Starting a business in a new country can often be risky, stressful, and even dangerous, yet a 2019 survey showed that immigrants make up almost 22% of the entrepreneurial population in the U.S. While the reasons for starting a business in an unfamiliar setting are varied, there’s no denying that the outcome has been successful for those who have found their niche. If you have a solid business idea and are ready to get started, it’s crucial to understand the steps involved in staying compliant with local and federal laws, finding the right funding, marketing to your target customer, and securing all the necessary documents.
Here are a few tasks you’ll need to tackle when you’re ready to get your startup off the ground, courtesy of Portfolio Management Group:
Get the Legalities Out of the Way
Starting a business of any kind in the U.S. requires the formation of a business structure, such as a limited liability company or sole proprietorship; this structure will inform your business practices and the way you pay your taxes. You’ll also need to create a unique name for your company, acquire a tax identification number, and register the business, which will pave the way for you to acquire a business license and open a professional bank account or business line of credit. Research your local laws to find out more about the requirements for business owners, as each state is different.
Write Out a Stellar Business Plan
Once you have all the legalities taken care of, you can write out a comprehensive business plan that will help you find funding. This plan should include all of the details, including your chosen structure, how many employees you’ll have, where your business will be located, what you’ll be selling, and what your financial projections are. Not only will this plan serve as a way to show potential investors or lenders what they can expect and why they should get on board, but it will also act as a guide for you and/or your partners during the first year.
Use the Best Tools
As you get started, it’s essential to ensure that you’re using the best tools for every task. This is made easy with online resources specifically aimed at small business owners, such as accounting software that will help you keep receipts and invoices organized while ensuring that you get the most tax deductions allowed at the end of the year. Not only that, an easy to use accounting system will give you insight into your cash flow in real-time so you can stay on top of all the money coming in and going out of your business.
Know the Rules
Even with the best tools and a great plan, running a small business can be challenging for immigrants. Overcoming language and culture barriers while also managing daily operations and remaining compliant with government requirements can be extremely difficult, but you can take a step toward protecting yourself by making sure you have the right visa. There are two different types available in the U.S. for entrepreneurs–the L-1 and E-2–so you’ll need to familiarize yourself with them both as well as the rules for qualification. It’s also a good idea to research small business funding options for immigrants; there may be federal or local grants available to help you turn your ideas into reality.
Starting a business in a new country can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. Finding the right resources is a step in the right direction, and you can also look for support from other business owners who can help guide you toward success.
Portfolio Management Group is a small group of dedicated business professionals who use our proven expertise and background to find improvements and change that we know will improve business operations and sustain growth with profitability. Call 727-370-3080.