#7 Challenges Faced by Immigrant Entrepreneurs
A Note From The Editor
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With a GDP of 19,417 billion dollars the United States is by far the world’s largest market. The United States can also be the world’s most entrepreneur-friendly market. Indian entrepreneurs are sometimes surprised to find exactly how friendly and welcoming the United States can be for their businesses.
Unlike in other countries where compliance is often observed in the breach, however, in the United States compliance with regulations and observing key procedures in advance is critical to business success.The following key considerations are worth thought and consideration when attempting to
access the US market:
1. Selecting a US Business
Many immigrant entrepreneurs do not have a specific business in mind with which to enter
the US market. Given the vast size of the United States, the choices can be enormous. One
option is to enlist the assistance of a business broker specializing in visa-eligible businesses;
most business immigration lawyers will be able to provide a list of reliable firms.
2. Location of Business
Many immigrant investors are uncertain of where to locate in the US. Sometimes investors incorrectly equate the states with the lowest income tax rates as being those with the lowest overall tax rates and cost of doing business.
3. Liability and the US Courts
The ease with which an entrepreneur or business owner can access the US court system comes as a surprise to most US investors. In order to avail themselves of rapid and effective relief in the US Court system business owners and entrepreneurs need to ensure that they properly document all business transactions to US norms and legal standards. Standard Indian agreements may be problematic in the United States.
4. Business Culture
The United States has a different business culture to that of India. Just as in India business culture varies widely across the country.
Businesses are required to record and pay many different types of taxes and fees. While failure to file a return or to meet a deadline can result in the imposition of significant penalties and fees these requirements can be easily met through the guidance of an experienced accountant or business lawyer.
6. Proper Set-Up and Compliance
In the United States the failure to properly form your business and to obtain the necessary registrations, licenses, permits and other compliances can result in significant fines and difficulties. Unlike in India, such compliance failure may not be rectifiable at a later time. Unfortunately, many Indian entrepreneurs simply use a corporation formation service. This results in the lawful formation of a corporate entity that may not be in compliance with the applicable regulations.
7. Employment Concerns
US law generally favors the employer and permits an employer to terminate an employee ‘at will’ for any lawful reason, generally any legitimate business reason. Employers who follow properly documented procedures which meet the narrow requirements of the law do not generally experience issues. Immigrant entrepreneurs who fail to establish such procedures often end up being sued by their employees and finding themselves the subject of regulatory enforcement action and fines.