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CBP Launches Border Wait Time App

Posted: December 22nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Athlete & Artist Visas, Employer & Student Visas, Immigration Reform, Investor Visas, National News, Sarasota Immigrants | No Comments »


According to their government website, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently launched the Border Wait Time app making it easier for travelers to plan their trip across the border. The app provides estimated wait times and open lane status at land ports of entry allowing travelers to make an informed decision of where and when to cross the border. Wait times for pedestrian and passenger and commercial vehicle crossings are broken down by lane type (standard, SENTRI, NEXUS, FAST, Ready Lane, etc.). Travelers can download the app for free from Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

“CBP continues to deploy technology that enhances the travel experience at all of our ports of entry,” said Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske. “The launch of this app will provide travelers crossing the land border with more information when and where they need it.”

The app is a one-stop shop for cross border travel. Travelers can locate the three ports of entry closest to their location and then map the best route to the crossing of their choice. For example, the app allows travelers in the Buffalo, New York area to compare wait times at the Peace Bridge, Rainbow Bridge and Lewiston Queenston Bridge and will then direct them to whichever crossing they chose.

The app was developed by CBP and does not require individuals to register or provide any personal information. CBP does not store or have access to any information regarding travelers using the app.

The Border Wait Time app is just one example of CBP’s effort to create a traveler-friendly processing environment. CBP has deployed Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks to more than 25 airports, including most recently at preclearance locations in Edmonton, Canada and Aruba. Much like APC, CBP launched Mobile Passport Control, the first authorized app to expedite a traveler’s entry into the United States, at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport this summer. CBP has also enrolled more than three million travelers in trusted traveler programs such as Global Entry, NEXUS and SENTRI. These programs allow CBP officers to process travelers safely and efficiently while enhancing security and reducing operational costs.

Source: Click here for the original article.

NEW Business Opportunity: German Restaurant

Posted: December 22nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Business Opportunities, Employer & Student Visas, Investor Visas, Sarasota Immigrants | No Comments »

Business purchase opportunity–A client of the law firm has asked us to post the following information about the sale of the Schnitzel Kitchen German Restaurantgerman rest.

Location: 6525 Superior Ave., Unit B, Sarasota, FL, 34231 on the Gulf Coast of Mexico in the Southwestern Region of Florida.

Very successful running Business with maximum occupation of 42 Seats. Ideal Location within a very busy strip mall center.Specializing in German Cuisine with beer and wine. Restaurant has immense potential  for increase in business sales.

The owner was a Chef in Germany for over 25 years and offers to stay in business and train new owner and/or staff.

Very close to the world famous Quartz Sand Beach on the Island of Siesta Key   (just across the Siesta Key Bridge). On Highway 75  easy and fast to all famous  Park attractions  in Florida like Disney World, Sea World,  Cape Canaveral (Kennedy Space Center)  and the famous southern Keys.

Perfect for starting a new Business, adding on to an existing business, as an occupation for retirement, as an investment, or as a basis  for a US Visa Immigration Application.

 Asking: $ 150,000   (Euro € 120.000 according to exchange rate)

Suncoast Pix Virtual Tour - stunning real estate photography, excellent service and very competitive prices2 

For a Virtual Picture Tour, Click Here


Please contact Loyd Robbins,   Harry E. Robbins Assoc., Inc.

3733 Tuttle Ave., Sarasota, FL, 34239,

Fax: 941-922-3627

Phone: 941-356-9659

Cell: 941-726-9381

Immigrant Investor Profile: A & B Property Services

Posted: December 10th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Investor Visas, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , | No Comments »

topOne of our immigrant investor clients, John Smyth, recently announced his new company website and initiative to expand a property services business.

Mr. Smyth earned a degree in agricultural engineering and participated in a MBA management program. Then, Mr. Smyth co-owned two engineering distribution and services businesses for 14 years in key sectors for food, whisky and power generation. The businesses grew from start-up to earning multi-million dollars in revenue. He plans to use that experience to build growth into his investment in the United States.

He chose to invest in Florida because of the tremendous opportunities present in the area that will allow the business to grow in the property sector.

The company’s mission is to be the most trusted provider of exterior cleaning, maintenance, repair and renovation in Florida.

midThe business provides a range of service, including:

  • Exterior pressure washing
  • Roof Wash
  • Window Cleaning
  • Pool Screen & Lanai Cleaning
  • Handyman Services
  • Commercial Cleaning
  • Exterior Painting
  • Driveway Cleaning & Sealing
  • Concierge Service for Absentee Owners

bottomRecently, the company launched its Forever Clean Program. This program provides an annual service for a low fixed monthly fee in exchange for a comprehensive cleaning and maintenance program that is specifically designed for each property owner.

A & B Property Services was built on exceeding customer expectations, adding value, and building long-term and trusting business partnerships. Their goal is to develop a one-stop shop approach, where clients will be provided with a dependable turn-key home maintenance solution.

The business provides Property Maintenance to residential and commercial properties in Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota, Bradenton, North Port and Venice.

