for different levels of sellers.

I am glad to share that, like YouTube, I have students from all over the world who are currently being facilitated by my lectures.

Today, I have a very special guest for you, and that is none other than Sam Mollaei.

Sam is a business lawyer for entrepreneurs inside and outside the United States and helps them open their businesses in the States without all the hassle of legal complications.

Sam's official website is here; Mollaei Law.

Sam also shared a great offer for his services.

Sam’s credibility as a business lawyer is now backed by over a thousand reviews on Google, 3000+ as of now, which is pretty impressive. According to Google, he is one of the top-rated lawyers in the United States.

And aside from that, he's also the winner of the 2 Comma Club award by ClickFunnels, which he got when he helped his virtual law firm earn over $1 million in sales, and that's pretty awesome.

In this article, we're going to talk about how non-residents and non-citizens can open a US business with Sam Mollaei.

So, let’s bring’em in!

Sam, I'm pretty excited to have you here.

Please introduce yourself to us and tell us your story, man.

P.S. You can watch the video version of our conversation right here:

How Can Non-residents And Non-citizens Easily Operate Amazon Business in the United States?

Sam: Thank you, Vova, for such a wonderful introduction.

Thank you, guys, for joining us for this vital conversation. Vova mentioned most of the things; here’s a little from my side: I am Sam.

I'm a business lawyer for entrepreneurs and have helped 3,000 entrepreneurs start their US businesses so far.

I mostly work with non-US residents and non-US citizens to acquire legal documents, like EIN, ITIN, LLC, bank accounts, etc., which they need to be able to start a US business.

Therefore, if you're one of those people who needs these documents, I'm your man. 

Vova: That’s awesome! I also wanted to mention that I'm one of Sam’s clients, and I've used his services to get an EIN and ITIN in the United States.

Thanks to him and Sina Bonabi’s help, who is his partner, I now have my ITIN and EIN, which help me do more business with the States.

This is one of the topics we want to cover today because most of my audience here is Amazon FBA sellers and people who are already selling on Amazon or people who are about to start selling on Amazon.

That’s why I just wanted to start with a straightforward question: how do we, as Amazon sellers, start our journey in the United States to open a US business?

Please elaborate on this the best way you can. 

Sam: Sure. Let me start with the fact that, out of all the types of different businesses that I help with, Amazon is by far the hottest one.

There are so many people who are jumping on, and that's because it's working out great for everyone who does things right.

I have seen a lot of success with all the solopreneurs on Amazon.

So, if you're someone into this, let me tell you the good news that you are in for great opportunities for you. 

To answer your question, Vova, I would say that, essentially, you have to figure out exactly what Amazon requires.

Every country is different and has its own requirements.

There are some countries where it's much easier for you to set up a US business, and there are some that are exactly the opposite of it. 

Hence, the first thing I would do is contact Amazon support and learn about their seller program and see what exactly they require.

I will tell them who I am and what I am trying to do, and they'll tell me exactly what I need.

Typically, it comes down to these three things: a US-registered business (LLC), EIN, and ITIN. 

The most common US-registered business is an LLC – a limited liability company – which is also the most popular and the simplest one to form and the easiest one to maintain. 

The reason why you want to have a US LLC is that it makes you essentially a US company.

Let's just say if you want to work with vendors, wholesalers, or anybody else, or if you're signing contracts, they usually prefer to work with a US company.

And most of these companies that you'd be working with online will be US-registered companies themselves.

So if they see that you're just Bob Joe from some other country, they're going to be like, "Who are you? We don't trust you." 

So that's one of the main practical reasons to have a US business to get the face of a US business.

And then, once you have that company, the next step for you is to get a tax ID. 

The tax ID for a business is called an EIN, and that's exactly what Vova mentioned above as well.

Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a business tax ID that will be required from you anytime you set up a US business or even if you have a foreign company and you're working with a US company.

That's one of the services that I offer. EIN is basically just a number that designates who your business is basically to the US government, and therefore, you definitely need to get that. 

The third one is an ITIN.

An Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) is a personal tax ID only for non-US citizens.

