U.S. Legal Insights for French Businesses

On January 1, 2024, the Corporate Transparency Act (the “CTA”) became effective. For the first time, all US and foreign entities that are determined to qualify as “reporting companies” will be required to report to the U.S. federal government certain company information, including information identifying the individuals who directly or indirectly own or control the entity and the individuals who prepared and filed the formation/registration documents of the reporting company with the Secretary of State (if formed/registered on or after January 1, 2024).
Continue Reading The Corporate Transparency Act and Foreign Entities: What You Need to Know and How We Can Help

The Orrin G. Hatch–Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act, or Music Modernization Act (“MMA”), signed into law on October 11, 2018, has transformed the music streaming industry in the years since its implementation. The legislation was passed with the aim of modernizing copyright issues related to audio recordings and adapting to new technologies, such as digital streaming. The MMA combines three pieces of legislation enacted previously into one: (i) the Musical Works Modernization Act, (ii) the Classics Protection and Access Act, and (iii) the Allocation for Music Producers Act.
Continue Reading The After Effects of the Music Modernization Act in the Digital Streaming Sphere

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (“BEA”) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, which conducts a series of mandatory surveys on foreign investments in the U.S., has recently published Form BE-12, its five-year survey on foreign direct investment in the U.S. for fiscal years ending in 2022. The previous five-year survey was conducted back in 2017. This BE-12 survey is mandatory for any 10% or more foreign-owned U.S. entity, regardless of whether the BEA has contacted them or not.
Continue Reading Foreign-owned companies operating in the United States must file a 5 year survey with the U.S. Department of Commerce by May 31, 2023 (for paper filings) and June 30, 2023 (for electronic filings).

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, commonly referred to as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, passed on November 15, 2021. Included in the $1.2 trillion spending package are expansions to various “Buy America” provisions, a set of statutes and regulations that apply to federal financial assistance used to support infrastructure-related projects. “Buy America” requirements differ from the requirements under the Buy American Act of 1933, which focuses on direct procurement by the federal government.
Continue Reading Buy America Provisions in the Infrastructure Bill: What this Means for Foreign Companies

For employers who need to hire foreign national talent for STEM or other hard-to-fill positions, an important immigration deadline is around the corner.

The electronic H-1B lottery application window starts on March 1 and ends on March 18 at 12 noon EST / 9 am PST. If you desire to have one or more candidates entered into the H-1B lottery, please let immigration counsel know before March 1.
Continue Reading Annual H-1B Visa Lottery Will Open on March 1, 2022

On July 26, 2021, the SEC announced the approval of a substituted compliance determination order with respect to security-based swap dealers and major security-based swap participants (SBS Entities) subject to regulation in the French Republic (the French Order). This is the first determination that addresses substituted compliance in connection with the Commission’s capital and margin requirements.
Continue Reading SEC’s French Order is First Ever Substituted Compliance Determination in Connection with Capital and Margin Requirements

On July 6, 2021 the U.S. State Department publicly announced that the travel ban waivers related to the world-wide pandemic will now be good for 1 year and multiple entry.  The effective date of this new decision is June 29, 2021.  Previously they were only good for 30 days and a single entry.  In addition, those that have received a waiver in the past may now use it for 12 months if it was granted after June 29, 2020.  See: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/extension-validity-for-nies-for-china-iran-brazil-south-africa-schengen-uk-ireland-india.html
Continue Reading NIE’s Now Good for 1 Year, More on Navigating the Travel Ban Jungle: National Interest Exception Checklist for the U.S. COVID Travel Bans

The travel bans imposed by the U.S. Government during the Covid-19 national pandemic created enormous logistical challenges for anyone seeking to fly to the U.S. from a country on the travel ban list.  Even today, there is still a great deal of confusion regarding who is subject to the travel ban, what are the exceptions, and how to go about applying for a National Interest Exception (NIE) waiver.  The checklist below is intended to help simplify an albeit complicated process.  Of course, most U.S. Consulates are still operating at limited capacities so significant delays for waivers and visa stamping is
Continue Reading Navigating the Travel Ban Jungle: National Interest Exception Checklist for the U.S. Covid Travel Bans

Sheppard Mullin congratulates Seema Hingorani on her award of France’s Chevalier of the National Order of the Legion d’honneur. The Order of Légion d’Honneur is the highest order of merit for military and civil merits, established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte. Seema is the first Asian American recipient of this award.

