How to start a business as an immigrant in the US

Starting a business can be stressful for anyone, but as an immigrant, you’ll find that many things can get in your way, starting with the culture and even going to racial profiling. But it’s not impossible, and the numbers support this. 


A study conducted by the Immigration Research Center of the Fiscal Policy Institute accounts that 30% of small business growth is due to immigrant businesses. With this in mind, you can figure out that there are opportunities for you if this is your current status.


A big part of it is ITIN loans, offered by Camino Financial, that can help you get the starting funds your need to help you out. So, take a look at the things you need to do to get started. 

First steps

Before you even consider opening up your business, you need to get a few things sorted out, but you can do this even if your immigrant status isn’t resolved yet. So get started.

Get an ITIN 

As part of the U.S. productive society, you are obliged to pay taxes. A way to do it is by getting an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) with the IRS. This will not only prove that you want to do things right but will also be a helpful resource further down the road, especially if you are considering getting ITIN loans to fund your business. You’ll need to fill out a few forms and present identification to the authorities. 

Get your papers in order

Depending on the state you are in, you’ll need to research and gather different papers. From invoices that prove you are legally purchasing your merchandise to federal and state permits to develop a business, either at home or in a brick-and-mortar capacity. Make sure you cover all your bases, so you won’t default on anything and end up paying fines. 

Reach out for counseling

Even if you are not an immigrant, you will need a support network that could tell you how to start, whom to reach, and where to go. So, look for it in immigrants associations, neighbors and legal bureaus, and friends who can advise on how to start a particular business. You can even reach out to people in the same industry you are trying to break in to ask for help. The idea is that you get the whole picture and that you’ll start building up a group of people willing to help you out in a time of need. 

Learn the culture

This goes for language and traditions since you are planning to have locals as your clients. Things will be better and faster if you speak the same language and know their holidays, the way they speak to one another, what they like and dislike. Be a part of the community so you can have a direct line into knowing what works, when to offer something, and the best way to do it. Your effort will be appreciated. 

Write a business plan

This will be your first step into seeing your project come to life. Consider the market you are in, their needs, the added value you can offer, your product or service, costs, and market prices. Look at your would-be competitors to learn from them what works and doesn’t work. Create financial projections of your first year, including manufacturing or import costs, salaries for you and whoever you’ll hire, fix expenses like rent and electric bills. 


Last but not least, do a little homework into ITIN loans and choose one that suits your needs taking into account repayments, how long it will take for you to start having revenue, and how much of your operation you can fund. Put your ducks in a row, retain a lawyer that focuses on immigrant businesses, and start your project right now. 


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