Starting any business in the United States is hard, especially if you’re an immigrant – from accomplishing additional requirements to overcoming different barriers to reach your goal. Furthermore, it is possible!
Despite these obstacles, immigrants hugely contribute to the entrepreneurial population in the United States, making the country’s current economy today possible. In 2019, immigrant workers made up 17.4% of the labor force in the country and have played a crucial role amid the pandemic. Across numerous sectors, immigrants are doing essential work on the frontlines fighting COVID-19.
Let’s cover all the steps you will need to attain this milestone.
An immigrant entrepreneur dreaming of starting a business in the United States does not need to be a U.S. citizen or even a green card holder – the main reason for obtaining a visa is for employment purposes in the future. The key is determining which visa best suits your needs.
Have time to take into consideration several visa processing options for business-oriented immigrants.
Select your company structure.
There are four types of company structures in the U.S., but it all boils down to two different models for immigrants: corporation or limited liability company (LLC). These models are highly recommended to foreign business owners as they do not require residency or citizenship at any point.
Get to know these two models through more research to see what best fits your business.
State of choice.
Where is the best place to locate your business? In the U.S., business laws can vary from state to state – laws that can either make it relatively easy to run your own business or make it more hell of a ride. Delaware is known to be the best for starting a business due to its benefits in establishing a business as a non-resident.
However, it shall not limit your state of choice. Weigh every possible state for your business.
Register your business.
Now you have a structure and target state. Now it’s time to register. Below are the basics on how you can get your business registered:
1. Register your business name
Registering a business name is usually part of the process of registering separate entities. If you do not use your name for your business, you may need to file a DBA (a “doing business as” name). You have to be aware of trademark infringement. So, before you register a name, make sure it’s eligible for use. Do your research to prevent any lawsuit.
2. Acquire your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
A taxpayer number is a vital component of any business. As an immigrant, you have to obtain an ITIN issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to anyone who must pay the U.S. taxes but does not have a Social Security number. Don’t worry. It’s as easy as A-B-C; you just need to fill a W-7 form. 
3. Apply for Employer Identification Number (EIN)
EIN is necessary to identify your business for tax purposes, just like a Social Security number for your business. It is simply done online.
4. State and Local Agencies Registration
Once you accomplish all the federal registrations, you’ll need to file documents known as “articles of incorporation” with your state or local agencies. This is usually accomplished by assigning a state-registered agent to handle all legal documents for your business.
5. Application for Licenses and Permits
For the finishing touches, make sure you have all the proper licenses and permits you need to begin your operations. Note that each industry may have different requirements. There is an easy way to search for the documents you need. It is made possible by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Once you’ve registered your business and accomplished all the paperwork out of the way, it’s your time to shine by providing excellent service for your clients.
Running a business as an immigrant is no easy feat but starting a new life as an entrepreneur is not impossible. With the right fraction of perseverance and patience, opening a business as an immigrant may be the best track you could enter. But remember, this article does not provide legal or tax advice and is not a substitute for advice from an houston immigration attorney or tax advisor.
For more information, you may ask or consult with Houston immigration lawyers.