USA free zones in 2023

  • The United States government operates around 293 free trade zones (FTZs) throughout the 50 states, known as “Foreign Trade Zones”. These zones offer multiple benefits to businesses, including:
    • No customs duty on goods imported in the FTZ and then re-exported outside of the US;
    • Deferral of import duties and excise taxes until the imported goods enter the mainland US outside of the FTZ;
    • Inverted tariffs are permitted, meaning that goods processed in the zone benefit from lower import taxes if the finished product has lower applicable taxes than their imported constituent parts;
    • As FTZs are hubs of import activity, there are streamlined customs procedures that expedite operations and logistics for our Clients;
    • Exemption from ad valorem taxes and state taxes while goods are in the zone, lowering the tax costs associated with inventory;
    • 100% import duty exemption on raw materials brought by companies with government or military contracts;
    • No duty paid on i) damaged goods ii) goods that are being repaired iii) exports between two FTZs;
    • No time constraints on the storage of merchandise in the FTZ.
  • Only products considered detrimental to the public, including alcohol, tobacco products and firearms, are not allowed in the FTZ;
  • Retail of foreign products in not allowed inside a FTZ;
  • Texas, Louisiana and South Carolina operate the most popular free zones in the United States, measured in terms of manufacturing/production of exports annually.

Table of comparison

Summary at a Glance Texas Louisiana South Carolina
Number of Free Trade Zones available 32 7 3
FTZs used by which industry? Oil/Petroleum Oil/Petroleum Vehicle parts
Average annual Industrial space rent per 1000 sqm Depends on activity Depends on activity Depends on activity
How long to set the company up? 10 - 12 months 10 - 12 months 10 - 12 months
How long to open company bank account? 3 weeks 3 weeks 3 weeks
Quality of Utilities Very good Very good Good
Allowed to sign sales contracts with American Clients? Yes Yes Yes
Allowed to invoice American Clients? Yes Yes Yes
Corporate tax payable in USA Depends on activity Depends on activity Depends on activity
Corporate bank account Wells Fargo Wells Fargo Wells Fargo
Physical office space required Yes Yes Yes
Industrial space availability Many Many Many
Allowed to import raw materials? Yes Yes Yes
Allowed to export goods? Yes Yes Yes
Wholly foreign owned Yes Yes Yes
Can the entity hire expatriate staff in USA? Yes Yes Yes
Minimum number of directors 1 1 1
Minimum number of shareholders 1 1 1
Tax registration certificate required Yes Yes Yes
Individual shareholders allowed Yes Yes Yes
Corporate shareholders allowed Yes Yes Yes
Corporate director(s) allowed Yes Yes Yes
Public register of shareholders and directors Yes Yes Yes
LLC company allowed? Yes Yes Yes
Can apply for immigration visas Yes Yes Yes
Annual audited financial statements Yes Yes Yes

Contact us

For additional information on our free zone company registration services in USA, please contact our in-house country expert, Mr. Petar Chakarov, directly:
client relationship officer - Petar
  • Mr. Petar Chakarov
  • Client Engagements Manager
  • Contact me!
US sec us chamber US dhs US commerce department US irs US sba US aicpa acaus