Although the economic policy debate between protectionism and global free trade continues to heat up, many foreign-owned companies and foreign-nationals continue to invest in the U.S. economy.  Investing in a U.S. company or starting an office of an existing international company in the U.S. are among the ways a foreign-national can obtain legal status in the United States.  The E investment visa and the L-1 intracompany transfer visa are commonly used by foreign companies to expand their business in the U.S.

Many investors choose Southern California, because it continues to be a major hub for the global economy with an estimated 10,378 foreign-owned firms, and nearly half of these firms in Los Angeles County alone.  A 2018 report by the World Trade Center – Los Angeles (WTC-LA) further breaks down these demographics, detailing the variety of job types and top source nations for foreign-owned enterprises in the region (see graph below).

WTC-LA is an excellent resource we recommend for our clients interested in starting a business in the U.S..  This organization not only has a detailed knowledge of the market, but also free business consulting in areas of banking, accounting, human resources, connections with city government for possible discretionary incentives, personal wealth management, and business partnership matchmaking.  All of these resources exist to help Los Angeles continue to be an epicenter for international business and trade and a welcoming city for immigrants from around the world.

WTC LA graph