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The United States of America, also referred to as the US or America, is a nation predominantly located in North America. There are 50 states, a federal district, five major unincorporated territories, 326 Indian reservations, and a few small possessions that make up the United States of America. It is the world's third- or fourth-largest nation by total area, with 3.8 million square miles. It is the world's third most populated nation, with a population of over 331 million people. Washington, D.C., is the nation's capital, and New York City is the most populous city.
At least 12,000 years ago, Paleo-Indians moved from Siberia to the North American mainland, and European colonization started in the 16th century. The thirteen British colonies founded along the East Coast gave birth to the United States. The American Revolutionary War broke out as a result of disagreements with Great Britain regarding taxes and parliamentary representation. The United States began aggressively spreading throughout North America in the late 18th century, steadily gaining new territories, displacing Native Americans, and admitting new states; by 1848, the country had spanned the continent. Slavery was legal in the southern United States until the American Civil War abolished it in the second half of the nineteenth century. During the Cold War, the United States fought the Korean War and the Vietnam War but avoided overt military confrontation with the Soviet Union. The Space Race pitted the two superpowers against each other, resulting in the 1969 spaceflight that landed humans on the Moon for the first time. With the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Cold War came to an end, leaving the United States as the world's only superpower.
The US is a federal republic and a representative democracy with three branches of government, including a bicameral legislature. It belongs to the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization of American States, NATO, and other international organizations as a founding member. It is a permanent member of the Security Council of the United Nations. Its population has been deeply influenced by centuries of immigration, making it a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities. The United States scores highly on foreign indices of economic freedom, alleged corruption, quality of life, higher education quality, and human rights. However, the nation has been chastised for racial, wealth, and income disparities, the use of capital punishment, high incarceration rates, and the lack of universal health care.
The United States is a highly industrialized nation that consistently performs well on socioeconomic indices. At current market exchange rates, it accounts for roughly a quarter of global GDP and is the world's largest economy by GDP.
The majority of employees in the United States work on a "at will" basis, which means that employment can be terminated at any moment for any reason. Employers, on the other hand, are prohibited from firing an employee based on his or her race, gender, national origin, disability, religion, or age.
Employers are normally not compelled to provide notice or pay severance, but there are a few exceptions. Employers may be required to provide notice and/or pay severance under individual or collective agreements.
The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) protects workers, their families, and communities by requiring employers with 100 or more employees (generally excluding those who have worked less than six months in the last 12 months or those who work less than 20 hours per week) to provide at least 60 calendar days' advance written notice of a plant closing and mass layoff. When layoffs occur as a result of unforeseeable business circumstances, faltering companies, or natural disasters, WARN makes certain exceptions to the requirements. Managers and supervisors, as well as hourly and salaried employees, are all entitled to notice under WARN. WARN also requires notice to be given to representatives of employees, the local chief elected official, and the state dislocated worker unit.
The probationary period for an employee in the United States varies and is entirely dependent on the arrangement reached between the employer and the employee. However, in the United States, a 90-day probationary period is standard.
Employees frequently receive severance pay upon termination of employment. Typically, it is determined by the length of employment for which an employee is eligible at the time of termination. Severance pay is not required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Severance pay is negotiated between an employer and an employee or their representative.
The standard workweek in the United States is 40 hours. Employees work an average of eight hours per day, five days a week. However, there is considerable variation between jobs. Certain positions are part-time, which means the employee works fewer than 40 hours per week. Others require more than 40 hours per week and may compensate employees who work more than 40 hours per week.
Non-exempt employees who work more than 40 hours in a single week must be compensated at one and a half times their regular rate of pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). When an employee who normally earns $20 per hour works overtime, he or she will earn $30 per hour.
Exempt employees are not eligible for overtime, regardless of the number of hours worked per week. Employees in managerial or executive positions, administrative positions, creative jobs, and professional positions are typically exempt from overtime laws. Generally, exempt employees are compensated on a salary basis rather than an hourly basis.