For a free estimate on their Forever Clean Program or for other inquiries, please contact John Smyth at or 941.488.9200

NEW Florida Business Opportunity: Own your own Ice Cream and Sweet Shoppe!

Posted: November 20th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Business Opportunities, Investor Visas, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Business purchase opportunity–A client of the law firm has asked us to post the following information about the sale of an ice cream and sweet shoppe:

After recently receiving her green card, the owner is wishing to sell her business in Southwest Florida. The business is a well-known national ice cream franchise and confectionery business, located in a mall and anchored by major tenants.

This shoppe offers customers an impressive selection of fine confections and ice cream, all in an enjoyable, service-oriented atmosphere and is designed to give a warm welcome and a nostalgic nod to the good ol’ days of old-fashioned sweet shoppes. From fine chocolates, handmade fudge, and caramel apples, to their own original recipe ice cream, the shoppe offers a selection of quality confections.

Annual revenues are $400,000, allowing the owner to have a salary of $75,000 (including benefits). Low staffing requirements. Equipped with full remote camera monitoring system. Appliances and leasehold improvements are in excellent condition.  The business is well-suited for a couple working part-time. Owner is willing to train Buyer on operations. Priced between $450,000-$550,000.

For franchises, this shoppe offers a successful, modern business backed by years of experience.

For more information, please call (514) 947-1993 or e-mail

NEW Florida Business Opportunity on Anna Maria Island

Posted: June 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Investor Visas, Jaensch Immigration Law Firm | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Today we learned about a new business opportunity for Florida immigrants who are searching for good investments that can help them qualify for an E-2 or EB-5 visa.  It comes in the form of a 3,088 sq-ft restaurant on a barrier island near Sarasota with a cozy 3-bedroom apartment above – makes for an easy commute.


STOCK image of restaurant interior. Contact the broker for real photos.

The details:

  • 3,088 SF restaurant with full bar (4-COP) located in Holmes beach, with gulf views.
  • Additional 1,400 SF 3BD apartment above.
  • Sale price: $475,000.
  • Rent would be $5,000 per mo. (including the apt. above) plus Tenant pays
  • Property taxes, insurance & Maint. (about $13,000 yr)
  • The restaurant did about $500k for 2013 (open only for dinner 7 nights)
  • Cash flow: $183,000.
  • If you deduct the expense of rent and NNN charges ($73,000) the net to a new operator would be about $110k.
  • Real estate is also for sale for $1.3M

Interested parties should contact Mr. John Caragiulo, an experienced business broker, at

As always, the attorneys at Jaensch Immigration Law Firm stand ready to advise you on making any investment with the goal of securing a temporary E-2 or immigrant EB-5 visa.

Guest Post: Tax Planning for Canadians Purchasing Property in Florida

Posted: April 18th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Investor Visas, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

This post is a summary of an article written by Attorney Michael Wilson and Attorney Heather Cooper and posted on the Williams Parker blog. Click the link (CanadaUSArticle) to read the entire article.

We are not tax attorneys.  Any questions about US tax law should be directed to a qualified US tax attorney.

Mike Wilson

Attorney Michael Wilson of Williams Parker

Tax Planning for Canadians Purchasing Property in Florida

Canadians make up a large portion of Florida home-buyers and immigrants and we are happy to welcome them.  It is imperative to note, however, that making the transition to the US or entering the Florida property market requires careful planning and preparation.  One does not simply walk in.  Choosing an immigration strategy is one factor that must be considered when moving to the US.  Tax planning is another.


US citizens and residents are taxed on WORLDWIDE income.  Income is divided into two categories: ordinary and capital.  Foreigners can become US residents for tax purposes through several ways, even if they do not hold any US immigration status.

“A Canadian can become a U.S. tax resident if they obtain U.S. citizenship, become a lawful permanent resident (i.e., green card holder), or satisfy the “substantial presence” test, which looks at the number of days spent in the United States. The substantial presence test can be a trap for the unwary that spend too much time in the United States. If a Canadian becomes a U.S. tax resident, they will have the same tax obligations as any U.S. person (including the requirement to file an annual tax return with the IRS reporting all worldwide income).”

The US also taxes non-residents on income gained in a US trade or business and on passive income sourced to the United States.

Rental income from property in the US is generally sourced to the US and taxed by the US.  The US-Canadian tax treaty does not provide any relief for double-taxation of rental income, which is something to be very aware of.

Income from the sale of US real estate is also sourced to the US and subject to US taxation.  Like income from rental property, there is no relief in the US-Canadian tax treaty for income from the sale of US real estate and such income may be taxed in Canada as well.  The “Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act” (“FIRPTA”) regulates taxes on income from the sale of US real estate by foreigners.

Estate tax, which is 40% in the US, is another important consideration for Canadians who wish to buy real estate or immigrate to the US.  Any US real estate is subject to estate tax.  However, non-residents may be able to structure their assets so that they fall entirely outside the scope of US estate tax.

While there is no state income tax in Florida, there is sales tax and this can be levied against proceeds from rental property.  In addition there are various local taxes that may also need to be considered.

