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Top Startup Tips for Entrepreneurial Immigrants

By: SmallBizClub


Startup Tips for Entrepreneurial Immigrants

It comes as no surprise to many in the U.S. that growth in the small business market is enhanced by the entrepreneurial drive possessed by many immigrants.

In particular, during 2014 immigrants and Latinos provided a significant boost with regard to startup activity. In 2013, immigrant entrepreneurs launched new businesses making up 25.9 percent of the market, but that number grew to 28.5 percent in 2014. It’s also projected to keep growing.

What makes these numbers even more remarkable is that immigrants only make up 13 percent of the population. The portion of the market garnered by immigrants is even bigger in Silicon Valley, since immigrant founders launched over 50 percent of the companies there between 1995 and 2005.

According to a report from the Small Business Administration, the portion of the market boosted by immigrants is not an entirely new phenomenon. The research developed using the 2007 U.S. Survey of Business Owners, shows that immigrants are much more likely to own or form businesses when compared with non-immigrants. Read on to learn more about tips for immigrants who want to launch their business.

The Right Visa

With more foreign nationals seeking out the possibility of launching a U.S. business, it’s important to consider the right visa type. Here are some visas to help determine the best fit for your situation:

  • The H-1B visa allows a company to hire workers in specific occupations. This might be relevant if you plan to establish a company in the U.S. but ultimately relocate a specialty employee in another country.
  • E-2 Investor Visa is a non-immigrant visa (meaning it does not lead to a green card). Individuals in this situation would buy or start a business. The amount of investment depends on the industry in which you intend to establish the business.
  • EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa, often referred to as the “million dollar green card.” Individuals applying for this could obtain green cards for you and your family in exchange for a significant investment. Bear in mind the documentation associated with this visa can be comprehensive.

Requirements and Culture

The process of launching a successful business in the U.S. goes beyond having the visa approved. It also requires knowledge about U.S. laws and customs. Compliance with IRS filing requirements, for example, could be overwhelming and confusing for the new business owner.

Financial requirements and disclosures can become an issue even during the visa application process. Trying to launch a new company might involve providing that a company can meet wage requirements in the U.S. and pay workers. A new company should carefully consider various business structures and taxes. Issues like accounting methods used, employee healthcare, and protection from legal liability should all be evaluated carefully prior to launching a new company. Finding out too late that your company was unprepared for regulations can impact profitability or even your existence down the line.

Related Article: Fuse American Culture with Your Own to Succeed

In addition, there are ethical practices to consider. Reading a primer on ethics or taking a local college course about business administration can be helpful for introducing a new immigrant owner to the key issues faced by modern businesses.

Get Help Early

In the process of starting a new company, it’s a wise idea to seek an accountant and a business attorney who can help you navigate the murky waters. With immigrant businesses playing an increasingly important role across the country, you need to identify someone who can help counsel you on the critical issues you’ll face. Make sure the accountant and attorney you hire are familiar with small business issues and are committed to your long-term success.

Robert Rogers Biography PhotoAuthor: Robert Rogers is an Attorney practicing small business and immigration law with Robert Rogers Law Firm in Miami, Florida. He has extensive experience helping internationals in United States business ventures along with helping foreigners with their immigration needs.

Published: October 1, 2015

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