For covered nonexempt workers, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Many states have minimum wage legislation as well. When an employee is covered by both state and federal minimum wage regulations, the employee is entitled to the greater of the two.
Although businesses in the United States are not obliged to offer health insurance coverage to their workers, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) penalizes those that do not. Depending on the size of the business, the regulations and expectations for health insurance differ. Businesses with more than 50 employees are required to follow different regulations than companies with less than 50 employees.
The ACA also included tax incentives for small companies to help make health insurance more affordable.
An company may provide extra employee perks that are not mandated by US law. Among the various perks that a company may provide are:
Defined benefit plans, also called pensions
Defined contribution plans, such as 401(k) or 403(b) retirement plans
Life insurance benefits
Child care assistance
The United States' tax reform law passed on December 22, 2017 (P.L. 115-97) shifted the country from a ‘global' to a ‘territorial' system of taxes. P.L. 115-97, for example, permanently lowered the 35 percent CIT rate on resident companies to a flat 21 percent rate for tax years starting after December 31, 2017.
The taxation of income generated by non-US people in the US is determined by whether the income has a connection with the US and the degree and extent of the non-US person's presence in the US.
Prior to the passage of P.L. 115-97, a non-US company operating in a US trade or business was taxed at a US CIT rate of 35% on income from US sources that was effectively linked with that activity (i.e. effectively connected income or ECI). However, as previously stated, P.L. 115-97 substantially altered the federal tax system. For tax years starting after December 31, 2017, P.L. 115-97 permanently lowered the 35 percent CIT rate on ECI to a flat rate of 21 percent. Certain US-source income (e.g., interest, dividends, and royalties) that is not effectively linked with the operations of a non-US company is nevertheless taxed at 30% on a gross basis.
The United States taxes its citizens and residents on their global income. Non-resident aliens are taxed on their income earned in the United States as well as income earned in connection with a trade or business conducted in the United States (with certain exceptions).
Except for long-term capital gains and eligible dividends, the highest income tax rate for individuals in 2021 is 37%.
Personal income tax rates for single taxpayers, married taxpayers filing jointly, married taxpayers filing separately, and head-of-household taxpayers generally vary from 10% to 37%. The exact percentage changes based on the taxpayer's income level.
There are no federal provisions for a sales tax or a value-added tax (VAT); nevertheless, sales and use taxes are a significant source of income for the 45 states that levy such taxes, as well as the District of Columbia. Sales and use tax rates vary by state and typically range from 2.9 percent to 7.25 percent at the state level. Most states additionally provide for a 'local option,' which allows local governments, such as cities and counties, to levy an extra percentage on top of the state-level tax and retain the money.
A sales tax, in general, is a tax levied on the retail sale of tangible physical property, as well as some digital goods and listed services. Although the tax's form may vary, it is often levied immediately on proceeds from the retail sale of the taxable item. In most cases, the person engaged in the business of making retail sales of the taxable item collects the sales tax from the customer and remits it to the state. The use tax is levied in addition to the sales tax and is often levied on purchases purchased outside of the state and brought into the jurisdiction for use, storage, or consumption. Typically, a transaction may be charged with either a sales tax or a use tax, but not both.
The states typically impose a sales tax collection and remission obligation on a seller after a certain number of sales transactions into or within a state, or a certain monetary amount of sales into or within a state, is reached.
Prior to the US Supreme Court's judgment in South Dakota v. Wayfair, liability for state and local sales taxes was controlled by a physical presence nexus test (21 June 2018). That judgment overturned the physical presence nexus requirement and maintained South Dakota's statutory nexus criterion of more than USD 100,000 in sales or 200 or more transactions delivered into the state. Since the ruling, the majority of states that levy sales taxes have adopted similar guidelines.
Foreign nationals who do not have permanent residence status or a work visa are unable to work in the United States. An employer who wishes to hire a foreign national may submit a petition for an employment visa with the United States Department of Homeland Security/United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") on behalf of the potential employee.