If you're a non-US citizen and if you need to open up a US bank account or if you need to file taxes, you will need an ITIN. Sometimes, Stripe and PayPal also require an ITIN. 

So, these are the basic services that I offer to my customers.

I want to repeat one more time that these are all things that entrepreneurs who are looking to start a US business or an Amazon business will need to have in order to start chasing their dreams.

Get an EIN, ITIN, LLC, and a bank account in the US.

Vova: I understand, man. Thank you for sharing that information with us, but now I have a question about insurance that I wanted to ask you.

I am usually asked about this because some sellers, that are about to start selling or even those who are selling right now, are not sure about their insurance.

For example, they ask, "What happens if somebody sues me for any harm caused to them by my product?

Is there a way for us to protect ourselves?"

So, will opening a US business help Amazon sellers protect themselves from these claims by customers who might not be happy with how the product transpired?

Sam: That’s a good question, and the simple answer to it will be: yes, opening a US business will, without any shadow of a doubt, protect sellers from these claims.

In fact, that's one of the main reasons to form a business entity.

What I mean is when you create a business entity, it forms a sort of shield around you as an individual.

It's something that separates you as a person from your business. 

This is why if you have a business and somebody sues you or files a complaint against you, they won’t be suing you as a person, but they would rather be going against your business, which will save you a great deal of harm.


Because if they sue you, then anything that you personally own – whether it’s a home, money, or any of your precious possessions – they could legally come after that.

However, by having a US business entity, they will only be able to sue and go after your business.

So, let's just say you have a business bank account that has about a couple of thousand dollars in it, it could always be harmful in the absence of a business entity.

That’s why you should definitely separate yourself from whatever you are selling and turn it into a business so that only your business would be responsible should there be a lawsuit or a complaint, or anything against you. 

Vova: I see!

So basically, it's possible to create a US business entity for a seller, as you've mentioned, and in this way, sellers can protect themselves from any legal problems that might harm them because once they have a business, they won’t be in charge of it in an individual capacity.  

Sam: That's correct, Vova. All Amazon sellers want to scale their business over time.

Obviously, it doesn’t happen overnight,  but you start off selling a certain number of products, but over time you're going to be selling hundreds and thousands of products, which is of course, the goal of every seller.

So what if all of a sudden, your product is in the hands of thousands of people, and one of those products turns out to be harmful to a customer?

Just imagine the loss it will cause.

All it takes is one product and one lawsuit to put your entire business at risk.

Everything you built for years and years, and when one person sues you, everything falls like the house of cards. 

So, yeah, it's very important to take those precautions upfront.

You have to set your business entity correctly from the very beginning so that you don't have to come back and be like, "Oh damn, I forgot to set it up; what do I do now?"

At that point, it would be too late. So just make sure you set it up early on in your career. 

Vova: All right, man. That makes sense.

That will definitely protect a seller from any kind of potential harm, and who wouldn’t want that?

And yeah, with time, sales grow on Amazon if one does it the right way.

Then, before you know it, your products will be in thousands of hands – which is something to feel good about, but it also is a bit worrying as with success, you also have to be cautious.

Sam: And another thing that I want to share for foreigners is it's very valuable to get their hands on a US credit card, and having a US entity like an LLC really paves the way for that.

To put the entire process in sequence, the following are the steps that foreign sellers would have to take

  1. Register your business in the US 

  2. Start the process for getting an EIN

  3. Try to get an ITIN

  4. Open a US bank account 

  5. Apply for a US credit card 

There are a lot of perks that come with having a US credit card; for example, you'll be able to build points and be able to build credit, etc.

But to enjoy these perks, you will have to follow the abovementioned steps.

Vova: Well, I’m glad you brought that up because I was going to ask you about the credit card.

I wanted to ask how we can form a bank account in the United States and if it will be any good for sellers.

I guess now that you mentioned that you could only acquire a credit card after opening a bank account, I think I’ve got my answer.

On Amazon, we have Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads that we invest in.

It allows us to advertise our product for a certain amount for a specific period.

