Leaders recognize leaders: Wilner & O'Reilly have been dubbed the official immigration lawyers of the largest franchise development company in the world. Together, we combine years cutting-edge legal and business experience with innovative franchise development and management systems. The lawyers at Wilner & O'Reilly handle all the immigration components of the E-2 visa both domestically and in Manila, while Fransmart helps the portfolio concept grow at unprecedented rates. While we are the best, there is no substitute for your own due-diligence. Put differently, don't just take our word for it: you must check it out on your own to determine if an investment opportunity is right for you.
As you know from our prior articles, persons who are nationals of a treaty country (such as the Philippines) may invest a substantial amount of money in the United States and carry on business here. Of course, the appropriate (E-2) visa is needed, however that goes without saying. If the visa is obtained, the business principal (and her derivatives) may travel freely and avoid the common anxiety that normally accompanies B-1 visitors for business.
The common question posed of me during an E-2 consultation is something to the effect of "where can I invest my money" or "do you know of any business opportunities? While we do not get involved in the underlying business transaction as it would be a potential conflict of interest for us to do so, we can refer you to people with said opportunities. Namely, our latest "channel partner".
The question you must ask yourself (either on your own behalf or on behalf of your family and friends) is are you financially sound enough to embark upon a franchise based business. Several things factor into the equation. First and foremost, the amount of money you have to invest.
The amount of money you have to invest not only will determine if the transaction is substantial enough to qualify for E-2 classification, but also, will determine what franchise brand (in the food industry) you elect to pursue. You may wish to pursue a specific pizza franchise or better yet, a microbrewery where you brew your own beer and serve pub-style foods. You may wish to pursue more than one franchise at a time, or several of the same.
For example, say that your 5 year business plan ( a requirement in filing E-2's) calls for a 5-store deal. Depending on the brand, the franchisee (the investor) will incur approximately $70,000 in up-front costs ($25-$30K for the first store and a deposit of $10K for each additional store). Then, the investor can pay the balance of $15-20K per store, depending once again on the selected brand. A 5-store franchisee should be able to demonstrate that they have liquid assets of at least $250k and preferably a net worth of at least double that.
If it is determined that the franchise business is right for you, a determination that would need to be made based on far more than is contained in this article, you would be assisted in every step of the way. Be it lease negotiations upon a site that you were assisted in selecting, procurement of supplies, business management, and acquiring more or even selling the franchises that you previously acquired, you will have the nation's leaders on your side. That your immigration lawyers are part of the team from the beginning can only help you.