If the petition is accepted, the potential employee will need to get a "visa stamp" from a US embassy or consulate (Canadian citizens are exempt from this requirement). An employer must submit a petition with US Citizenship and Immigration Services in order to get a temporary work visa in the United States (USCIS). The visa request must contain an authorized petition; visa kinds include the following.
H-1B visas are intended for individuals with a college degree who are employed to do specialized job. The visa is good for three years and may be renewed for another three. The employer who submitted the petition is linked to the visa. If the employee's employer changes, the procedure must be repeated. Each year, 65,000 H-1B visas are available.
H-1B1 visas are available to Chilean and Singaporean candidates with a college degree. Each year, the US government provides up to 1,400 visas to Chileans and 5,400 visas to Singaporeans.
H-2A visas are intended for short-term or seasonal agricultural employment. It is only available to citizens of eligible countries. Usually good for up to a year, but may be extended for up to three years.
H-2B visas are for non-agricultural labor that is transitory. These visas are only available to citizens of certain countries. Usually good for up to a year, but may be extended for up to three years.
L visas are intended for intercompany transfers (people transferred from a foreign company to a US branch of the company.) The candidate must have worked for the firm for a year prior to the transfer and be in a management or higher level job with specialized expertise.
0 visas are reserved for those with exceptional aptitude in science, the arts, education, business, or sports.
The normal approach is for the employee to get a short-term work visa and then apply for an immigrant visa after beginning employment in the United States.
The following are the available visas for persons seeking employment-based immigration visas.
E-1 visas are reserved for those with exceptional aptitude in science, the arts, education, business, and sports.
E-2 visas are reserved for those with advanced degrees or outstanding aptitude.
E-3 visas are available for both skilled employees and professionals, as well as unskilled laborers.
E-4 visas are granted to members of certain immigration groups.
E-5 visas are intended for immigrant investors in US businesses (substantial investment)
Alternatively, an employer may sponsor a potential employee's application for permanent resident status, also known as a "green card," if the employee can demonstrate that he or she is a multinational executive/manager transferee, possesses unique skills, or has been offered a job in the United States. The employer must have been unable to find a U.S. worker who met the minimal standards for the employment.
All employers are required to ensure that all employees they hire are legally permitted to work in the United States.
In the United States, employment contracts might be verbal, written, or implicit. Contracts, on the other hand, should be in writing with the conditions clearly stated out to protect both the employer and the employee. In practice, the majority of contracts are in writing.
The following are examples of common employment contract terms:
Employer and employee names
The kind and scope of the service to be provided
Salary and payment intervals
Salary and payment intervals
Start and end dates (if for a fixed-term)
Benefits and leave entitlements
There is no set length for assignments. This is usually indicated in the employment contract for fixed-term employments.
United States Dollar
To establish a subsidiary in the United States, perform these steps:
1. Select a business entity type: Determine whether your firm will be a corporation or a limited liability company (LLC). Both kinds of entities have benefits and disadvantages, so you must decide which one is best for your ownership structure.
2. Choose a state for incorporation: The United States has 50 states, and some are more business-friendly than others. Each state has its unique business rules, so you should research what that implies for your firm before establishing a subsidiary.
3. Establish a corporate bank account: Setting up a bank account in the United States might be difficult for international enterprises, but it is simpler with a U.S. subsidiary. Working with a U.S. bank will make it easier to manage payroll for your multinational crew.
Because accounting and tax rules in the United States are complex, most international firms engage an accountant as part of the process of establishing a subsidiary.
Subsidiary laws in the United States differ depending on the state and whether the firm is a corporation or an LLC. Some regulations, however, apply to all firms and subsidiaries in the United States. For example, every business must receive a taxpayer identification number from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Businesses in certain states must additionally follow a slew of state and municipal rules and licensing requirements. It is possible that you may need to register your subsidiary with the local tax office.
As you can see, there aren't many uniform laws governing subsidiaries in the United States. As a result, many international corporations engage an attorney to assist them in meeting the legal requirements of establishing a subsidiary in the United States.