Seema was recognized for her work in founding Girls Who Invest (“GWI”), a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the number of women in portfolio management and executive leadership in the asset management industry.
Continue Reading Frances’s Chevalier of the National Order of the Legion d’Honneur Awarded to Seema Hingorani Founder of Girls Who Invest

On March 3, 2021, the U.S. Embassy to France announced significant changes in the criteria for granting “National Interest Exemptions” (“NIE waiver”) to certain foreign travelers coming to the United States. The U.S. Embassy strongly advised persons currently in the United States on E, H, L, O, or P visas not leave the United States for trips back to France unless “they understand that they may not be able to re-enter the United States for some time.” In particular, these changes will favor specialists in critical infrastructures to get a NIE waiver, as opposed to senior executives who will generally
Continue Reading U.S. Embassy in Paris Substantially Limits the Eligibility of National Interest Exemptions for Foreign Travelers

Key Takeaways:

  • Threatened 25% tariffs on French luxury goods are suspended.
  • USTR is still looking at tariffs in retaliation for taxes on U.S. global tech companies.
  • Biden’s new USTR will face immense pressure to negotiate the digital taxation issue in the first few weeks of her tenure.

In the last few weeks of former President Trump’s term in office, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) suspended its previous plans to impose tariffs on certain French luxury goods, as we discussed here and here.
On June 26, 2020, USTR published a notice that it was considering tariffs on exports such
Continue Reading USTR Suspends Tariffs on Certain French Luxury Goods: A Potential Shift in Trade Talks

Hiring employees does not usually call to mind international trade compliance obligations. However, together U.S. export controls and anti-discrimination laws create a web that is overlooked or misunderstood by many types of employers of all sizes across many industries. Anti-discrimination laws prohibit unlawful citizenship status restrictions when hiring, and U.S. export controls prohibit disclosing controlled information to foreign nationals without authorization. Together, these law limit acceptable job descriptions and hiring practices.
The Most Recent Penalties
Failing to adhere to these limitations can result in enforcement actions, civil penalties, and reputational harm. For example, in the end of July, a large
Continue Reading Export Control HR Pitfalls To Avoid When Hiring

Opening Salvos: The Proposed Tariffs
On June 26, 2020, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) published a notice that it is considering new tariffs on exports such as olives, coffee, beer, gin, and trucks coming into the United States from France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom.[1] The list of potential targets also includes various types of bread, pastries, cakes, and other baked products. That new list of goods may face duties of up to 100%, potentially doubling the price of certain goods. [2] The announcement caused European stocks to fall, particularly for shares of beverage companies, luxury goods companies,
Continue Reading A Trade War on Two Fronts: U.S. Considers More Tariffs on European Goods

Relief on Substantial Presence and Treaty Day-Count Tests.
On May 30th, the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2020-20 which provides non-U.S. individuals present in the U.S. some limited relief from the day-count tests for U.S. tax residency and for eligibility for certain treaty benefits.  The relief comes in the form of the “COVID-19 Medical Condition Travel Exception”.  The name of the exception is a misnomer because individuals need not have had any medical condition (including the COVID-19 virus) to claim its benefits.

Travel disruptions due to COVID-19 related restrictions have meant that some non-resident individuals have been forced to stay in
Continue Reading IRS Provides Some Relief to Offset COVID-19 Related Travel Restrictions

Presidential Proclamation
On June 22, 2020, the White House announced an extension and expansion of Proclamation 10014, which was originally announced on April 22, 2020 and restricted the issuance of and entry on immigrant visas.  The new visa ban expands the restrictions to certain non-immigrant categories.
Short Checklist Summary of the Visa Ban

  • Goes into effect on June 24, 2020 and will last to Dec 31, 2020.
  • Only applies to foreign nationals applying for new travel visas from overseas.
  • Doesn’t impact those who already have a travel visa in their passport.
  • Doesn’t immediately impact non-immigrant workers already in the U.S.


Continue Reading How the New Presidential Proclamation Regarding Non-Immigrant Visas Affects Your Company