The 28-year-old Jamaica international has signed a pre-contract agreement with the Clarets and he will join the club in January.
"We are delighted to have signed Dane, who is a player we have been tracking for a while," Howe told the club's official website. "I watched him at New York, where he played for a number of years, and he is someone who has all the attributes we are looking for to add to our squad.
"He is quick and direct, has a real turn of pace and I think he will be joining us at a good time in January, hopefully to give us a push in the second half of the season.
"He has good international experience, he is a good age and we're looking forward to adding Dane to the squad."
Richards has been capped 38 times at senior international level, scoring eight goals.