What is Entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship involves the process of  designing, launching, and running  a business. Entrepreneurship can be an alternative option to employment regardless of anyone’s immigration status.

Legal Considerations 

  1. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) states that it is illegal to knowingly employ unauthorized (undocumented) workers in the United States.
  2. The IRCA requires employers to verify that every new employee is legally authorized to work in the U.S., through the “I-9 System”. 
  3. EXCEPTION: Form I-9 is NOT required for independent contractors or business owners.
  4. Independent contractors or business owners may use an ITIN or EIN to legally earn a living in the U.S., as long as they pay taxes. Instead of Form I-9, they complete the W-9 Form.

Senate Bill (SB) 1159

SB 1159 was implemented in 2014. This California state bill allows individual applicants for professional licenses to use an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) in their process to seek licensure.  

Entrepreneurship Frequently Asked Questions

Why does one consider entrepreneurship?

One may consider to pursue entrepreneurship due to employment barriers such as: (1) Immigration status (no work authorization or SSN), (2) Limited English proficiency, (3) Lack of work experience, (4) Disability, (5) Criminal record, (6) Child care.

Other barriers can include contemporary times such COVID-19, that has led to a record high unemployment rate and closure of small businesses.

What are the types of licenses and permits needed t0 start this process?

Business permits where one can apply at the city and county levels, business incorporation where one can apply at the state level, and professional licenses, where one can apply at the state level.

What licenses can one get through SB 1159?

Licenses in the following areas are availble in CA. Accountant, archetict, auditor, CPA, counselor, court interpreter, electrical, exterminator, hairdresser, lawyer, manicurist, therapist, real estate agent, teacher (private institution, and veterinarian.

What information do you have regarding the Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)?

– IRS issues ITINs regardless of immigration status; used for federal tax reporting.

– Can be used to open bank accounts and establish credit.

– Can be used to report income as independent contractor or sole proprietor

– Can be used to start a business and get an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

– ITINs are not easy to get, it requires a complicated application (W-7 Form), one must submit federal income tax return, it requires original documents, unless working with IRS-authorized certified acceptance agent or IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center.

– Support to apply can be found here: Acceptance Agent Program and VITA Clinics.

Entrepreneurship Program & Certificate at Fullerton College

Fullerton College offers an Entrepreneurship Associate in Science Degree and Certificate Program designed to prepare students with key considerations for starting and managing a business. In pursuing this degree, students are guided step-by-step through solid business planning. Upon program completion, students will have a business plan and the operational skills necessary to start or expand a business. This degree requires 22-25 units.

For more information about the Entrepreneurship Associate in Science Degree and/or Certificate Program at Fullerton College please see the links below:

UndocuHustle by Immigrants Rising

UndocuHustle.org was developed by Immigrants Rising, an organization geared to empower undocumented young people to achieve educational and career goals through personal, institutional, and policy transformation.

UndocuHustle.org emerged with the purpose of informing the undocumented community about entrpreneruship. Immigrants Rising mentioned that coined the term #UndocuHustle as the “enterpreneurial spirit at the heart of the immigrant experience”. This website is a learning hub that shows participants how to leverage their skills, knowledge, and experience to generate income though contractingor business start-up opportunities – regardless of ones immigration status. The website includes an online curriculumn to learn at ones own pace. Additionally, it includes 20+ video tutorials that enhances the overall learning experience. Lastly, it provides an interactive workshops to help participants build and pursue their entrpreneurial goals. 

Click on the image below to start your #UndocuHustle journey.  

If you have any questions or would like to receive support on your entrepreneruship journey as an undocumented individual please fill out this form to set up an appointment with immigrants rising staff. 

Other Career Resources

Grads to Be Program Disclaimer

The Grads to Be Program staff at Fullerton College is committed to supporting undocumented students and have a passion for social justice. We hope that the information provided by our team will give you a better understanding about certain policies and how they affect undocumented students and their families. However, this information is intended for informational purposes only and should NOT substitute legal advice from a licensed attorney.

We have compiled information from different legal sources, however we encourage you to seek legal advice for your own case as each situation requires analysis from multiple perspectives.

Although we try to be as timely and accurate as possible, immigration laws are constantly evolving. A licensed attorney can determine if there have been any recent changes to immigration policies or laws that may affect you.

The Grads to Be Program assumes no liability for the use or interpretation of information contained herein. The information is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. Lastly, please be aware that the Grads to Be Program nor the use of legal information provided by the program creates an attorney-client relationship.