You do not have to be a US citizen or US native to start a business here. The countless
immigrants who have successfully started businesses in the US is astounding. They are living
proof that you can do this if you want to. Here are the steps to starting a business:
Decide what type of business you want to run. It is best for you to open an LLC or
limited liability company. Do not become a sole proprietor, as this means that you will take sole
responsibility for everything that may happen. Say someone robs your store and causes damage
or injury to people shopping there. These victims can sue you and you have to pay for the
injuries they go in your store. Being a C-corporation or S-corporation is not recommended either.
Decide where to open shop. It is best to open one in the state you live in in the USA. This
makes filing simpler. Otherwise, if you do not live in the USA, start your business in Delaware
because it has laws that make it a business-friendly state. Get a registered agent. This person
lives in the US and has an address here. He or she can accept legal documents for you. You need
to file and register your business. This can cost from $400 to $1200. Go to your local chamber of
commerce or contact a business attorney to find out how to do this and where you need to go.
Apply for your EIN for tax purposes. You can do this through the IRS website. It costs nothing,
but it is illegal not to have an EIN if you are operating a business.
You probably don't have a social security number since you are not born in the US, so
you may need to hire a business attorney to use his social security number and get an EIN for
you. Or find another US citizen who is willing to do this for you. Always have a US mailing
address. This can be a PO box at a local post office, which only costs ten dollars a month. You
don't have to be a citizen to sign up for one. Finally, you really need to have a US bank account.
Take your business documents, your passport, your immigrant ID card, and your visa with you.
From there, start to learn about tax filing. You should hire an attorney or accountant to help you
file taxes correctly. US taxes can be very confusing!
If you still have fear, take it from others that it is possible to work in the US as an
immigrant! You can do it! Others have.
Moawia Eldeeb is one example of an Egyptian immigrant who rose from poverty to
having his own business. He was so poor as his family struggled to survive in Queens, New
York. He got a job at a pizza shop and dropped out of school to work enough to pay bills. His
family lived in a one-bedroom apartment and rarely had enough to eat. Then the boiler in his
apartment building exploded, leaving his family without a home. They went to stay in a shelter.
Instead of being miserable, Eldeeb used this time to quit his job and get an education
instead. He graduated from Columbia University with a degree in computer science. Using this
degree, he started his own company, SmartSpot. This company designs mirrors that enable
athletes to train without using a human trainer.
Another example is Thomas Peterffy. Born in Budapest, his family was displaced by
Soviet raids. Using a short-term visa, he fled to West Germany to visit family. Then instead of
going home, he used that opportunity to immigrate to the USA. All he owned was some clothes,
a surveying handbook, a ruler, and a painting of his ancestor.
In America, he struggled to live in Spanish Harlem with other Hungarian immigrants. But he did
not give up. He kept working until he found a job as a draftsman, helping a surveying firm make
maps. Next thing he knew, he was working on Wall Street, building training models.
Now he is the owner of a Fortune 500 company that builds electronic stock trades. He saved
over $200,000, working to found this business.
These people are just examples of how you can travel up in the world. It is easy to give
up hope. When you first come to the USA, you may have little money and you may feel as if you
have nothing. But you really can climb the ladder and land a dream job or start your own
business. You just have to believe in yourself. You have to use the skills you already know to get
into an industry that you can succeed in. Finally, you have to find ways to save money.
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