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Is it possible to start a business in the U.S. as an immigrant?

Many people come to America with large hopes and dreams, including starting a company of their own. Many of the top corporations in the United States started with first-generation immigrants, such as Google, Yahoo and Telsa.

It begs the question of how new U.S. residents can chase their dreams and build a business on American soil.

Recognize the challenges

While it’s definitely possible to start a company as an immigrant, it still has unique challenges. First, you need to establish what visa process works best for your specific circumstance. The U.S. government does not currently provide visas specific to entrepreneurs, so you may need to seek an investor visa, also called an EB-5 visa, or obtain a work visa as a way to operate in the United States legally.

You will need to work with an immigration attorney or professional to help set up the proper documentation before entering the U.S. They may even be able to provide guidance on any additional details surrounding immigration in the country.

Take the initial first steps

Besides visas, most residents will follow the same process to file for their business as any American citizen would. They will need to register their company and file taxes. You can select a company structure and work with your local government to set up your Employer Identification Number. This number is crucial for getting a business license, opening bank accounts and other tax purposes.

You may experience more challenges while gaining venture capital due to the absence of a social security number. Some banks may offer loans if you have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, but it’s not always possible. Otherwise, you may want to seek specific work grants for immigrants.

Stay on top of details

Even more than other entrepreneurs, permanent residents need to focus on the details in their documentation for financing, operations and management. They will need to ensure that everything is set in place to ensure zero problems during the launching process.

It’s also extremely beneficial to work on a business plan with an attorney or financial advisor to ensure that you secured enough capital to launch your company without any hitches.

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