By Vivek Mukherjee
Immigrants to the United States come with many questions, not least of which is: “How will I earn a living?” While jump-starting a career in a new country can take a lot of extra effort, many immigrants are clearly meeting the challenge, given that they make up a significant percentage of the workforce. In fact, according to recent research, the number of immigrants filling high-skilled jobs is rising.
Immigrants also are well represented in the entrepreneur demographic, so if you are an immigrant arriving here and thinking about a career path, don’t rule out business ownership. Of course, getting a business off the ground while also working to integrate into a new community isn’t easy, but the statistics show that it is eminently possible.
If you’re planning to take the leap into entrepreneurship, we hope the following guidelines can help you start your own business as an immigrant to the United States.
Choose a business that suits your aptitude.
Immigrant-run businesses are exceedingly diverse — restaurants, IT companies, franchises, and construction are just a few of the business ventures that work well for immigrants. Whatever you opt to do, make sure you have the skills for it or the aptitude to train for them easily. Pick a field you will enjoy and one in which you know you have much to offer.
Research available visas and choose the right one.
Not every visa that will allow you to reside and work in the U.S. will also allow you to launch a business, so take your time, do your research, and make sure you are applying for the visa that will give you the freedom you need to pursue your venture. Several visas have been created specifically for immigrants who demonstrate exceptional talent or are highly educated. You may also look into one of the investment visas if you have considerable capital to start your business.
Even if you are unable to finance a business project, there are many loans and grants that will help you do so. Grants are available from the government on a federal, state, and local level. Some of these grants exist to help businesses enrich the community, while others are created for specific types of businesses or to serve immigrants from particular regions.
Put together a business plan.
A business plan is important if you intend to woo investors or enter collaborations. But it is also useful for you to make sure you have planned for every aspect of your business so you can stay organized and on target. A good business plan, at its most fundamental level, will include an executive summary, a financial overview, and a marketing plan.
Register your business.
Business formation is the process of making your business a legal entity and registering it for tax and other official purposes. Depending on the size and scope of your business, you will want to form it according to one of several structures common in the U.S. economy. Owners of smaller businesses may want to choose a limited liability company format, while those with larger stakes might look into forming a corporation. To register your business, consider using a SAAS formation service so you can make sure you’ve checked all the boxes.
Though starting a business is a lot of work, especially for an immigrant, it is also incredibly rewarding. If you think running your own business is right for you, start planning and attending to all the steps toward entrepreneurship as soon as possible because you have it in you to be a success story.
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