October 1, 2018
Five Steps to an E-2 Business Plan
The E-2 Visa is a good option for business owners wanting to invest in a United States business. By definition, the E-2 Visa is an investor visa that allows foreign entrepreneurs to move to the U.S. temporarily to start and run his or her own business.
The E-2 Visa is a good option for business owners wanting to invest in a United States business. By definition, the E-2 Visa is an investor visa that allows foreign entrepreneurs to move to the U.S. temporarily to start and run his or her own business. However, applying for an E-2 Visa can be confusing. In fact, one of the first questions clients often ask is: What are the steps to an E-2 business plan?
Understanding the Steps to an E-2 Business Plan
Applying for an E-2 Visa and following a business plan created for E-2 Visas requires extensive preparation and organization. The process is complex and does not happen overnight. But, with the right support, advice, and direction, it is an attainable and profitable goal for foreign entrepreneurs. There are a few steps you can take to get started on the right foot.
STEP ONE: Confirm Your Country Meets Eligibility Requirements
The first step in an E-2 Visa business plan is to confirm that your country has a treaty investor visa agreement with the U.S. There are a number of eligible E-2 Visa countries including Costa Rica, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, and Japan. However, you might be surprised at the larger countries that are not eligible such as Russia, India, and Brazil. The complete list of countries that are eligible can be found here.
STEP TWO: Conduct Market Research
The next step in developing your E-2 Visa business plan is to conduct market research. When applying for an E-2 Visa, you want to ensure that you can showcase your knowledge in the desired market. You should also be familiar with your target audience, the consumers, and the clients you plan to serve. This can be accomplished through market research. Ideally, your market research should answer questions like these:
- Demand: Is there a demand for your product(s) or service(s)?
- Market location: Who is your ideal customer (age, wealth, interest)? Where does he or she live? How would your business, products, and services reach them?
- Market size: How many people would be interested in what you’re offering? Are there substitute products for the ones you offer? How much would your customer pay for alternative products? How many comparable products exist in the market?
STEP THREE: Write a Step-by-Step E-2 Visa Business Plan
Step three includes sitting down and actually drafting the steps to an E-2 business plan. This draft is the core element of the E-2 Visa application process. The business plan advocates on your behalf and helps the consulate officer evaluate the seriousness and likelihood of success of your commercial enterprise.
There are no documented rules to follow in writing a business plan. However, you should use the various areas of your plan to convince the reader that your business will generate enough money to support you and your family during your stay in the United States. Here are some of the most common sections included in an E-2 business plan:
- Executive Summary: Describe your company, its competitive advantage, and why it will be successful.
- Market Analysis: Showcase your expertise and understanding of the market: discuss market trends, successful competitors, and your unique selling proposition.
- Marketing and Sale: Explain how you will attract and retain customers and how you intend to generate sales.
- Financial Projections: Discuss the strength of the business financials and why the venture will be a financial success. Provide a prospective financial outlook, including forecasted capital expenditure budgets, cash flow, and income statements.
STEP FOUR: Secure Funds
Securing adequate funds to own and operate your new business is the next step in your E-2 Visa business plan. Eligible investment funds must come from a legitimate source such as an entrepreneur’s personal funds, a gift from an inheritance, or a loan secured by the investor’s personal assets.
In order to qualify for an E-2 Visa you must show that you have enough funds to support yourself while building the business. E-2 Visa investors may not work for a business other than the one for which they have been granted the visa.
There is no minimum investment required to obtain an E-2 Visa. The amount will depend on the type of business. However, you are required to invest a “substantial” amount in the business to qualify. In general terms, the investment should be large enough to capitalize the business.
Finally, you must document the source of the funds. U.S. authorities are vigilant in their efforts to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Your visa application must provide evidence that the funds were originated legally.
STEP FIVE: Hire an Attorney
Your journey to becoming a U.S. business owner requires drafting and following the steps to an E-2 business plan. But you don’t have to travel the road alone. An experienced business immigration attorney can alleviate the stress involved and dramatically increase your chances of being awarded an E-2 Visa. Here are some ways an attorney can help you present your application in the best light to the consulate:
- Assist with collection of required documents to support the application.
- Review the application and pinpoint areas that require further work or development.
- Provide invaluable advice when preparing your E-2 Visa business plan.
- Ensure that the application is complete in order to help the consulate make an informed decision.
Francine Prewitt of Prewitt Law P.C. is here to help you with the steps to an E-2 business plan. If you have any questions about obtaining an E-2 Visa or any other immigration issues, please call us at (+1) 646.583.1206 or fill out our online contact form. We’re anxious to hear from you.
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