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Startups and Scaleups: Going to the US

Startups and Scaleups: Is America Calling?

This past week, we had the opportunity to meet startups and scaleups in Newcastle and Edinburgh. We chatted with fantastic entrepreneurs on how to grow your business in the US.  With its large consumer market, world-class talent Growing Business in the USnetwork and large pool of capital, the US remains one of the most attractive markets for any company that wants to ‘go global’.

We had experienced entrepreneurs and professionals to lead the discussions and offer an experienced view in 2 interactive panel sessions.  The sessions were chaired by our Group Managing Director, Nora Rothrock, a tech entrepreneur herself with Artist Underground Music (LA-based).  In Newcastle we were hosted by Jon Dudgeon, co-founder Blusky and Emma Whitenstall, Digital Union (Generator).  In Edinburgh we were hosted by Tracey Ginn, Partner from MBM Commercial.

Our panelists included:

Nora began the discussions with a brief introduction to an 8 step checklist of things for startups and scaleups to consider when looking to set up in the US. Each of the panelists then shared their own experiences in reflection of each area.

8 Step Checklist
  1. Legal:  Form US entity (if applicable), intellectual property and patents, various contacts by state (T&Cs), Employment.
  2. Immigration: Visas.  Get the facts and do it right from the beginning.  Plan for the time it may take too.
  3. Tax:  US tax is complex.  There are two sides to consider – Corporate and Personal.  In addition to ‘US’ tax, there are 50 states and further local jurisdictions that have their own systems too.
  4. Location:  California Dreaming?  Choosing a location is much more than picking sun and beach, even when you can’t take another dark and cold February day!  You need to think about your customer base, logistics, government support agencies on the ground (both US and UK), talent pool, area costs, access to capital and time zones.
  5. Recruitment, HR and Admin: Hiring the right team locally in the US encompasses the usual process of core skillsets, culture fit and company values, but now there are the additional considerations of compensation packages, employment contracts and remote accountability. You’ll also need local support for payroll, benefits and bookkeeping.
  6. Insurance: Extend your business insurance to the US.  As with legal, the US can be a high risk place.
  7. Banking: Set up a US bank account that is coordinated with your home bank, particularly one that understands high growth transatlantic companies like yours.
  8. Funding: If you are looking for US funding, be aware that pitches and culture are considerably different.  Do some research first.

Businesses should gain a professional perspective on the legal, tax, immigration, cultural considerations and location options before any steps are taken to set up a business in the US. It could save a lot of time and money later on down the road.  Please see our brochure for entrepreneurs and register for our newsletter at the bottom of our homepage. We will keep you informed of similar upcoming events.

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