Many immigrants find that opening a business allows them to utilize their professional skills, support their families, and gain more agency over their work. If you’re an immigrant with an interest in entrepreneurship, you might be wondering how to get started.
Launching a business can be complicated, especially as an immigrant, but the tips below courtesy of Business Load will provide you with a basic roadmap to business ownership.
Secure the Right Visa
First, you’ll need to make sure that your visa grants you the legal ability to own and operate a business. Which visa will you need to secure in order to pursue your entrepreneurial goals?
Fundera states that you can apply for an extraordinary ability visa, like the EB-1 or O-1, or an immigrant investor visa, such as the EB-5 or EB-2. You’ll need to work with a reliable immigration lawyer to qualify for the appropriate visa.
Register Your Business
You’ve secured a visa, you’ve drawn up a business plan, and you’ve outlined a reasonable business budget — now, you’re getting excited about serving the public. But first, you’ll need to choose a business structure and register your business with your state.
Many entrepreneurs prefer establishing limited liability companies for personal asset protection. To register your business, choose a business name, file formation paperwork with your secretary of state, appoint a registered agent, register for taxes, and get a business license.
You may have some money saved up to cover the startup costs of launching your business. But what if you need more money to finance your future business plans?
You may want to consider applying for small business grants. While you could also apply for loans, it’s worth sending out grant applications.
After all, if you’re awarded a grant, you do not have to pay the money back! Research government and private grants that you might qualify for, and then start applying.
Seek Out Business Coaching
Starting a business can be hard, and immigrants who become entrepreneurs face additional obstacles.
You may not have a solid professional network in your new home, and you may not feel confident about marketing your products or services to customers in your area.
Hiring a business coach can help you overcome these difficulties. A business coach can guide you through everything from improving your sales strategy to gaining confidence as a business owner.
Support Your Family
Even though you live far away from your family, you still want them to share in your success.
As an entrepreneur, you can support your family from afar in many ways. For instance, if you have family in India who relies on you for financial support, a money transfer service like Remitly allows you to use your debit card to send them money in just a few hours.
In order to offer emotional support, purchase them calling cards so that it’s easy and more affordable to keep in touch.
Also, keep an eye out for cheap plane tickets from India on sites like Kayak that will allow them to come visit you in your new home.
In addition, if any of your relatives are interested in immigrating, you can help them through the visa application process with your firsthand knowledge.
For immigrants, starting a business can be challenging. But countless others have found success as entrepreneurs — and you can, too!
With these tips, you’ll feel confident at every step, from registering your business to maintaining valuable ties at home.