E2 Visa: Buy an Existing Business or Start a New One?
What Should You Know when Starting a New Business in order to Get E-2 Visa?
It is definitely possible to get the E-2 visa by creating a new business, however, the process will be a bit more complicated since an investor must spend all the necessary funds to start the business and show the proof of payment and source of the funds in the forms of receipts and such. This must be done for each expenditure.
Overall, the investor may be asked to show that the amount that has been invested matches what one would consider necessary to start such a business in the respective industry. Furthermore, these funds must be “irrevocably committed” to show that the business is truly underway, for example a new shop will need to show that it already has a location, equipment and its set up. However, a service business may have a lower invested amount so it is a good idea to buy as many things necessary to prove an established business concept. These investments are necessary in addition to a reasonable amount of documented working capital.
In addition, the business concept itself must have a compelling case that can make others believe that it would be a reasonably profitable venture. A thorough business plan with a healthy appendix of supporting documents will help confirm the likely revenues. If there is no independent and reputable source to back up the projected revenues then the business plan is incomplete and the applicant may need to consider an alternative plan.
What to Know When Buying an Existing Business in order to Get E-2 Visa.
On the other hand, if you are buying an existing business, there must be a signed contract and the funds amounting to the purchase price must be kept in an escrow account. (The funds can be refunded if the E2 visa is not granted.)
Another advice would be demonstrating that the investor has run a business before. It will be especially beneficial to boosting credibility if the business is similar to the one being started or obtained. Furthermore, the investor has to demonstrate that he is qualified to develop and direct the business. This can either be through experience, education, or both—the more the better, since an investor lacking experience will have a difficult time securing this visa.
There is an exception for franchising because franchises offer ideal support systems to new managers and already have an established track record and reputation. The process is a bit of a blend between a new business and existing business. Much like a new business, there must be a considerable amount already invested, with equipment already purchased and the location already leased. Furthermore, the franchise contract must be signed.
Of course, that is just an overview of the process. If you have further questions, feel free to contact us or leave a comment.
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