Holding Structures for Investments in US Real Estate

Direct Ownership:

  • Simplest structure
  • Rental income: 30% flat withholding tax unless net basis election
  • Disposition income: may be eligible for 20% capital gains tax; otherwise, taxed up to 39.6%
  • FIRPTA withholding applies on disposition
  • Foreign owner must file U.S. tax return reporting any income
  • Estate tax applies
  • No limited liability

U.S. Partnership Planning Highlights:

  • More administrative requirements than direct ownership
  • Rental income: 30% flat withholding tax
  • Disposition income: may be eligible for 20% capital gains tax; otherwise, taxed up to 39.6%
  • FIRPTA withholding applies on sale of property or on sale of partnership interests
  • Foreign owner and U.S. partnership have annual tax filing obligations
  • Estate tax likely does not apply

LLC Planning Highlights:

  • More administrative requirements than direct ownership
  • Limited liability for owners
  • Rental income: 30% flat withholding tax
  • Disposition income: may be eligible for 20% capital gains tax; otherwise, taxed up to 39.6%
  • FIRPTA withholding applies on sale of property or on sale of LLC interests
  • Estate tax may apply
  • Canadian tax planning concerns

U.S. Corporation Planning Highlights:

  • More administrative requirements than direct ownership
  • All income subject to corporate income tax (up to 35%) plus Florida corporate income tax (5.5%)
  • Income is “double-taxed” (corporate income tax plus tax upon distribution to shareholders)
  • FIRPTA withholding applies on sale of property (but only when proceeds are distributed to foreign shareholders) or on sale of corporation, but not on direct sale of property
  • Corporate tax return required every year
  • Estate tax applies

Canadian Corporation Planning Highlights:

  • More administrative requirements than direct ownership
  • Rental income: 30% flat withholding tax
  • Disposition income: subject to corporate income tax (up to 35%) plus Florida corporate income tax (5.5%)
  • Income is “double-taxed” (branch profits tax) at 5%
  • FIRPTA withholding applies on sale of property at 35% of gain but not on sale of stock
  • Estate tax does not apply

Canadian Partnership Planning Highlights:

  • More administrative requirements than direct ownership
  • Rental income: 30% flat withholding tax
  • Disposition income: may be eligible for 20% capital gains tax; otherwise, taxed up to 39.6%
  • FIRPTA applies on sale of property or on sale of partnership interests
  • Foreign owner and U.S. partnership have annual tax filing obligations
  • Estate tax likely does not apply

Trust Planning Highlights:

  • Increased expenses and administrative complexity
  • More options for minimizing tax liabilities

Multi-Tiered Structure Planning Highlights:

  • Increased administration over multiple entities
  • Increased expenses associated with multiple entities
  • More options for minimizing tax liabilities

New EB-5 Center in Florida

Posted: March 3rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Investor Visas | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

A major regional center operator/developer team with a record of success are working together in their first joint project in Florida.

CMB Regional Centers

CMB Regional Centers, a nation-wide regional center operator, is once again collaborating with top ten U.S. real estate developer, (a multibillion dollar company) Hillwood Development Company, LLC.  The two companies have worked together in the past.  According to company documents, investors in CMB’s Group VIII project, involving a $65 million EB-5 financing of Hillwood commercial industrial projects in Southern California (which includes projects in located at Hillwood’s AllianceCalifornia Development at the former Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino) received approvals of their I-526 petitions.

CMB Regional Centers is a major EB-5 Regional Center Operator

Hillwood Development Company, LLC

Hillwood Development Company, LLC has authorized CMB Florida to raise $8 million for the Group 26 project.  The purpose of the loan is to provide financing for project construction and bridge financing if necessary.

Hillwood Development Company, LLC is an experienced development company.  In 2009, it won a competitive bid to become the Master Developer of the 4,474 acre Cecil Commerce Center, which is a portion of the former Naval Air Station Cecil Field owned by the City of Jacksonville, Florida.  Hillwood is rebranding the Cecil Commerce Center project with its premiere Alliance brand, which the company reserves for large scale, long term, multimodal, public-private projects.

Group 26 Regional Center

The Regional Center in Jacksonville will include a modern 510,000 square foot distribution facility located on 40.69 acres.  The site is situated between Normandy Blvd., a State highway, and 103rd Street; both are modern four-lane divided highways.  The location provides access to Cecil Field, the former Naval Air Station, as well as the high-speed interchange for Interstate Highway 10.


2014.0227.Alliance FL 1


The site has many advantages, according to CMB, including comparatively low property-tax rates, no income tax, and Foreign Trade Zone status.


2014.0227.Alliance FL 4


Hillwood is required to substantially complete an aggregation of at least 400,000 square foot of new building area by the end of 2014.


2014.0227.Alliance FL 2


Hillwood will provide full development services and has engaged CBRE Jacksonville to provide on-site marketing and leasing.

CMB EB-5 capital will be directly employed in all construction activities of the project including pre development activities, horizontal infrastructure, site improvements, vertical construction, and tenant specific buildout of the facility.

More Information

For more information about this new EB-5 project please contact P. Christopher Jaensch: (941) 366-9841.