I think credit cards can help you with that too.

And I believe if you have credit cards, you can also get points that you can use for flights and some other stuff as well.

Speaking about this, I remembered that I have a virtual bank account in Payoneer.

I hope, Sam, you have heard about it.

Could you please tell us something about it? 

Sam: Yeah, sure. Payoneer and TransferWise work okay for accepting payments.

However, it doesn't really set you up for long-term success.

The ideal situation would be to have a US business checking account. 

Interestingly, you have to come to a US bank in person to open up an account.

But, for the last two years, my partner Sina and I, have been able to figure out how we can help non-US residents be able to open up a US business checking account remotely from anywhere in the world.

That's one of the things we are offering currently, so if you want to know more about it, you can book a call with our team, and we will explain, please also mention Vova Even, and you'll get an improved rate for our services

There are a lot of benefits once you have a business checking account, and the biggest one is, getting access to that business credit card.

You will not be able to get a credit card with Payoneer and TransferWise.

Nothing can beat the perks you get with a credit card, and one of the biggest perks, I would say, is building a credit score.

It gives you large access to credit if you need it for your business, or you'll be able to use it for many different investments and other business-related matters. 

And another benefit, as you explained, is getting credit card points.

There are some cards like Chase Business Preferred or American Express Gold, which are the two best credit cards for business that give you three, or sometimes four and a half points per marketing spend.

So that means if you spend $100 on Facebook ads or Google ads, you will get 4% back, and that's a lot!

Especially on the marketing campaigns that cost you hundreds of thousands.

Just imagine how many bucks you will be saving on 4%! 

Vova: Absolutely! So essentially, I believe that the goal for sellers is to actually carry out the entire process legally in order to avoid any problems in the future. 

So, let’s do a quick recap of things we have discussed so far: first, we have to get an LLC business.

Our next step would be getting an EIN number, followed by an ITIN, and applying for a bank account.

Once we complete that process, we should get a credit card because we can get many bonuses on it.

Sam: Yeah. And if you guys are already on this path of being an entrepreneur, there are many benefits to setting these things up early.

I'm sure Vova is an enthusiastic entrepreneur, and if I come back to him after 10 years, I am certain that he'll still be an entrepreneur and a more successful one.

So all of these things again have a plethora of benefits in the long term.

If you care about your future, which I'm sure you do, this is one of the most important things that you should do early on. 

Vova: That's pretty cool, man.

Thank you for this input.

And I know you're a wonderful entrepreneur as well.

I've read about you, and I have known it ever since we got connected, which was over a year ago, if I'm not mistaken.

I remember I found you through Google because I was in need of getting ITIN and EIN licenses.

As I was roaming through Google reviews, I saw you there.

I think you had less than a thousand reviews back then, and after using your awesome services, I left my review for you as well.

As a service provider, you were very kind to me, and you gave me whatever I was looking for.

I needed the EIN when I contacted you, and then you explained everything about how I get one.

And now, here we are.

I got my EIN, and then we continued with Sina Bonabi to get the ITIN.

I guess the next step for us is going to be applying for a US bank account, which will obviously help me.

I still haven't been to the United States, which is one of my next destinations, and hopefully, I will meet you there soon! 

Sam: Oh, I will be happy to meet you!

Vova: Thanks, Sam. I have one more question for you, which many sellers ask me too.

Sellers are not sure about the taxes, and they have many questions about that. What can you tell our readers about that?

Sam: It's a very common question, "How do I deal with taxes? What's my tax situation?"

The answer is, that there is no one answer for everybody. It really depends on where you're located and your business structure and your business.

For that, I would recommend connecting with an accountant.

We have an in-house accountant on our team, so if you want help from us, just book a call with our team, and our accountant can connect with you on a 30-minute call to help you understand your business and explain to you exactly how to deal with your taxes.

I agree though, Vova, that it is not an easy situation to deal with. 

Vova: I know, right? Well, this has been a valuable conversation, Sam.

I am going to place all the links to Sam’s services here in this article, so if anyone has any queries, you can directly reach out to them. I bet it will be an unforgettable experience, as it has been so in my case.

