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What costs count toward EB-5 when franchising a foreign brand?

I want to bring a Banh, a brand from Vietnam, to America, and apply for EB-5. Does my upfront cost to the company count towards my $1 million investment? Or do I have to spend every dime in the United States? What costs can be counted towards the EB-5 investment when franchising a foreign brand to the United States?

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    An experienced EB-5 immigration attorney will be able to assist you and guide you as to the acceptable expenditure of the EB-5 personal investment amount. The personal investment requirement has to be transferred into the U.S. new commercial enterprise as either cash or in kind such as assets which have a value.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The investment capital must be fully committed to the U.S. new commercial enterprise (NCE) and it must be at risk and used for job-creation purposes in the United States. There is no specific legal or regulatory requirement regarding where the money must be spent, although it is presumed that the capital will be spent in the United States. If your comprehensive, credible, and feasible business plan calls for some necessary business expenditures to be made outside of the United States, then at least you have an argument that such capital may be counted toward the required investment amount. The key is to show a nexus or connection between the expenditure of capital and the creation of full-time jobs in the United States. An imaginative and logically-based argument about why the capital expenditure in question is absolutely necessary in order for the NCE to create U.S. jobs might carry the day.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The rule states that the investment should be to create employment in the United States. You should be able to argue that costs to bring to market should be allowed. However a good CPA versed in international taxation might be of great assistance to you.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You seem to be describing a direct EB-5 investment (that is, not through a regional center). First, remember that if you can locate the project in a targeted employment area, the investment is only $500,000. Second, certain startup costs may count (like the licensing fees you seem to be describing). Creating the proper legal and financial infrastructures requires the assistance of experienced EB-5 attorneys and a team of professionals.

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    Robert Cornish

    Securities Attorney
    Answered on

    Your money needs to be spent in the United States creating U.S. jobs. Franchising in the United States is a very complex matter as there is an entire body of law that governs the relationships between franchisors and franchisees. Normally, the franchisee would be the one using the franchise to create the jobs. If I understand you correctly, this is more along the lines of the administration of the franchise itself. If that is the case, then that administration needs to be in the United States and should create the requisite number of jobs. Whatever you choose, please talk to U.S. counsel experienced in franchising matters and EB-5.

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    Robert Lee

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    In order to do business you will need a U.S. company. The investment towards that company will be your investment counting towards your EB-5 petition. However, with the currency restrictions in Vietnam, your petition would be one of the easiest as wiring out funds can difficult in Vietnam.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It must be a U.S. investment.

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