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 GlanceTexasLouisianaSouth Carolina
Number of Free Trade Zones available3273
FTZs used by which industry?Oil/PetroleumOil/PetroleumVehicle parts
Average annual Industrial space rent per 1000 sqmDepends on activityDepends on activityDepends on activity
How long to set the company up?10 - 12 months10 - 12 months10 - 12 months
How long to open company bank account?3 weeks3 weeks3 weeks
Quality of UtilitiesVery goodVery goodGood
Allowed to sign sales contracts with American Clients?YesYesYes
Allowed to invoice American Clients?YesYesYes
Corporate tax payable in USADepends on activityDepends on activityDepends on activity
Corporate bank accountWells FargoWells FargoWells Fargo
Physical office space requiredYesYesYes
Industrial space availabilityManyManyMany
Allowed to import raw materials?YesYesYes
Allowed to export goods?YesYesYes
Wholly foreign ownedYesYesYes
Can the entity hire expatriate staff in USA?YesYesYes
Minimum number of directors111
Minimum number of shareholders111
Tax registration certificate requiredYesYesYes
Individual shareholders allowedYesYesYes
Corporate shareholders allowedYesYesYes
Corporate director(s) allowedYesYesYes
Public register of shareholders and directorsYesYesYes
LLC company allowed?YesYesYes
Can apply for immigration visasYesYesYes
Annual audited financial statementsYesYesYes

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
  • Sales & Business Development Manager
  • Contact me!
US sec us chamber US dhs US commerce department US irs US sba US aicpa acaus