Create a Lasting Legacy Through Immigrant Entrepreneurship

Leaving a legacy of financial security and prosperity is a deep desire many people have, especially those who own a business. A lucrative and successful business is a generous inheritance for your children, one that can potentially benefit your family for generations to come.

That’s a big dream if you’re a recent immigrant to the United States, but it is entirely possible. It will be a challenging process undoubtedly full of ups and downs, but with proper research, careful planning, and a little bit of luck, the American dream can happen for you.

Exploring Visa Options

If you are not already living and working here in the U.S. as a permanent resident, you will eventually need a green card to get started. Boundless points out there are many paths to immigration, including student visas (F-1, M-1, and J-1) and temporary work visas (H-1 and B-1) that require you to be hired temporarily by a company operating in America.

There are also investor-based visas if you have the funds to back businesses here and facilitate international trade; these are the EB-2 and EB-5 Investor visas. Please note that you are only eligible for these visas if your home country is a part of the E-2 Treaty.

Finally, there are the EB-1 Extraordinary Ability and EB-2 Advanced Degree visas, which are for professionals in highly specialized fields that are in-demand. If you happen to be here as a refugee, you should apply for permanent residency and a green card one year after your arrival, according to the Office of Refugee Resettlement of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Establishing Residency

Though it’s possible to launch a business without a green card, obtaining one and establishing permanent residency is recommended if you want to live and run your business in the United States. Having a green card is necessary to get a Social Security Number, a bank account, and the various types of loans you most likely will need to get started. There are also business development and government grants available, with some specific to refugees if that applies to you.

Registering Your Business

  1. Decide on a name — you can use your own name if it makes sense, a trade name, or register as a DBA in your state.
  2. Choose which business structure works best for your company — both the LLC and corporation are available to immigrants.
  3. Fill out a W-7 form to obtain a Tax ID number if you haven’t gotten a green card or SSN yet.
  4. Get an Employer ID Number. To do this, you must first get an ITIN.

Keeping Up Connections

If you left a spouse, parents, siblings or other relatives behind when you came to the U.S., it doesn’t take long to realize that staying connected to those in your home country can feel like a real challenge — and an expensive one at that. Thankfully, as TransferWise notes there are free calling and video chat options available like Skype and FaceTime.

However, other opportunities to connect are more costly. There are ways to remain thrifty in your efforts, though. As an example, if you are from beautiful Jaipur and decide to visit your motherland, you can compare travel packages on Orbitz. If you want to share a taste of the U.S. by sending a package to those back home, there are websites that allow you to leverage couriers. Or if you intend to send money to your family India, check on the speed, fees and rates available to you through various services to find your best option. Staying connected in these ways might not be free, but by doing some research, you ensure your money is well-spent.

What legacy will you leave your loved ones? If you’re building a business in the U.S. with future generations in mind, know how to go about it in the right way. It’s the best insurance that your generosity toward those you leave behind will be well-rewarded. 

First Generation Entrepreneur. Life strives to assist business owners in creating a legacy today that will pay off for generations to come. For information, support, training and coaching opportunities, connect with First Generation Entrepreneur. Life, and lay the foundation for your family’s future.

Article contributed by: Derek Goodman

You can connect with him here:

Image via Pexels

Leave a Comment