Open an Office in NYC
There are six main things to consider when opening an office/business in NYC. We provide this list to help international businesses understand the basic things they need to open here! Expand the sections for more detailed information.
**This guide only provides basic information on some of the legal and practical issues to consider when setting up a business. IT IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL ADVICE. Persons contemplating starting a business are strongly encouraged to consult legal, financial and tax advisors.**
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In order to open in NYC, your business will need to be legally registered in the United States. This will determine who will own and be legally responsible for your business, and affects how you file your taxes.
- First, you will have to decide between setting up a branch of your company or setting up a U.S. subsidiary. While that decision is dependent on your specific needs, most international businesses choose to set up a subsidiary. View more information about some of the different types of business structures you can choose between.
- Next, you have to register your business. Learn more about your options for registering your business. You can even register your business online. Once you have registered, you should find out if you will need any specific permits or licenses to operate in NYC.
- Use the Requirements Questionnaire to get a customized list of permits and licenses for starting or operating your business in NYC.
- Research information about insurance such as workers' compensation, liability, and disability insurance. Some are needed for permits and licenses and protect you from loss, fines, and lawsuits.
- Note that in most cases, intellectual property rights do not carry over when you open in the United States. Therefore, even before opening in the U.S., you should explore obtaining U.S. trademarks, and patents, as appropriate. Learn more about intellectual property.
Once you have registered your business, you will need to set up your taxes. The U.S. federal government imposes taxes on corporations organized under U.S. law. The State and City also have corporate taxes on most entities.
For non-U.S. citizens you want to bring to New York City to help run your new operation, and/or for yourself, you will likely need to obtain permission to work legally in the United States.
- There are a number of different ways this can happen, but some of the more common visas include the B-1 Business Visitor, the H-1B Specialty Occupation, the O-1A Extraordinary Ability and Achievement, the E-2 Treaty Investor, the L-1 Intracompany Transferee. Learn more about visa options.
We have resources to help you find the office space that's right for you. And with lower property sales prices than Hong Kong, London, and Toronto, New York City is more affordable than many global cities.
Establish a business checking account that is separate from any personal accounts you may have. Shop for the bank and services that best fit your needs.
- Consider large national banks and smaller local banks, and credit unions, as each has different strengths. It may take time for international businesses that don't have a history in the U.S. to complete their banking set-up, so plan ahead.
Below, we provide information on some of the main things you need to hire, pay, and provide a safe and legal work environment for your employees.
- New York City offers programs to help businesses find employees with the skills they're looking for.
- Workforce1 is a service provided by the NYC Department of Small Business Services that prepares and connects qualified candidates to job opportunities in New York City.
- New York City also sponsors the Tech Talent Pipeline, which connects New Yorkers trained in tech with businesses that are looking to hire tech talent.
- You will need to meet a number of employment, safety, and labor rules relating to your employees. See this guide on employment rules.
- For most employees, you will need to withhold taxes, and make payments on their behalf, including into the social security and workers compensation programs. Find more information on employee taxes and benefits.
New York City also offers a number of programs to help bring international businesses to NYC, and to help them succeed and find a soft landing once they arrive here in NYC. Check out this list of NYC programs.