How to Open a Business in the United States (2023)

Although job hunting is the most common way to enter the labor market, there is another option you can turn to: self-employment. Indeed, entrepreneurship may be the path you’ve been looking for to job and financial stability. 

Opening your own business in the United States may seem like an impossible or unattainable idea, when in fact it is a feasible alternative to support your family.

Although the steps and requirements may vary depending on the type of project you decide to start, these are broadly the steps you must follow to open a business in the United States.

Research the market

The first thing to do is an analysis of the market. This is understanding what problem you are going to solve for other people. 

It applies both to those who already have a business idea and to those who still do not know what type of project they want to start. 

The intention is that, through this analysis, you can evaluate how feasible your project is or what areas you should focus on to improve the idea.

For example, in a neighborhood with many young families, it might be a good idea to offer childcare. In the case of a neighborhood whose inhabitants have one or more pets, a veterinarian or canine groomer could be a great option. 

On the other hand, opening a laundry in an industrial sector may not be such a good idea.

While much of this analysis will be done based on observation, you can also get detailed statistical information directly from the Census Bureau’s site .

Design a business plan

No matter what type of business you want to start (a hair salon, a flower shop, a taqueria, etc.), the business plan should be the path you want to take when opening your business. 

The business plan will help you make decisions about the operation and administration of your company, as well as to obtain funds in case you require some type of investment, since it clearly explains how your operation is going to be a business.

And don’t worry, you don’t need to have a business degree to write your business plan.

The business plan must include:

• The mission and objectives –that is, how the company is defined and what it seeks to achieve through it;

• Market analysis;

• Operating costs –that is, how much it costs to sell your product or service;

• Operating and administration instructions;

Marketing strategy — in other words, how you plan to market your products or services.

It is very important that even if you do not have all this information, you do the exercise of calculating the operating costs, as this will help you see if your idea can generate money or not.

Get permissions

Open a business in the United States as a Foreigner

There are many factors that influence the type of permits required to open a business in the United States. 

From the very nature of the company (food, agriculture, beverages, transportation, etc.), the location of the business (at home, office or truck), to the state in which it is to be established.

Here are some of the most common permits required to open a business:

– Business license

– Fire Department permit

– Signage permit

– County Permits

– State licenses

– License for Sales Tax

– Permission from the Department of Health

In your specific case, we recommend that you consult the nearest Small Business Administration (SBA) office to identify the permits and licenses that you must apply for.

Build the infrastructure

The location of your business can be a great key to success. When choosing the location of your business consider the following factors; proximity to suppliers, competition, access to transportation, demographics, zoning and regulations, etc. 

Also, as the profits start rolling in, it’s a good idea to create a record keeping system — invest in filing cabinets, shelving, and digital record keeping software to stay organized and on top of things.

Make an advertising plan

Once you have your business plan in place, put together an advertising budget. Your advertising plan should identify how much money you have available to spend on marketing

For example, if you have enough resources, you could record a commercial for radio or television. 

If you have few resources available, research the use of social media as advertising methods.

Get financing

If you do not have enough money or the necessary training to open your business, you can use public support. For example, the SBA has a business development program that helps minority business owners. 

It also works with lenders to provide safer credit options for small business owners.

Opening your own business is a dream that with planning and dedication can become a reality. 

Being an entrepreneur brings several benefits such as personal and financial independence. Don’t wait for a job offer. You have the tools to create your own job.

Business Ideas To Start In United States as a Foreigner

Business Ideas To Start In United States as a Foreigner

If you still don’t know what business to open, here’s a brainstorm with which you can start evaluating your options.

Barber Shop

The great advantage of this business is that it requires a much lower investment compared to other projects. But, yes, you will have to prepare yourself with some course or training to offer a quality service. 

Check out the technical schools in your area. There are many cosmetology programs that upon completion give you the necessary license to work in a salon or run your own barbershop.

Flower shop

The sale of flower arrangements is a great business option for those who have skills for manual activities and design. 

The initial investment will depend on how ambitious your project is. For example, some of the considerations to take into account are:

• If you want to rent a place or work from home;

• If you want to sell many types of flowers or have a more limited offer;

• If you want to provide home service or only in the store, etc.

Regardless of the size of your business, you will inevitably need to invest in a flower cooler, which can start at $1,500.


Tacos are one of the favorite dishes in the United States, so starting a taqueria can be a wise idea. 

Being a type of casual and fast food, food trucks known as “food trucks” are a great alternative to renting a place. 

Although buying a new food truck can be expensive (around $100,000 ), you can get a used one for up to half the original price.

Remember to take advantage of free small business resources available on the Internet, attend workshops, and do personal research on the best ways to run your business. 

Find out about the regional Chambers of Commerce and municipal associations that offer coaching, training, advice and other services for new entrepreneurs.

Remember that sometimes success doesn’t come overnight, so don’t get discouraged and always try to keep the motivation you started with. Go ahead and open your business in the United States.

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