Here is a great offer for his services.

Here you can contact Sam's team on a phone call.

I'd appreciate it if you mentioned my name, Vova Even, the guys will help you with great rates.

And Sam, as we come to wrap up this article, I wanted to ask you a little out-of-context question related to your personal struggle.

As you know, many people who are reading this article are Amazon sellers and entrepreneurs who have dreams, desires, and hopes.

They're a special breed of people, I would say.

So, I was thinking maybe you could share something from your personal struggle with my readers so that it can help them in their journeys, be that Amazon or life, or life as an entrepreneur. 

Sam: Yeah, definitely, Vova!

I would say the biggest driving force of a lot of my success is understanding the principle called the ‘80/20 Pareto Principle’.

What the 80/20 Pareto Principle says is that 80% of your results come from 20% of your effort. 

Now, what and how can you make the most of that 20% effort?

For sellers, I would suggest they should go and figure out what those top things are that bring you the most results and double down on it.

Only focus on those things that work out for you and ignore the rest.

Going by this principle, when it comes to Amazon, sellers should do some calculations about which of their products are bringing in most of their revenue.

If I were a seller, I would forgo other products and focus only on the products that are generating more sales.

I would then plan, "How can I bring similar products to those products? What can I do to double down on this?

Can I do more marketing?

What other marketing channels can I put it through?" 

Do an 80/20 analysis of your current campaigns and everything that you're doing, double down on your strengths, and avoid the bottom 80% – that’s what has worked for me so far, and I am more than sure it will work marvels for you too! 

Vova: Thanks, man. That makes sense!

Ladies and gentlemen, that's the Pareto Principle for you, presented by Sam Mollaei.

Make sure you Google it and read more about this.

I think it's pretty powerful, and I do believe in this.

I'm sure people who read the entrepreneurial books would know about this. If you didn’t know before, well, now start taking it into consideration.

Sam: One more thing, Vova, that I want to say is how amazing you are at being such a giver to your community.

I see you grinding for the past year and a half that I've been following you.

You're so selfless, and you really do care about people and put so much effort into these videos and everything that you do.

Honestly, it’s an amazing job. And the lifestyle that you've been able to build for yourself is a dream come true for so many people.

Most people just dream about it, but you've actually done it, and you do it well, and you do it the way that you want to!

It's very inspiring, and I hope your community grows and people continue following your footsteps learning from you, and growing with you. 

Vova: Thanks for these kind words, Sam!

That's really nice to hear. I am a strong believer in giving back.

Those who follow me and are in contact with me would know that I selflessly and unconditionally give, and I just love it.

That's just my way of life, I guess. And thanks for sharing your precious time with us, man.

I believe people would now be aware of the precautions of starting a US business in the States and hopefully would be motivated as well.

Thanks again!

Sam: You are welcome.

Just as a reminder to your readers, you have all the links available here to reach out to us.

Here is a great offer for our services.

Here you can contact our team on a phone call.

One will be an affiliate link for the main service that we offer.

The second will be a booking link where you can book a call with us regarding anything related to your business.

Our team specializes in working with non-US residents and non-US citizens.

If you need any social proof for our firm or me, you could just search for me on Google and look at my reviews before making any decision.

Currently, we are helping hundreds of clients every month, so we look forward to helping you as well. 

Vova: Sam, thanks a lot, man! Hopefully, we're going to see you again on this blog. I know my readers would love to hear more from you. 

Guys, it’s time for us to say goodbye.

If you really liked this article, you can read more conversations of me with industry geniuses on this blog.

Adios, guys!


Vova :)

Table of Contents
  1. Things You Should Never Ignore As A Non-Citizen And Non-Resident While Starting A Business In The USA
    1. How Can Non-residents And Non-citizens Easily Operate Amazon Business in the United States?

Disclosure:  Hi! It's Vova :) Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. I get a commission if you purchase after clicking on the link, this does not cost you more money, and many times I can even get a nice discount for you. This helps me keep the content free forever. For you. Thank you! :)