Upcoming Events for Immigrants

Posted: February 4th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Investor Visas, Jaensch Immigration Law Firm | Tags: , , | No Comments »


Hillsborough Community College (HCC) has paired with Workforce Florida and Cross Border Partners using a Trade and Logistics Grant to provide you and/or your staff training on various trade topics. Grant funding is available to support training across a wide variety of topic areas from market selection, export documentation and compliance, tariff codes, legal aspects, etc. And, the programs can be tailored to individual company needs. These programs are available to all Florida for-profit companies that have been in business at least one year and are involved in any export-related activity. The grant generally covers 75% of training costs.

For more details, visit here or contact Brian Hollands, Hillsborough Community College at 813-253-7074 or; OR Gary Leskun, Cross Border Partners, at mobile: 813-731-0152 or



Organizer: Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of South Florida
When: Thursdays, February 13, 20 and 27 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM (3 sessions)
Where: SBDC office at the Tampa Port Authority building, 1101 Channelside Drive, Tampa, FL 33602
Cost: $120. Includes 3 modules, 3 textbooks and valuable handouts.
Contact: SBDC at 813-905-5829
Description: Training modules run Feb. 13, 20 & 27. Includes: INTRO TO INTERNATIONAL TRADE – Feb. 13; DEALING WITH YOUR EXPORT MARKET – Feb. 20; EXPORT DOCUMENTATION AND COMPLIANCE – Feb. 27.


Organizer: U.S. Commercial Service, Alabama District Export Council, BIS
When: February 12 & February 13, 2014 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Where: Westin Hotel Huntsville- 6800 Governors West Rd NW, Huntsville, Alabama
Cost: $500 for two day seminar, $275 for one day, and includes materials, continental breakfast and lunch.
Registration Deadline: Friday, February 7
Contact: Robert Stackpole at 205-731-1331 or
Description: This seminar will provide an in-depth understanding of the transition of items and export transactions from the USML to the CCL. Topics will address: realignment of the control lists, Commerce Control List order of review, the new “600” series, definition of “specially designed,” and license exceptions. The Technology Controls seminar will focus on the regulatory requirements relating to technology and software, including what is considered an export or re-export of technology or software; what technology and software is subject to the EAR; how to determine the Export Control Classification Number (ECCN); what license exceptions are available; and the unique application requirements of technology and software. BIS technical and policy specialists will also discuss important export control issues that may arise in the employment of foreign nationals and for foreign items incorporating, or produced from, controlled U.S.-origin software and technology. Presenters will include senior policy, regulatory, and licensing specialists.


Organizer: U.S. Commercial Service
When: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. (eastern)
Where: your computer
Cost: $15
Contact: Rachel Kreissl at 727-464-4166 or
Description: Whether you are doing business or planning to with Russia or another Customs Union country, this webinar will brief you on the new customs union regulations and related technical standard changes.


Organizer: U.S. Commercial Service
When: March 5 (seminar) and March 6 (workshop)
Where: NOVA Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Cost: $225 (seminar) and $75 (workshop)
Contacts: Leandro Solórzano at 954-356-6647 or; Martina Echevarria at 305-526-7425 x26 or
Description: As of April 5, 2014, new export requirements will be implemented that amend the AES regulations published in 2008. This Export Compliance Seminar is an all-day program where officers from the Department of Commerce/Census will provide training on export filing requirements.


TRADE WINDS – THE AMERICAS 2014: Business Development Conference and Trade Mission
Organizer: U.S. Commercial Service
When: May 15-23, 2014
Where: Colombia (May 19-21), and optional stops to Panama or Ecuador (May 15-16) and Peru or Chile (May 22-23)
Contacts: Leslie Drake at 304.347.5123 or; Janice Barlow at 215.597.6126 or
Description: South American regional conference preceded and followed by one-on-one business appointments with pre-screened potential buyers, agents, distributors, joint-venture partners or other key contacts.


CARIBBEAN TRADE MISSION & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE: Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Bahamas, Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago
Organizer: U.S. Commercial Service
When: June 8-12, 2014
Where: Dominican Republic, with optional stops in Haiti, Jamaica, Bahamas, Barbados, or Trinidad & Tobago
Registration Deadline: April 4, 2014
Contact: David Royce at 817-999-9757 or
Description: Caribbean regional conference followed by one-on-one business appointments with pre-screened potential buyers, agents, distributors, joint-venture partners or other key contacts.

Tampa Bay Business Broker Edward Valaitis Assists E-2 and EB-5 Investors

Posted: January 30th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Investor Visas | Tags: , | No Comments »

E-2 and EB-5 investors come to Florida’s West Coast for its mixture of relaxed atmosphere, ideal climate, cultural sophistication, and business opportunities.  At our firm we see entrepreneurs, investors, and business people from around the world and we assist them in obtaining their version of the American dream.  Quite often, however, we do not feel qualified to advise international investors on which business opportunity to pursue.  As a result we have sought out and allied ourselves with the Florida Gulf Coast’s most qualified M & A professionals.  Edward Valaitis, Certified Business Intermediary, is one of them.

