Buy an Existing Business or Start a New Business With an E-2 Visa
To buy or to start a business – that is the question. The E-2 treaty investor visa allows citizens of certain treaty countries to obtain a visa if they buy or start an active commercial business. One question that many prospective applicants face is whether they should buy an existing business or to start a new business. To qualify for an E-2 visa, the following general conditions must be met: Active commercial enterprise: This means that the business must be offering a good or service, such as a nail salon or a coffee shop. It cannot be a passive investment such as investing in real estate. Substantial investment: The regulations do not indicate a specific investment amount, though it must be substantial. Depending on the type of business, it could be as little as $50,000 – with most investments averaging at least $100,000. At risk: The investment must be at risk. If purchasing a business, this means that the applicant must have already purchased the business or at least put the purchase price funds in escrow subject to approval of the E-2 visa. Ownership: The applicant must own at least 50% of the U.S. Enterprise and run its day-to-day operations.