Monthly Archive: June 2019

The business plan to obtain the E-2 investor visa, tips, and free template

The basis of your business plan and E-2 visa

You must demonstrate, over 5 years:

  • That your strategy is established
  • You know the market
  • That you control your costs
  • That your sales forecasts are realistic
  • That your estimate of taxes to be paid is consistent
  • That you will create jobs and pay salaries at a normal level to your employees.

Of course, your business plan must be written in English. Then, will you have to stick to this business plan? Yes and no.

Yes, because a priori, this is the reason for your VISA E-2 and US immigration. You are an investor, you have or are going to set up a company in the United States, you have presented a business plan to the American Embassy and you are supposed to develop your business respecting this plan.

No, because no company follows its business plan for over 5 years. Your strategy can evolve, sometimes even your business. Moreover, if your activity is too far from your original plan, it will be good to consult your immigration lawyer, especially before the renewal of your visa. He will advise you to know how to explain the (good) reasons for these changes during your appointment at the Embassy for the renewal of your visa. On the other hand, if your strategy changes, but your minimum goals are met, all is well.

The profitability objectives of your company in your business plan

The two most important points are:

Create a minimum of employment and generate a minimum income that demonstrates that you can live, you and your family (if it accompanies you), thanks to this income.

The United States, through this Visa Investor, want to attract investment of course, but also and can be mostly quality entrepreneurs who create wealth. So, even if you inherited an uncle from Guatemala and your pensions are enough for you, you must have a profitable business to support your home.

Regarding the minimum employment, it must be proportional and realistic in relation to your growth. Again, if you can only create a job, after you have announced 10 hires over 5 years, contact your lawyer to determine how to justify this difference when you renew your E-2 visa. There are no precise criteria on the amount of investment, the number of jobs to create or the level of sales, everything can be explained if it is consistent. The good economic and managerial sense is the logic of American embassies.

The summary of your business plan

There is no rule but here is an example of a summary that you can follow:

1. “Executive summary”

A clear and global summary of your business plan that allows anyone who wants to read a page … to read only one page. ? This summary will be very appreciated by the reader, therefore by the person who will grant you (or not) your investor visa.

2. “Company summary”

All the information about your company. Name, form (Inc, Corp, LLC), EIN number, address … The licenses you obtained, if they are needed.s

3. “Founder (s)”

A presentation of you and you and your associates, your experiences, your background, your roles in society.

4. “Project”

Your project. The services and/or products you are going to market.

5. “Business Model”

How are you going to make money? Will you sell online, in-store, how will you market your services and products? Obviously, if it’s a bakery that you want to start, it may seem simple, but you may be planning to prepare lunchboxes every day of the week and sell them as a subscription. Here is an idea!

6. “Market”

What is the market, its size, its area …? Give figures, and qualitative elements but without ever writing that Americans like this or do that, it’s simplistic and it will be little appreciated. Rely on concrete elements and especially on trends (data over several years).

7. “Competitors”

Who are your competitors? Similar products, substitute products, existing brands. What will be the benefits of your services or products compared to these competitors? Be objective but never pretentious. You may be convinced that your product will be the best in the world. Prove it and go to the US embassy in 5 years.

8. “Marketing and Strategy”

How are you going to advertise your offer? What strategy will you implement to grow your business? Be realistic and concrete. Advertising is one of the most concrete elements to explain in your business plan.

A coherent budget over 5 years must be devoted to it. Do not say that you rely on word-of-mouth to gain notoriety, it will not necessarily be very well perceived. In the United States, advertising budgets are spent to make themselves known. Social networks, online advertisements, distribution of flyers, local or national media … Competition is intense and you have to communicate.

9. “Human resources”

  • Show your hiring plan for over 5 years.
  • Show consistent salaries. You can use this free website to help you determine the number of wages (gross).

You do not have to plan to create 500 jobs in 5 years. It’s just that your plan makes sense and is geared to your growth goals. And for the calculations of the employer and salary burdens, you can use this free tool online.

And do not worry, you do not need to simulate taxes to the penny. Here again, we must be pragmatic.

10. “Financial plan”

  • Detail your sales over 5 years.
  • Develop a cash, investment plan, and marketing budgets.
  • Present your “Profit & Loss” over 5 years (income statement) and a balance sheet, also over 5 years.

Market research in the United States

You can find on the Internet all the information you need to quantify the market and its trends. Your market is local, it is easy to determine the number of inhabitants or companies in your area of ‚Äč‚Äčoperation. Your market is national, so it’s even easier. On the other hand, you have to spend time finding this information and cross-checking the data to make your calculations.

For the quantitative part, again you can rely on market research that you find online, and you can also test your products, fill out questionnaires to potential consumers. This will allow you to really be faced with your future customers. Listen to them, because in the United States can be even more than elsewhere, customers are always right.

Consumer opinions are a major determinant of behavior. An American seller will often tell you to choose formula because it is very popular. Which means, that she is appreciated you can trust.

Conclusion: A good business plan for your E-2 visa is a business plan that convinces the immigration officer who will read it. Clear, realistic and well presented, it will be a major asset in your file. Do not neglect it.

Do you really need $ 100,000 to get an E-2 Visa?

Many sources claim that you have to invest a minimum of $ 100,000 to get your E-2 visa (investor visa that allows you to live 4 years (for Swiss) or 5 years (for French and Belgian) in the United States. The United States, then a visa easily renewable (unlimited number), as the company continues to practice.

Since the change of administration in the United States in January 2017, it has clearly become more difficult to obtain an E-2 visa. Yet it is not the amount of investment that has been enhanced. Let’s first look at the three ways you can get the E-2 visa :

  • Starting a business,
  • The takeover of a company or
  • Opening/redemption a franchise.

In the case of business creation, the vigilance of the consular officer will be acute and the amount invested is a major element in the evaluation of the project. In addition, we must make an effort to make this creation operational before we can present you at the Embassy. Your investment is therefore at risk and you should find and equip your office or office, hire your employee and find customers. If your project is weak on one of these points, you must excel in all the others.

In the case of a buy-out, the Embassy’s analysis will be less detailed. The amount of investment may be lower, as long as you resume an activity that runs and/or you have the ability to recover. If, in addition, you pick up an employee or employees, obtaining the visa is greatly facilitated. There are companies in the service sector for which the assets can be valued in a satisfactory manner.

In the case of a purchase or a franchise resumption, the Embassy is very reassured, because the franchisor will take you in hand and provide the bulk of the effort of communication with your future client. It is clearly more complicated now to obtain a visa for “home-based” franchises (that is, having the home office) than for those in “brick & mortar” (with commercial premises or an office).

If you are in a hurry, opt for the buy or franchise, because your visit to the Embassy can intervene earlier than for business creation. In most cases, we can convince franchisors or business sellers to include a suspensive clause for obtaining a visa, which protects your investment.

Nevertheless, be careful: a franchise contract is a commitment of at least five, often ten years, this requires a good analysis and reflection. Ditto for commercial leases in the United States, which are often longer than in Europe. The real difficulty in building an E-2 visa is getting a commercial lease, especially in large cities.

An Investor Visa project requires that we take care of and integrate many elements, including market analysis, feasibility study, financial analysis of companies to buy back, understanding of the contract of the franchise, obtaining and understanding the commercial lease, writing the business plan and “last, but not least”, closing the visa file. Because, without this sesame, nothing will be possible. But it is quite possible to invest well under $ 100,000, rest assured!