E-2 and EB-5 Investors can Find a Valuable Resource in Mr. Valaitis

E-2 and EB-5 Investors can Find a Valuable Resource in Mr. Valaitis

Mr. Valaitis has an impressive set of experiences and expertise.  Where most business intermediaries will either have experience as entrepreneurs, professional services or in the corporate world, Mr. Valaitis has all three:

  • Partner of a New York City based regional CPA firm with practice responsibility over the Internal Audit, Sarbanes Oxley, SAS, 70 and Information Security Services.
  • CEO of accounts receivable management firm serving hospitals, cities and medical groups.
  • Co-Founder of BDO Seidman’s Risk Consulting Division which he helped build from zero to $30 million in three years with offices in NYC, Boston, San Francisco and Houston.
  • National Director for Jefferson Wells International a highly successful national risk consulting practice. During his tenure he had hands-on involvement in many facets of growing this start-up firm from zero to $120 million in revenue in four years.

Mr. Valaitis is also one of only 85 Certified Business Intermediaries in the state of Florida.  He has been an active member of the CEO Council of Tampa Bay, Association for Corporate Growth and University of Tampa  He is comfortable in the world of international business, traveling to Lithuania, London and Canada for ongoing engagements.

Mr. Valaitis and his firm are very active in main street and middle market business transactions, leading both “sell-side” and “buy-side” engagements. They serve and define businesses with annual sales up to $20 million.  Most serious buyers retain his services so they can find just the right business, right price and right location.

E-2 and EB-5 investors who are considering buying a business on Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast should contact Mr. Valaitis for assistance in finding the right investment opportunity.  Remember that the right investment can help an immigrant investor qualify for a visa that would allow them to live and work in the United States.  E-2 and EB-5 visas are just two options.  Our firm also works with many L-1 immigrant business people.

Interested parties can contact Mr. Valaitis over the phone: 800-975-3198<tel:800-975-3198>, or via email:

For more information on how to qualify for an E-2 or EB-5 investor visa please feel free to follow the links below:

Local Immigrants are Involved in this Job-Creating Enterprise

Posted: January 16th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Investor Visas, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , | No Comments »

Re-posted from Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Please see a video below about a job-creating EB-5 immigrant investment project in Charlotte County.  For inquiries please contact Franz Rosinus:

Guest Post: Why EB-5 Regional Centers Should Undertake 3rd-Party Due Diligence

Posted: January 15th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Investor Visas | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Guest Post by Kurt Reuss and Rupy Cheema, Managing Partners, EB5 Diligence LLC 

2014.0113.EB-5 Due Diligence 1 2014.0114.EB-5 Due Diligence 2

The goal of any project developer is to find investors to fund new projects. Generally private placement offerings attract “sophisticated,” well-funded investors such as institutional investors, mutual funds, hedge fund operators, insurance companies or high net-worth individuals, all of which have the capacity to conduct their own due diligence to assess the viability of the project.  Additionally, the broker-dealers who underwrite and sell these securities are required by FINRA, the U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Agency, to perform due diligence on behalf of the issuer, for the benefit of investors. Typically, the due diligence costs are borne by the issuer and structured as a percentage of the total offering.

The goal of  the average investor is to see a reliable future earnings stream while ensuring that no undue risks are taken. For some foreign investors, however, especially those whose interest is in the EB-5 project, there is one goal which is paramount above all others, and that is obtaining  green card status for themselves and their eligible family members, a goal achievable under the auspices of the U.S. Citizenship and and Immigration Service (USCIS) which allows foreign investors to invest in an EB-5 project provided that certain criterion is fulfilled.

It is for that reason that foreign investors in EB-5 projects will want to ensure that a due diligence review is carried out, because if the project fails to meet the criterion set out by the USCIS, then their ultimate goal, green card status, will not have been met. The criterion that must be met by the EB-5 project develops cannot be readily assessed by an investor, which could result in a denial of either of their petitions, meaning that they and their family could be forced to return to their home land, often causing incredible hardship for the family, not just financially, but emotionally and psychologically. For those reasons, a foreign investor must be confident that the EB-5 project he or she plans to invest in will satisfy the USCIS requirements and ultimately end up with their successful petition for green card status.

Unlike private placement security offerings, the EB-5 industry is unique in that it doesn’t require the involvement of a broker-dealer because of the exemption that allows unregistered, off-shore agents to sell these securities to foreign investors. Though they generally qualify as accredited investors, EB-5 investors are not the aforementioned “sophisticated” types, and in many cases may not even have English as a first language. This presents a strange confluence of factors: less sophisticated investors with limited English language skills wishing to invest without the involvement of a registered FINRA representative.

In the EB-5 world, regional centers often act in an advisory role that would typically be assumed by broker-dealers, namely performing the due diligence and making representations to EB-5 investors. However, unlike broker-dealers these individuals at the regional centers are not regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. When regional centers are also developers of the projects they sell, the need for third-party due diligence becomes even more essential for EB-5 investors.

