Logo for: TheDream.us

Dreamer-Owned Businesses

This nation thrives on immigrant-owned businesses.

Immigrants have long been a source of strength for our nation — founding businesses at far higher rates that the U.S. population. Immigrant owners consist of roughly 18 percent of business owners with employees and almost 23 percent of business owners without employees. Immigrant-owned businesses are found in every sector of the U.S. economy.

Working with Dreamer-Owned Businesses: What You Need to Know

  • Dreamers can legally create their own businesses – regardless of their immigration status. They can work as freelancers (independent contractors), start and own businesses, and create worker-owned cooperatives.
  • Dreamers may apply for and receive an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) that enables them to pay federal income taxes. The ITIN also enables Dreamers to request and get an EIN (Employer Identification Number).
  • Dreamers can create and own businesses and file and pay taxes using an EIN.
  • Dreamers can create or join workers cooperatives which operate as LLC, owned by its members, and file and pay taxes.

Steps You Can Take to Work with Dreamer-Owned Businesses

  • Build a diverse pipeline of Dreamer entrepreneurs through contract-based micro-internships.
  • Source Dreamer freelancers through freelance platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Toptal.
  • Solicit immigrant-owned businesses through your website, social media, and job fairs.
  • Work with Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) to identify immigrant-owned businesses.
  • Contract with Radiate Consulting, a network of worker cooperatives incubated by Democracy At Work Institute to create professional opportunities and economic freedom for members of underrepresented communities.
Photo of Emerson Loaiza-Gonzalez

I want others to know that is okay to be different; to know that coming from different backgrounds and experiences is what makes us stronger; and to know that being an immigrant adds value to those who have never been exposed to other cultures.

Emerson Loaiza-Gonzalez People Operations Generalist, Human Resources, Boston Pharmaceuticals
Photo of Brad Smith

Our innovations thrive on diverse voices, experiences, and perspectives. Attracting and retaining talented people from all over the country and the world helps our company and our economy grow.

Brad Smith President of Microsoft

Resources & Information for Businesses