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A few months ago, I wrote an article regarding the requirements of the E-Visa However, during my consultations, I am repeatedly asked similar questions from entrepreneurs about what it takes to start a business in the United States. Therefore, I decided to write this article to answer in more details, besides the basic immigration requirements, what one can do to start a business in the U.S.

The Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles is prepared to assist you in filing an E visa. Although an E visa offers many advantages, it is also complicated and requires the knowledge of an immigration attorney with experience in these areas of immigration law. Therefore, we encourage you to contact our office in order to avoid unnecessary delays, frustration, and complications with your case. Call us at (800) 792-9889 or fill out our contact form here

Steps needed to start a U.S. business:

  1. An entrepreneur should research and plan the type of business he or she plans to open in order to be successful. It also helps if you have the right background, for example, if you are a doctor, a medical clinic might be a good place for you to start your research. Consulates and USCIS prefer if you have experience or education in the field for your business. It’s not required, but it is helpful.
  2. Franchises are also an option for some investors. Our office can put you in touch with franchise brokers to help jump-start your search.
  3. Decide what kind of entity you want your business to be: a sole partnership, S corporation, limited liability company, etc. Some of our clients use a corporate attorney for this, others use Legalzoom. Depending on what you look to achieve, you can decide how it is best to structure it and incorporate it.
  4. The next step is to search that nobody is using the name you want for your business, and then register it with the government. Most states will have this type of corporate name search feature online.
  5. You should also obtain a Tax Identification Number (TIN) from the government (IRS), and plan to hire an accountant to help you with the U.S. tax code. You can get the TIN online for free. Don’t let an attorney charge you to do this.
  6. Once you have the TIN you should be able to open your corporate bank account, checking account and credit card. If the first bank turns you down., go to the next. You will usually need to deal with their business specialist or manager. Under no circumstances should you try to operate this business under your personal bank account or personal credit card.
  7. Another important step to setting up a business is picking the right location. When starting a business, location can be critical. That’s where the real estate phrase “location, location, location” comes from. To be successful, you must know your customers and where they are likely to find you. Once you find the right location, either obtain a lease or purchase the location. These expenses will be part of the $150,000 or more you are investing in your business.
  8. Depending on where you plan to do business, and what you plan to do, you may need a business or professional license. If you are working in a specialty trade, such as medicine, law or construction, you will likely need to obtain a professional license from the governing board in the state where you plan to do business. Also, many localities require businesses to register and obtain business licenses so they can keep track of the businesses in that area.
  9. Lastly, as much as possible, learn about state employment law. If you plan to hire employees, know what rights they have and what are your responsibilities towards them.

Consider a successful franchise

Usually E visas are used to start small businesses, that do not require a large investment. One type of business that entrepreneurs might want to consider when starting to research their option is opening a franchise. Franchises qualify for E visas because they help the U.S. economy and create jobs for U.S. workers. It is important to note that you will be required to hire at least two U.S. workers when opening this type of business. Additionally, you can buy a running franchise, but you must own at least half of its shares to qualify for the E visa.

There are several reasons to consider a franchise, including that it is already a successful business model, and immigration officials will not have a difficult time understanding the business model. One might also have an easier time writing a business plan for a franchise, because it will be already known how much money is needed to invest, how the business will run, etc. Also, one will get lots of help in starting his or her business with a franchise, because those that will sell the franchise rights want you to succeed. It does not seem as risky to invest in a business that has already been tried and is successful. Franchises are available in lots of different fields, including fast food restaurants and food trucks, barber shops, kids entertainment, gyms, etc. And when starting your research, you can search the field that interests you and also the amount of money you want to invest in a franchise.