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E-2 Visas: Buying & Selling California Businesses: Answers To Your Questions

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An E-2 Visa & Immigration Attorney here in California addresses some of the more commonly asked questions regarding this topic about buying and selling small businesses with E-2's on BizBen Blogs and Podcasts - E-2 Visa information & strategies for business buyers and sellers.

Topics: Buying A Business, Deal Structures, Legal Issues, Selling A Business     Tags: buying a business, for sale by owner, legal issues, selling a business


Contributor: Attorney, Esq. E-2 Visa's, Immigration

Hasan Abdullah Esq. a E-2 Visa & Immigration Attorney here in California addresses some of the more commonly asked questions below regarding this topic about buying and selling small businesses utilizing E-2 Visas. You can reach Hasan direct 510-500-1155 - mention BizBen.com for a free consultation.

What is an E-2 Visa?

An E-2 visa is a visa which enables the holder to enter the US to manage and develop an investment which they have made or will make. The investor must be a national of an eligible E-2 treaty country.

What qualifies as an investment?

The business purchased or established must have the future capacity to generate enough income to provide a minimal living for the treaty investor and the investor's family. Future capacity means that the potential income generation will be realizable within five years from when the investor starts normal business activity of the enterprise.

How much money must be invested?

There is no minimum. Even a $10,000 investment may be sufficient. The amount invested depends on the cost to purchase the business based on fair market value or cost to obtain assets needed to run the business based on startup costs. You can show investment through receipts, invoices, money transfers, and agreements. You can also invest through escrow contingent on obtaining the E-2.

Examples of E-2 Businesses

Practically any lawful commercial enterprise qualifies. Qualifying E-2 enterprises are often small storefront businesses, which include restaurants, gas stations, convenience stores, food markets, dry cleaners, hair salons, flower shops, auto repair shops, car washes, cleaning services, etc. They also include professional businesses from medical and dental offices to architectural firms and Computer/IT services.

Can I bring my family?

Yes, the E-2 investor's children under 21 and their spouse may also obtain visas to enter the US.

Can my spouse work in the US?

Yes, your spouse may apply for work authorization to work anywhere in the US. In a way, this is a shortcut to quickly gain an opportunity to work in the US. Therefore, in some cases, the spouse intending to work outside the E-2 business would choose to be the dependent instead of the primary investor.

How long does it take to get the Visa?

It typically takes weeks to prepare the application with all of the required support documents, and once filed, the visa interview takes place a few days later. Changing status to E-2 while present on a B-1/B-2 visit visa is also possible.

How long may I stay on E-2 status?

The E-2 visa is generally granted for five years, but may be renewed for additional five-year increments. When you are admitted on the visa, you are given two years of status to stay in the US, and may leave and reenter the US as you please. Upon every readmission to the US, you are granted a two-year stay.

Can I get a green card with E-2?

Possibly. If you can show you've invested enough to meet the EB-5 dollar requirements and can create ten jobs, it may be possible. Also, if your spouse works at a company that sponsors their immigration through employment, you may obtain permanent residence through such sponsorship.


  Helpful Resources To Assist In Selling And Buying California Businesses
Willard Michlin, CPA, Certified Fraud Examiner, Due Diligence

Willard Michlin, CPA #106752, offers buyers step by step training & assistance in doing Due Diligence Services when they are thinking of making an offer, or are in process of investigating a business purchase. He helps to determine the actual net profit even when there is cash. Call 805-428-2063.

Helen Yoo, New Century Escrow - Escrow Services In Southern California

New Century Escrow, Inc. is a fully licensed & bonded independent escrow company. Over 20 years combined experience in handling bulk escrow transactions. Multi-lingual staff that speaks your language, including Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese. Call Helen Yoo direct at 626-890-1151.

Peter Siegel, MBA, BizBen Founder, Lead Facilitator - ProBuy, ProSell

Founder & President Of BizBen.com (since 1994) & BizBenNetwork.com. I am the Lead Facilitator for the ProSell & ProBuy Programs on both platforms. I consult daily with business buyers, owner/sellers, and intermediaries daily about buying and selling businesses. Reach me direct at 925-785-3118.

Shalonda Chappel-Pilgram: Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - Southern California

Escrow services to brokers/agents, sellers, & buyers. Established 43 years. Extraordinary service. Experienced with handling difficult transactions. One stop for all your escrow needs: Bulk sales, lien searches, UCC searches, liquor license transfers, publishing & recording services. 951-808-3972.

Diane Boudreau-Tschetter: Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - CA

California Business Escrow, Inc. is a full service independent escrow company serving all of California and has expertise in a wide range of escrows. Our team prides itself on providing an exceptional escrow experience. For more info phone Diane Boudreau-Tschetter at 888-383-3331 or 209-838-1100.

William Park, Business Broker - Southern California

Highest Volume Broker in California, Simply Check our HUNDREDS of Listings! Over 25 Associates, Speaking Dozen Languages, Helping Buyers and Sellers of Small Business since 1982, Centrally Located between Los Angeles and Orange Counties, while Riverside & San Bernardino Counties are Very Accessible.

Steve Zimmerman: Restaurant Broker Specialist

Steve founded Restaurant Realty in 1996. He has personally sold/leased over 900 restaurants, bars & clubs, & completed over 3000 valuations. The author of "Restaurant Dealmaker - An Insider's Trade Secrets For Buying a Restaurant, Bar or Club" available on Amazon. Reach Steve direct at 415-945-9701.

Michael Davidson, Business Broker - Southern California

Los Angeles Business Broker providing M&A quality services for Small Business Owners. We leverage our technology and expertise to Simplify & Expedite the Business Sales Process. Matching the right buyer with the right business is how we define success.


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