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Can potential EB 5 investors be reached directly for smaller deals?

I am CFO of a restaurant company. I have been doing research and due diligence on the EB5 program over the past six months. I find it an intriguing funding option for our company as we grow. We typically create 50 full time jobs per new restaurant we open. We have a new restaurant that we are starting construction on in the Raleigh area. I have a TEA letter from the state of North Carolina commerce department for our project address. Now, I am looking for $1.5 million to fund the project, but the EB-5 professionals and regional centers that I have talked to in this area say the raise is too small for them to be interested. Each of them needs the raise to be $10 million or more. I understand that the costs for a regional center may not justify a smaller raise, however, I am surprised that there it is so difficult to find EB-5 investors to make the funding happen. How common are direct projects in comparison to regional centers? How can I go about making my project happen?

Answers

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    Answered on

    The EB-5 funding of direct EB-5 restaurant locations can be attractive to the EB-5 market. Retaining an experienced EB-5 attorney will help you analyze the correct structure and how to fund your projects effectively.

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    Answered on

    Your plan can be achieved. However, you are advised to consult an EB-5 attorney on these various questions. In addition, it appears you need to ensure you can meet the EB-5 requirements. Thus, you may need to work with both securities and immigration attorneys. Also, rather than seeking investments from the regional centers, your best bet may be to approach investors who are interested in direct investment which requires that the investors participate in the management of the business. With EB-5 funding requirement set to be either $500,000 or $1million, it is likely you may be able to reach your goal with just two or three investors. An EB-5 attorney should be able to help.

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    Answered on

    Your project seems interesting, and you should consult with an EB-5 attorney to provide further evaluation.

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    Answered on

    While it appears you have a good start with the ins and outs of the EB-5 program, qualified EB-5 counsel can assist you with direct projects and with introductions to other immigration intermediaries (not just regional centers) who focus on smaller, direct raises, or may have clients interested in a direct investment rather than regional center projects.

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