I have a company based in Atlanta with 160 employees. I am considering forming a separate entity in the same industry. The plan would be to grow it and sell within 3-5 years as a way to cash out without selling my current company. Creating 10 jobs is very easy and can be done within 6 months. Is EB-5 a good option for me? It clearly would be for the person(s) seeking return and immigration. How can I begin seeking EB-5 investors for this project?
The project you are suggesting must be EB-5 compliant. Once the business plan is structured to meet all EB-5 program requirements, then marketing will be the next task. Your project seems to be ideal for an established regional center. However, you may choose to file a petition to create your own regional center.
Retaining EB-5 counsel, like our law firm, would not only help set up the project for compliance with EB-5 rules and regulations, but to also make it marketable to EB-5 investors. Experienced EB-5 attorneys like us also have strong relationships with sources of these investors.
Unfortunately, you cannot just list your company as an EB-5 company. There are significant requirements that you have to meet. EB-5 funds have been proven to be a significant source of capital for expansion of various companies. I am happy to discuss this with you over the phone or via email.
There currently is no way to 'list' your EB-5 project/investment opportunity. The USCIS does not maintain a list of investment projects, it lists only designated regional centers. Therefore, if you wish to market your project as a direct, standalone investment without regional center involvement, you must do so on your own, or engage the services of a marketing agent/broker in this country or in China (where most of the EB-5 investors are sourced). Since your proposed project does not rely upon indirect job creation, you don't need a regional center. Whether or not you can successfully market the project, however, will depend upon keeping the financial risk to the investor fairly low and the chances of immigration approval very high. You need to consult with an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney to advise you on the immigration aspects of your project.
First contact an experienced EB-5 law firm such as ours and we will be able to advise you immediately if the correct direction. You ask a number of important questions which need to be analyzed so that we can provide clear solutions. For instance, based upon the brief facts you present, you may set up a direct EB-5 project and show the required creation of full time jobs. Once we provide a review and offer directions you will be ready to start a dialogue with the groups who source the investors.
EB-5 capital is more typically used for project finance rather than growth capital. This is because investor demand is typically for something with limited growth potential but a high degree of confidence that the investment will be returned. The typical growth capital investor seeks a high internal rate of return on a diversified portfolio; whereas the typical EB-5 investor is satisfied with a near zero rate of return and does not have the benefit of diversification. However, there is no legal restriction from using EB-5 funding for typical corporate expenses in a new venture that creates jobs. It simply needs to be marketable.
You may be able to get a Regional Center (RC) that has a mandate to invest within the area/industry of your business to be a partner on your new venture. EB-5 investments through RCs, depending on your industry, generally always partner with another entity on investments and if there is a RC authorized to do projects within your industry, this could be possible. Alternately, there could be a single or a small number of EB-5 investors who could make the investment as a joint partnership and that may work, depending on the number of jobs created. I am familiar with the RCs authorized to operate in Georgia/Atlanta. Please feel free to contact me directly if you wish to discuss this further.