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What license does one need to provide EB-5 brokerage services in the U.S.?

I am a real estate broker in south Florida. A restaurant chain wants me to offer to my international investors the opportunity to open new locations under a 49/51 joint venture (49 percent investor and 51 percent restaurant chain) through EB-5 visa investment. Investors put down the money and the restaurant chain operates the businesses. What licenses should I have in order to be able to offer this kind of investment and get a commission or referral fee for it? Does this restaurant need to be affiliated with a regional center in order to do so?

Answers

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It takes a village to make these work. First, you need a regional center to qualify the jobs. Second, you need to be compliant with SEC and FINRA rules, both with the offering and with the deal structure. Hire an experience lawyer to help you quarterback the deal.

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    Daniel A Zeft

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You need an appropriate broker dealer license. You should consult with a securities attorney who is experienced with EB-5 matters. The restaurant does not need to be affiliated with a regional center in this case.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you need to operate as an investment adviser selling securities, you may need a license with the federal U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or your state''s securities regulatory agency. Since you may be recommending investment advice and receiving special compensation, you will be considered an investment adviser representative (IAR) and required to register. Also, you are required to offer reasonable suitable recommendations. Depending on the level of your services, consider consulting a host of sources such as both state and federal securities regulating agencies for latest information. Although rules keep changing, for most states and SEC, an IAR is required to hold at least Series 65 license administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) on behalf of the North American Securities Administrators Association. Advisably, the restaurant operators should seriously consider working with both a securities attorney and a regional center.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Check with the SEC.

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    Mark AM Catam, Esq

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You will need an experienced EB-5 lawyer to advise you further.

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    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No RC affiliation is required. You need to be a licensed broker/dealer.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You likely need a broker/dealer license to receive commissions (transaction-based compensation). The EB-5 offerings would be exempt from SEC registration if offered to accredited investors only (Reg D exemption) and/or to overseas investors (Reg S exemption). You should consult with an attorney who is an expert in SEC matters. The restaurant does not need to be affiliated with a regional center unless it will rely on indirect job creation. Direct EB-5 projects (those that rely only on direct job creation) typically are not affiliated with an USCIS-designated regional center.

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    Russell C Weigel, III

    Securities Attorney
    Answered on

    You probably need at least a series 82 license (private securities offerings representative). The restaurant, the issuer, does not need to be affiliated with a regional center to offer securities, whether for an EB-5 program or not.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    In order to represent the EB-5 project vis a vis potential investors, you would normally need to be a registered broker/dealer. The interest in an EB-5 project is viewed to be a security and thus the selling of an interest in an EB-5 project is covered by U.S. securities laws. The restaurant does not need to be affiliated with a regional center, although at times there are significant advantages in doing so and, depending upon the amount of investment sought under the EB-5 program, you would have more flexibility in attracting capital if the project was marketed under an EB-5 regional center. The center would allow you to count not only direct jobs, but also indirect jobs based upon appropriate economic studies. Also, the EB-5 regional center might have more experience in marketing the project abroad.

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