Follow us

Life as an immigrant comes with countless challenges and new experiences. At every turn, you’ll encounter culture clashes you must navigate. If you came to the United States from another country, you likely have a business, profession, or trade you practice. If you want to utilize your entrepreneurial spirit, here are a few tips for starting a business as an immigrant to the US.

Create a Business Plan

The first step in starting any kind of business is creating a business plan. These plans must include every detail you’ll need as you register your business and look for funding sources. For example, if you want to own a supermarket, you should begin with the name of your business. Then, work through your budget and the inventory you want to sell. You can also think about ethnic grocery store design ideas and signage—how you will organize and structure your physical space. Every bit of information should find its way into your business plan. That way, you have all your ideas on paper.

Choose a Company Structure

There are two prominent choices for immigrants when it comes to company structures: C-corporation or LLC. Neither option requires domestic headquarters, personal residency, or personal citizenship. There are various tax advantages and rates associated with each, so you should create a comparative spreadsheet to put the options side by side. With both options fully laid out, you can make an informed decision. Once you know the company structure you want to use, you can register your business with your local state and get an individual taxpayer identification number—or ITIN.

Search for Funding

Businesses cost money, and you must have committed investors or secured loans to get your venture off the ground. Small Business Administration—or SBA—loans are excellent options for immigrants. However, you should look at the eligibility restrictions and determine if your legal status complies with the requirements. Other funding options you can look into include investors, term loans, and short-term loans.

Remember these tips for starting a business as an immigrant to the US. Setting new roots in a new community takes time. Become an established part of your neighborhood by contributing your business acuity and unique products or services to the local market.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.