Business Buyers & Business Sellers: What Is The E2 Visa and Why Should You Care?



This country is a country of immigrants – our foundation was built on the backs of the small business owners who immigrated here to give their families a chance at a better life. While it may be more difficult for an immigrant to make the United States their permanent home now than it was in the distant past – the entrepreneurial American dream is still possible.

 

The United States allows a pathway to citizenship for those who would like to come here and invest in a business because those businesses help to strengthen the American economy and create jobs. One of these pathways is by way of the E2 Visa.

 

USA visa in a passport - travel background

 

An E2 Visa is a great option worth considering if you are a buyer coming from another country because it allows a nonimmigrant investor to come to the U.S. with their spouse and children to live and work so long as they invest in a business that qualifies for E2 status. There are rules to consider, such as whether or not the country where you hold citizenship will allow you to qualify for this type of Visa, but those answers can easily be found by checking the Department of Homeland Security U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services website, found here:

 

http://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/temporary-workers/e-2-treaty-investors

 

or by asking a qualified business broker who has experience with the E2 Visa process (like us!).

 

If you are a business seller, then this type of Visa could potentially be very important to you as well. If your business qualifies for E2 status, then you will be opening your business up to a huge market of investor buyers who are looking for a way to come the the United States. If you haven’t heard of getting your business qualified for the E2, don’t be surprised – there are not many brokers who are experienced in this type of transaction, and many falsely believe that throwing a Visa into the mix will slow a transaction down. While a Visa does add a few more steps, in most cases the process will only be delayed by a few weeks – and quite frankly we have had more deals held up by the sellers themselves than we ever have by consulates evaluating E2 status.

 

If you haven’t asked about qualifying your business for the E2 Visa, please do by contacting us today! The more buyers who see you business as a potential investment opportunity, the better – so why limit yourself to only local and national buyers? Get your small business on the international scene and you will have a great chance of finding the right buyer.

 

For more information about the E2 Visa process, please also visit our sister site,

 

http://e2visa.com/

 

Are you a foreign buyer who is interested in the option to buy a business in the States with the E2? Are you a seller who wants to know if your business would qualify? Please feel free to leave any questions or comments here and we would be happy to help!

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@infinitybusinessbrokers.com
12995 South Cleveland Avenue, Suite 249
Fort Myers, FL 33907

http://www.infinitybusinessbrokers.com


New Year, New Opportunity – Sell Your Business In 2016



The word exit printed on clothespin clipped cards in front of defocused glowing lights.

 

If you are a small business owner, the first quarter of the New Year is a great time to reevaluate your exit strategy for your business.

 

Wait, exit strategy? I don’t really have one. Should I have an exit strategy in place?

 

Yes, you absolutely should. Any well-conceived business plan comes with a well-defined exit strategy. That exit strategy should address a very important question:

 

What are your plans for the succession of your business when you are no longer able or willing to be the owner?

 

If you have not asked yourself this question, now is as good a time as any.

 

Some owners who have children automatically assume that those children will take over the reins when they retire, but as with many family-related issues, parents don’t necessarily know what their children actually want. If automatic family-succession is your current plan, but you’ve never had a serious family discussion on the subject – you need to have a talk with your kids to see if this is actually what they want.

 

If your children do not want to take over the business, then a great option to get back a return on your investment of time, energy and money is to sell the business.

 

If you don’t have kids, then selling your business is the only way to continue the legacy of what you’ve built and get a return on your investment.

 

Ok, so I plan to sell when I’m ready, but when is the best time?

 

Honestly, now.

 

Right now, it is a seller’s market – but it won’t be that way for much longer. Listing prices are nice and high after the economic rebound that has occurred in the last few years, and there tends to be more buyers in the market than businesses for sale. Any business seller who thinks they may want to sell in the next five years really should consider selling now. A whole wave of baby boomer business owners are on the brink of retirement, and when they decide to hang up their business owner hats and hit the golf course? The market will be flooded with newly listed businesses for sale – shifting to a buyer’s market.

 

Get you business on the market in 2016, before the tide turns!

 

Have you considered selling in the near future? Are you curious about what businesses comparable to yours have recently sold for? Ask us! Please feel free to leave any comments or questions here, and we would be happy to help.

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@infinitybusinessbrokers.com
12995 South Cleveland Avenue, Suite 249
Fort Myers, FL 33907

http://www.infinitybusinessbrokers.com


Navigating the Paperwork – Advice for Business Buyers: The Licensing



Buying a business is no small task, and many first-time buyers are initially intimidated by the paperwork required to make a sale happen. The good news is, however, the paperwork, contracts and red tape required of business buyers is totally do-able. You just need to stay on top of requirements, have patience and have the right help.

 

man wearing a suit sitting in a table showing a signboard with the text licensing no written in it

 

The last (and most aggravating) part of the paperwork you will come across in a business transaction has to do with the licensing involved when running a business.

 

A very important note on licensing – you absolutely must have all your licensing in place before you take over as owner of the business. Any procrastination on your part will probably lead to major issues. Any procrastination on your business broker’s part could also be a problem. Any good business broker should be helping their buyers wade through the paperwork jungle. Some brokers leave their clients high and dry, postponing important licensing issues until the last minute. Your broker should be helping you get the information necessary to get the proper licenses and permits. If they aren’t, you might need to find better help.

