I get calls from French business people who want to set up a business in the U.S. and use that as a vehicle for obtaining a visa.  There are always a number of visas to consider, but often the most appropriate one is the E visa.  The E visa is for a treaty “trader” or a treaty “investor.” 

French business people are fortunate in that France does have a treaty with the U.S. for E visas.  You do have to show that the company you are setting up is also “French,” which basically means that the majority of people who own the company are French nationals.  As the owner, you are entitled to come work for the company you are setting up in the U.S. 

For the treaty trader version of the E, you have to show that most of your trade is between the U.S. and France and that the amount of trade is “substantial.”  For the treaty investor version of the E, you have to make a “substantial” investment in the U.S.  As you can imagine, the embassy where you apply for the E visa gets to decide whether the trade or the investment is substantial. 

This is just a summary;  there are many details to explore.