In Google maps, enter an address, then select streetview. For example, the address of the locale where my business is 9116 Center Street, Manassas, Virginia. Streetview permits you to read banners and signs advertising commercial spaces. There are at least ten buildings with postings advertising commercial rental/leases on Center Street alone. You can then use Google local to research business competitors in the area you are researching.
Review your professional industry.
Choose an industry that parallels your interests, and that you can picture yourself staying in 20 years from present.
Determine your business niche.
Consider the career that interests you before choosing whether to open a new business, franchise an existing venture. There are also options for buying an existing organization.
Do not commit to anything.
The U.S. Small Business Administration guides that if you select to open a franchise do not execute any contract or make any payment until you investigate the disclosure document and have an attorney read the disclosure document and franchise agreement and have an accountant review the company’s monetary paperwork.
Pick your business/immigration lawyer before you make important commitments.
If you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you should email a qualified law firm to see if you may qualify to live and work in the U.S. based on a business investment. Many countries have investment treaties without a formal set minimum amount.
Regardless if your country is not included as a treaty country, to qualify as an Immigrant Investor, a foreign citizen may invest between U.S. $500,000 and $1,000,000, depending on the unemployment rate in the geographical area, in a business venture in the United States that makes at least 10 new full-time jobs for U.S. citizens or other lawful immigrants, not including the investor and her family.
Depending on what country you are from, there might not be a set minimum dollar figure for the investment, but there are often informal amounts, which you may consult with an immigration lawyer. It is also important to inquire whether you have any U.S. citizen relatives that may qualify you to live/work in the United States.