Benefits of 3rd-party Due Diligence

Considering the somewhat modest investment of $500,000 or $1 million (of course, relative to the “sophisticated” investor types), it’s generally not feasible for EB-5 investors to pay for a comprehensive analysis of a single project, let alone the analysis of multiple projects. Moreover, from the regional center’s standpoint, it can be not just tedious but impractical when you factor in the need to supervise a multitude of visiting analysts, set up meetings with management, request documents necessary to provide a comprehensive analysis for each and every investor, etc.

By retaining a third-party to perform the due diligence review, regional centers make it easier for immigration attorneys and “foreign finders” to present their clients with an easy-to-understand yet comprehensive outline of a project’s strengths and weaknesses, inherent investment risk and its I-526 approval risk. For the less sophisticated EB-5 investor, that outline is often far more straightforward and understandable than any private placement memorandum could ever be. By having a comprehensive third-party report to distribute to investors and foreign finders, regional centers can also bolster their own marketing and solicitation efforts. The added transparency often expedites the investors’ decision making process and saves the regional center valuable time and resources that would otherwise be devoted to disseminating information to potential investors.

Since by definition every EB-5 project has inherent risk, a thorough due diligence review helps investors decide which project’s risks are acceptable to them and which are not.  On the flip side, the due diligence report can alert a regional center to any deficiencies, real or potential, in their project which would enable them to address those deficiencies prior to issuance of the report.

How Thorough does Due Diligence Need to Be?

By definition, due diligence is the care that any reasonable person would exercise in order to prevent or avoid harm to assets, property or other persons. Furthermore, it could be argued that an inadequate or poorly prepared due diligence might be more harmful than none at all, as the report itself could engender misplaced confidence in a project that may be deficient or even fraudulent.

A due diligence analysis is conducted to understand a project in as much detail as reasonably possible and moreover to take a hard look at the enterprise’s finances, strategic and operational situation and EB-5 viability, along with any problems, risks or headwinds that the project may face. A thorough due diligence review starts with a good checklist; here are ten areas that should be addressed in any comprehensive due diligence review:

  1. Review of the Project’s Business Plan
  2. Review of the Corporate Structure and Capital Structure
  3. Assessment of the Company Management’s Background
  4. Market Analysis and Sales Strategy
  5. Review of the Facility, Equipment and Management Systems
  6. Review of the Project’s Financial Reports
  7. Review of Major Agreements and Contracts
  8. Assessment of Government and Local Support
  9. Regional Center and EB-5 Analysis
  10. Review of the Project’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats 

Moreover, because many EB-5 projects involve construction, consultants may also be needed to evaluate construction budgets, timelines, real estate title, permits and other important approvals. Finally, because EB-5 investors may not have English as their mother tongue, it makes sense to have due diligence reports translated into various languages.

The Cost of Due Diligence

The cost of a comprehensive project review can range anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000, and is dependent upon the size and complexity of the project. Most mid-sized project reviews typically cost around $20,000.

Conflict of Interest Concerns

Potential investors may worry about the possibility of a conflict of interest if a due diligence analysis is conducted and paid for by a regional center or project developer, or if it is performed by a registered broker-dealer who is retained by the issuer. Investors might suspect that the report could be unduly influenced by the agency relationship. Fortunately, those concerns are invalidated thanks to FINRA, which specifically prohibits broker-dealer representatives from engaging in manipulative, deceptive or fraudulent behavior or making untrue statements of any material fact.  FINRA representatives have an obligation to provide independent, objective analysis and to report any fraud they encounter, and any information gleaned which would give a prudent person sufficient pause or which would send up a “red flag” must be further investigated. A registered FINRA representative’s failure to satisfy its investigative duties could, consequently, be considered a violation of the anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws and the rules of FINRA.

Simply put, FINRA registered broker-dealer representatives are tasked with performing due diligence on behalf of issuers for the benefit of investors. This “special” relationship is critical to the proper functioning of the securities industry.

Sources of Funds for New and Growing Businesses

Posted: January 9th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Investor Visas | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Please see the PDF Venture Capital for a wealth of resources for new and growing businesses in Florida which need capital.  Total 13 pages!  All these organizations want to help new businesses get started or assist growing businesses continue in their trajectory.

Businesses for Sale in Florida

Posted: January 2nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Investor Visas | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Please enjoy the list below of businesses for sale in Florida, provided by Business Broker Michael Werman.  Some of them may be used to qualify for an E-2 investment.  If you are interested in a certain business please contact Mr. Werman for more details (941) 366-1500.

