|OK, I'll kick things off. In our case, we have a US founder and two UK founders, a further two US employees, and a UK employee.. We started life as a UK limited company, and then incorporated a US Delaware parent co. So now the UK company is wholly owned by the Delaware corporation, and all the shareholders hold stock only in the US co.|
Sound complicated? It is, but entirely doable and we negotiated fixed fees and payment deferral with our US lawyers (UK lawyers are twice the price by the way..).
This was not the most efficient way of getting from zero to functioning company, but it has presented us with some interesting options for visas.
Firstly, the UK guys (founders and employee) can be employees of the UK company and get B1 visas for the US for the first twelve months . Physically, we can be in US, but be paid by the UK entity.
We can do this for 12 months than get E2 (Treaty Investor) visas so long as the US parent continues to be at least 50% owned by UK nationals.
Or we can decamp the whole team to Europe for the first year where it's pretty straightforward to get work permits, and get our heads down over there before returning to the US.
We can work in the UK for a year and go back to the US on L1 (intra-company transferee) visas.
We can work in the UK for a year and in that time try for H1Bs (application due in March 1, visas would be valid from October 2008). And a couple of us would probably pass muster as 'Individuals of Extraordinary Ability (the O1 visa) coming to do work in the US in the area of our abilities.
So that's our pretty unique situation - however, perhaps there's a lesson there? From the very beginning, explore having two companies - European and US - to give yourself the maximum number of options.