Starting a business in Florida takes vision and planning. It can also require a significant amount of capital. When people start businesses they often need investors who can help contribute capital so they can buy equipment, hire employees, market the product or service and pay for other needs as the business gets off the ground. Sometimes these investors are in other countries and will need to be allowed in the United States to help start the business. This immigration issue requires some special considerations.
Investors from other countries who have treaties regarding commerce with the United States may qualify for an E-2 visa. These are visas designed specifically for foreign investors. However, there are certain requirements that must be met for investors to qualify for an E-2 visas.
These requirements are:
- The investor must have or will be investing a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide business in the United States.
- A substantial amount of capital means 1) a substantial amount of the total cost for purchasing an existing business or starting a new business 2) a sufficient amount to ensure that the person is invested in the success of the business and 3) the amount is sufficient enough to ensure that the investor will be successful in developing or running the business.
- The investor must be in the United States only to help develop the business, which means that they have at least 50% ownership or operational control of the business
There are many business opportunities in Florida and there are many different investors in those business. It is not uncommon for the investors to come from other countries. The United States has a desire to develop and grow businesses and want to provide the opportunity for foreign investors to invest in these businesses. Experienced attorneys understand the process and requirements for obtaining E-2 visas and may be able to guide one through the process.