For vacationers Florida has always been a dream destination. But what does that mean for entrepreneurs? How do you protect yourself against failure and minimize the "apprenticeship", which is usually unavoidable in new beginnings? The answer is: It is important to find the right advisors. The contribution should give a small initial view:
The most successful entrepreneurs are mostly those who approach their Florida operations as carefully as they would at home. But you can not save at the wrong end and should prepare yourself well: Extensive market research is just as important here as the location search motivated by entrepreneurial principles. Switching on experienced and objectively acting advisors without artificial hurry is another crucial thing. Furthermore, the old wisdom of the cobbler and his groin is also true: Although one always hears from successful dropouts, running a small beach bar is usually not nearly as romantic as one might have dreamed of at the desk.
If all these questions are answered, then it's about putting an already well-founded business plan into action. The law in Florida differs from the usual law in Germany, which is briefly explained below:
Firms are fast, easy and reasonably priced in America. While this difference is positive, it does mean that a company is only an "empty" legal entity before it is filled with life or wealth. For newly established companies without proof of credit, this means that landlords or other business partners require personal guarantees from the owners, managing directors or parent companies and thus there is liability beyond the deposit. Caution should also be exercised when entering into relations with other companies, because bankruptcy is quickly explained.
To get hold of one of the relevant investor or business visas, and in particular to extend them, you can not avoid the employment of US workers. As the Florida entrepreneur helps the concept of "Employment at Will", ie employment at will. If the business is doing well, hiring workers. If they go bad, they will be dismissed for any unconstitutional reason (mostly discriminations based on race, gender, age, disability or country of origin).
While this does not sound attractive to the employee, it is an ideal mechanism for the employer to adapt to market fluctuations. However, this mechanism is often a double-edged sword, as skilled and well educated people prefer employers who offer voluntary benefits such as private pension and health insurance. This presents the flip side: Good employees are quickly lost if they get a better deal somewhere.
Florida does not charge extra income tax, unlike other states of private individuals. This means that only the prevalent federal tax rate of maximum 35% is calculated on regular income. However, the property tax is much higher and the gain is taxed, no matter how long you hold an asset. In addition to planning business, it is therefore very important to seek advice from a tax consultant or specialist lawyer who is familiar with the application of the German / US Double Taxation Convention and the effects of the tax laws of both countries on international entrepreneurs.
US law is governed by English common law and therefore is not geared to the existence of a federal code. The result is voluminous contracts for which entire forests have to die. There is almost complete freedom of contract with the exception of immoral agreements. Quality standards, deadlines or who in case of dispute for lawyer u. Court costs, is contractually regulated. Disputes to which contracts are silent often end in court.
Other issues and questions to be clarified: Are patents secured? Do products comply with liability regulations? Do products and / or services require a special license or acceptance from a US agency? Such questions should be clarified in any case before arrival of goods or equipment in an American port. American lawyers specialize early and many spend most of their time protecting their clients from litigation and conflicts with government agencies.
For the well-prepared entrepreneur, America - and Florida - is still a good location. However, the move across the pond must be properly planned.
Americans are usually friendly towards foreign investors. In general, you will be picked up quickly and treated courteously. The social envy, which many know from Europe or other parts of the world, is rare here. Anyone who drives a great car is admired rather than envied, as in the US even the simplest worker believes that everyone in this system can bring it to equal prosperity. What triggers crime or envy in other countries is seen as an incentive to do the same in America. This attitude also leads to a certain level of safety that is not necessarily present in other sunshine destinations.
The author Dr. Jürgen Hartwich is Managing Partner of the International Business Organization, LLC, Cape Coral.