Business for Sale Asking Price Cash Flow Location
E-2 Investment Opportunity 150 Year Old Sandwich Shop for Sale… $110,000 $45,854 Sarasota, FL (Sarasota County)
Talk about history – this sandwich shop has been around since 1962! Loyal local following with great visibility on Route 41 in Sarasota. This is a CASH only business, no credit cards. Employees will stay if asked. Lease can be extended with a good landlord. Plenty of parking to eat in or take out your food. An icon in the sandwich business for longevity. Business for 2012 has been the same as…
E-2 Investment Opportunity 2
Spanish Publishing Biz, home based…
$30,000 $41,263 Sarasota, FL (Sarasota County)
Opportunity! 2010 Census shows Fla is 23% Latino. Spanish language monthly newspaper, dist to over 100 locations in Sarasota, Manatee & Charlotte Co’s which have growing numbers of Latino residents. Features free classifieds, reasonable full color display ads & directories of Attorneys, Restaurants, Salons & Automotive. 2 wks training. Includes computer with QuickBooks, client data base & listing…
E-2 Investment Opportunity 3Successful Floor Covering Store, S… $350,000 $167,602 Bradenton, FL (Manatee County)
Sarasota / Bradenton area – 2013 numbers are better than 2012! This Florida real estate has an ASSUMABLE LOAN or it can just be leased to new owner. Locally owned and operated, not a national chain. By buying direct from the manufacturers in bulk, large discounts get passed on directly to the customer. Breakdown is 70% carpet, 20% tile & 10% wood. Newer warehouse & showroom too! Owner does very…
E-2 Investment Opportunity 4Your own Vending Machine Business … $25,000 $13,000 Sarasota County, FL
Great Opportunity for part-time income!! 20 combo (snacks & drinks) & 3 snacks-only vending machines w/coin changers, located primarily in medical offices. These cost $3300 each new when purchased 8 years ago & are in exel’nt condition. 6 combo machines & 1 snacks-only machine not currently placed due to owner being busy with his primary business. All inventory in machines & at home. Extra parts…
E-2 Investment Opportunity 5Healthy Eating, Mall Food Court, S… $199,000 $52,173 Sarasota, FL (Sarasota County)
Fresh Thinking. Healthy Eating! Opportunity to own one of the world’s fastest growing Franchise Deli-Style Restaurants in a busy Food Court, in a high traffic, Upscale Shopping Mall in the #1 Beach Community in SW Florida. Well equipped separate in-mall Prep Kitchen. Very profitable operation at a fraction of normal start-up cost. Some seller financing possible for a highly qualified individual… 
E-2 Investment Opportunity 6Home-Based, Relocatable Hobby Rela… $297,000 $134,162 Hillsborough County, FL (Relocatable)
UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY! Designs/Manufactures/Imports specialty hobby related products, sells wholesale to distributors & retailers also retail via Internet and eBay and hobby trade shows. Due to outside employment, seller can no longer do both since this business has grown to become its own full time obligation. Cash flow shown is 2013 annualized based on six-months sales & expenses. Serves a…
E-2 Investment Opportunity 7Landscape Lighting Business in Man… $139,900 $127,500 Manatee County, FL
What an Opportunity! Live & work from home in fast-growing SW Florida community close to beaches. Turnkey Energy-Efficient Landscape Lighting business complete with 2010 GMC Sierra SLE Pickup & Topper w/70K miles; attractively wrapped 6′ x 10′ enclosed trailer with all tools, ladders & inventory to do the job. Great reputation for honesty, prompt excellent installations & service. 2013 Est is…
E-2 Investment Opportunity 8Full Service Lawn Care, Sarasota, … $360,000 $195,304 Sarasota, FL (Sarasota County)
Complete lawn care; mowing, mulch, maintain/trim/replace shrubs & plants, has their own nursery, also irrigation & landscape lighting. Chemical application portion of this business not for sale at this price, financials + FF&E have been adjusted. Over 130 accounts, mostly residential, many very large properties/estates. Facilities; Protected nursery area, covered storage space with sheds, office,…
E-2 Investment Opportunity 9Only full service 15,000 sq.ft. $485,000 $194,544 Sumter County, FL
Opportunity! Must see. Cash Cow! 15000 sq ft grocery store in a small town with no competition. Has been a grocery store for 3 decades. Grocery, Meat, Produce, Dairy, Frozen, Wine & Beer, Cigarettes, Lottery, etc. Meat & Grocery biggest sales. Average inventory $125K. Don’t wait, call Shalley Moman 407-925-3303 for more information. View additional listings at
E-2 Investment Opportunity 10Full Service Fitness Center in Bra… $150,000 $68,319 Bradenton, FL (Manatee County)
Complete fitness center; pool, spa, sauna, steam room, two group fitness studios (1 can be used as a cycle room), main gym w/reception area, cardio section, locker room, showers, etc., 40 pieces of cardio, selectorized equipment plus free weights. Baby sitting area too! This is a beautiful buildout, about 5-years old ready to taken over and to be owner operated as shown in the adjusted net. This…
E-2 Investment Opportunity 11Established Coin Laundry in Sunny … $75,000 $30,794 Palmetto, FL (Manatee County)
Well established coin laundry with some modern energy & water saving machines purchased late 2012. Does full service wash, dry, fold & iron, 50% of the income, balance from do it yourself customers. Add service to restaurants, hotels, etc., plus dry cleaning drop off station for more income. This is a cash business! Lighted parking in the rear of the building. Operated by the owner with 2…
E-2 Investment Opportunity 12High Quality Remodeling Opportunit… $185,000 $83,000 Sarasota County, FL
HIGH QUALITY WORK, UPSCALE CUSTOMERS, MORE THAN JUST FOR A HANDYMAN! This is a real business that has built a strong reputation for extensive remodeling of an apartment, condo or house to pressure cleaning a sidewalk or driveway. If you can do interior or exterior painting, tile, carpentry, wall texturing, minor electrical or plumbing, flooring or more, this is for you. EXPERIENCE IS NECESSARY!…
E-2 Investment Opportunity 13Upscale Bath & Body Shop in Saraso… $159,900 $42,700 Sarasota County, FL
Upscale retail opportunity in Beach Community.  Bath and Body shop in downtown shopping district.  Extensive inventory.  Potential for increased revenue.  Good repeat business.
E-2 Investment Opportunity 14Major Auto Body Shop in Sarasota F… $225,000 $87,568 Sarasota, FL (Sarasota County)
Live & work in the #1 Beach Community in the USA! 23 year Well-Established, Profitable, High-End Auto Body Shop. 3800 sq ft of buildings, plus 4352 sq ft canopied work areas. Economy extremely strong. 2 booths w/baking capabilities. highly trained staff with tenure will stay. Very attractive Lease. Hurry – Won’t last long! View additional listings at
E-2 Investment Opportunity 15Coin Laundry in Florida $85,900 N/A Manatee County, FL
This opportunity is open and running, but is being offered as an Asset Sale!! Great Opportunity! Large CASH business. Ideally located neighborhood laundromat on major Manatee County thoroughfare. Totally refurbished facility & equipment by present owner. Attractive rent. 22 washers; 13 dryers, Video Game, Quarter coin pusher game, TV, Internet access with 3 computers. Vending includes soap, soda,…
E-2 Investment Opportunity 16Areas Top Dry Cleaning Business – … $235,900 $104,090 Sarasota, FL (Sarasota County)
What a return on investment! Well-established Dry Cleaning business with loyal clientele; 29 yrs same location in major shopping ctr of #1 beach community in Florida, anchored by a Publix Supermarket. This is the best Dry Cleaner in town- recommended by Saks Fifth Ave. Price increase for 2013 will add thousands to bottom line. Top notch, well-maintained equipment. Long term experienced employees…
E-2 Investment Opportunity 17Day Spa For Sale – Manatee / Saras… $69,900 $26,000 Bradenton, FL (Manatee County)
Full service Day Spa in beautiful beach town. 3,000 sq ft of pampering for mind, body & soul. Hair Studio has 3 stations with room for more. 5 treatment rooms for Massage, Facials and Body Treatments; makeup room; nail studio with 2 manicure & pedicure stations. Cozy reception area with refreshments. Kitchen with laundry & office which can be a treatment room. Sinks in each room for techs & 2…
E-2 Investment Opportunity 18Water Manufacturing Systems For Sa…Water Fountain Display & Entertainment Manufacturing Business $2,500,000 $515,686 FL
2013 numbers looking great, better than 2012! Water systems company operates around the world. Projects done for cities, malls, airports, resorts, theme parks & universities. Over $3.2M in sale in the pipeline now and another $3M currently in production. Also $39M in current bids placed for new projects. All design, engineering, manufacturing & shipping completed in one location. Installation…

