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How can I buy a closed business and make it a qualifying business?

I want to invest $500,000 in United States for the EB-5 visa. I want to know if I buy closed business, with property, and restart it with a new franchise ( i.e buying a closed gas station and turning it into a 7/11 franchise) would it be the best option to obtain the EB-5 visa? Would this qualify as rescuing a troubled business or would this be considered a new business?

Answers

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    Reza Rahbaran

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The business must be located in a TEA to qualify for a lower threshold of $500,000. If the business is closed, then it is no longer a troubled business, since is no longer operating. It should be considered a new business.

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    Shahzad Q Qadri

    RC Creator
    Answered on

    This would not qualify as a troubled business as it is already closed. However, you may be able to get it qualified as a new business provided it is structured properly.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If it is truly a closed business, then it would not be a troubled business or an existing business. You would be investing in a brand new commercial enterprise. You would be using the assets of the closed business and starting an entirely new business. Consulting with an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney on the specific legal requirements would be a good idea.

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    Mahsa Aliaskari

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you are investing $500,000, you should first determine whether or not the location of this business qualifies for the lower investment amount. A $500,000 investment applies only if you are investing in a Targeted Employment Area (high unemployment or rural as defined in the EB-5 regulations). In terms of how the investment in the business would qualify, many factors would need to be reviewed to determine if what you are doing with the closed business would qualify as a new commercial enterprise or if you would need to satisfy one of the other basis for qualifying as an existing business. These issues should be discussed in depth with an EB-5 immigration attorney prior to any commitments being made.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Buying a troubled business is not the best opinion. It''s potentially viable with large amounts of documents but it''s best to start a new business that never existed on the site before. One cannot advise if it meets the legal definition until one has seen the documents, and often they not available.

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    Michael E Piston

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It would be considered a new business. It wouldn''t benefit you to even try to argue it was a troubled business, because there are no existing jobs to save. Even if you hired back 10 people that used to work at the gas station, that would be considered creating new jobs since there are no jobs now.

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    Kripa Upadhyay

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can only qualify for EB-5 program with an investment of $500,00 if it is through a regional center. All other investments i.e. "Direct investments must be at the $1,000,000 level. A "troubled business" investment for purposes of EB-5 is a fairly complicated process as you have to show revenue for the past few years for the business to properly classify it as a "troubles business" - it is not as simple as merely buying a closed business and getting a new franchise in place. Please consult with an experienced EB-5 attorney before proceeding further to ensure that you have the right information to help you make the appropriate decisions.

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    Daniel B Lundy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is difficult to give a definitive answer without knowing all of the facts, but if the prior business has entirely ceased operation, and preferably for a decent length of time, you have a good argument that you are creating a new business, and only purchasing the assets of the defunct business. You would have to form a new company, invest in that company, and then that company would buy the assets of the old business. It is going to be very important to document the fact that the prior business is no longer operating, and you may want to negotiate with the seller to get them to provide business records that will help you demonstrate this. Also, check what is available on the internet through Google, etc. USCIS will frequently look up publicly available information to confirm the facts in a petition, especially business and property records. If you are going to attempt to file on the basis of a troubled business, the prior business'' financial records are going to be extremely important, so you will need the cooperation of the prior owner. I tend to prefer using a new business as the "new commercial enterprise" rather than using a troubled business because the presentation is more straight forward, but in this case I would be prepared to answer questions about a troubled business if they are asked, even if you do use the new business approach.

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    To answer your question, let us assume that the closed business has not been operating for a substantial period of time, e.g., for a year or two. In addition, there has been no business activity and for this period of time there has been no employment creation. On this basis, we may consider this purchase as not a purchase of an existing business or troubled business. Therefore, your EB-5 investment would be used in fact for buying the building and other fixed assets, and furthermore the EB-5 investment may be used to construct and/or refurbish the actual buildings on this location. Therefore in this case, your EB-5 investment may be considered to be in a new business enterprise not an existing or troubled business.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you are purchasing a closed gas station and setting up a new business (7/11), then you are establishing a new business enterprise, which does qualify you for EB-5. The only issue you need to be aware of is that EB-5 investment requirement is $ 1 million, not $500,000, except when the business is located in a targeted employment area (TEA) of high unemployment (150% of national unemployment average) or in a rural area of 20,000 or less in population.

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    Roberto Ortiz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your idea might work. We would have to see all of the documentation. However, you have to make sure that the property is located in a rural area or TEA in order to qualify for the $500,000 and you will need to create 10 full time jobs within 2 years. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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