Possible E-2 Investment: Restaurant For Sale on Florida Barrier Island

Posted: January 2nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Investor Visas | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

There is a new potential E-2 investment available on one of Florida’s beautiful barrier islands.  This one is a seafood restaurant is for sale in Bradenton Beach, FL for $175,000.

Possible E-2 Investment Opportunity Florida

According to the seller, this is a profitable and elegant seafood and steak restaurant with a 4COP liquor license available in a superior beach location.  The diverse and unique menu and wine selection is tailored for discriminating customers and the restaurant has a popular and affordable happy hour.  The restaurant is 2,100 sq. ft. and there is an attractive 1,400 sq. ft. 3/1 living space on the property which could be converted for use with the restaurant and/or food/beverage service business and would also make a nice living quarters for owner/operator/manager.

Does not do Lunch, yet.  Historically has closed for one month vacation.  Reasonable lease terms available.  Reasonable offers considered.

Gulf Coast of Florida, Tampa Bay/Sarasota Area.  For more information contact Jim Adkins at 941 713 1260. For more on how to use commercial property to qualify for an E-2 investor visa, watch our video below:

Turnkey Restaurant Comes Available for Lease in Gulf Gate

Posted: December 16th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Investor Visas, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , | No Comments »

From our friends at Michael Saunders:

Ready To Go this 1,500 SF restaurant features great visibility in the busy Gulf Gate shopping area.  Awesome restaurant space with hood, walk-in cooler and freezer, ADA compliant bathrooms, outdoor seating, high ceilings  and like-new equipment.  Even better….this is a corner unit with lots of windows, great signage and visibility.

Please see property details here.

2013.0924.Turnkey Restaurant

For immigrant investors who want to know whether this business could help them qualify for an investment visa, please contact the brokers, collect the relevant financial information and present it to P. Christopher Jaensch.  For more information on how to qualify for an investor visa, please see our video.