 

Your licensing requirements will depend on where the business is located, what goods or services it provides and your role in the business itself. For example, a small pizza shop that does not serve alcohol will have to comply with licensing requirements from the Division of Hotels and Restaurants but not the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. If you are buying a contracting business, you may need to have the appropriate contractor license for your state. Each state, county and city will also require specific licensing requirements depending on what the business is and where it is located in relation to state, county and city boundaries.

 

Just like all of the other paperwork requirements we have discussed in previous articles – this is a great example of when a business broker is worth their weight in gold. As we already mentioned, any good broker should be helping you with licensing requirements or referring you to a licensing professional. They should also be advising you on when each part of the licensing process should be started and when it needs to be complete.

 

If you don’t want to pay the fees of a licensing professional, you should know that it is absolutely possible to do your own licensing – but it will take a good dose of patience and plenty of perseverance.

 

The best advice is to get all of the necessary licensing information from the seller (through your broker) and then go through each licensing requirement one at a time. You should print all applications regardless of whether or not you will be submitting them online as many government agencies have time-out procedures on their websites (so if you take too long to fill out your application online it will time-out and start over). Printing the applications allows you to fill everything out beforehand so you don’t have timing issues. You should also have everything in printed form and kept together because in many cases an application will require approval and signatures from multiple agencies – so it is best to take everything with you.

 

You should also understand that all government agencies are very large bureaucracies, and as such the red tape involved can be extensive and open to interpretation. What do we mean by “open to interpretation”? If you have a question on one part of a specific application, you might call one day to get an answer. The next day, when you speak to someone else in the same office, you might get a completely different answer. Although frustrating, this difference in opinion is totally normal. Just follow the instructions of the government agent you are currently dealing with, and try to deal with that one specific person every time (not always possible).

 

The best way to deal with licensing? Ask questions, lean on the experience of your business broker and stay on top of deadlines.

 

Do you have more questions about the licensing requirements in a business sale? Would you like to know more about what’s included? Ask us! Feel free to leave any questions or comments here and we would be happy to help.

 

Want to read part 1, The Non-Disclosure Agreement? Click here.

 

Want to read part 2, The Purchase Contract? Click here.

 

Want to read part 3, The Commercial Lease? Click here.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@infinitybusinessbrokers.com
12995 South Cleveland Avenue, Suite 249
Fort Myers, FL 33907

http://www.infinitybusinessbrokers.com


Navigating the Paperwork – Advice for Business Buyers: The Commercial Lease



Buying a business is no small task, and many first-time buyers are initially intimidated by the paperwork required to make a sale happen. The good news is, however, the paperwork, contracts and red tape required of business buyers is totally do-able. You just need to stay on top of requirements, have patience and have the right help.

 

Lease agreement document with money on a wood background

 

As you near your closing date, you will also be nearing the day when you sign your commercial lease. Almost all business transactions are for the business itself – not for the associated real estate, so in almost all cases you will be dealing with a commercial lease when you buy a business. The timing for signing your commercial lease will be one of the clauses mentioned in your purchase contract.

 

Navigating the negotiation of a commercial lease and acting as a buffer between buyers and typically difficult property managers is yet another example of why a good business broker is instrumental in the success of a sale.

 

Property managers are difficult by nature because it is their job to protect the owner of the property from anyone who might not be able to pay the rent. Businesses, especially small businesses, are inherently very risky – so many property managers are hesitant to allow new owners to take over the lease at a location. You should expect a thorough vetting process, and should be prepared to disclose your financial statements and your resume. Your new landlord wants to make sure you have the experience necessary to keep the business successful and the capital to pay the rent during the transition to new ownership.

 

The inherent risk of small business also means you should expect that your lease will be essentially the same price as the lease the current seller is paying. Most property managers are not going to renegotiate for a much lower price. Why not? Keeping the current tenants at their current rate means more money for the property owner, so be ready to pay essentially the same rent.

 

Commercial leases are similar to the purchase contract because they are very extensive. You should review them carefully with your business broker and your business transaction attorney. Just like your purchase contract (read more here), any attorney unfamiliar with the business transaction process will be hesitant to advise you to sign a commercial lease simply because it is so extensive. Listen to the advice of your business broker and your business transaction attorney as they are best suited to advise you in this situation. Also be aware that most commercial leases are fairly standard, so although you may be able to negotiate some small parts of your lease – it will largely stay as it was for the original tenant.

 

Do you have more questions about the commercial lease in a business sale? Would you like to know more about what’s included? Ask us! Feel free to leave any questions or comments here and we would be happy to help.

 

Want to read part 1, The Non-Disclosure Agreement? Click here.

Want to read part 2, The Purchase Contract? Click here.

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@infinitybusinessbrokers.com
12995 South Cleveland Avenue, Suite 249
Fort Myers, FL 33907

http://www.infinitybusinessbrokers.com


Navigating the Paperwork – Advice for Business Buyers: The Purchase Contract



Buying a business is no small task, and many first-time buyers are initially intimidated by the paperwork required to make a sale happen. The good news is, however, the paperwork, contracts and red tape required of business buyers is totally do-able. You just need to stay on top of requirements, have patience and have the right help.

 

Businessman signing a document or contract in the office, close up horizontal banner format of his hand and the paperwork with copyspace.

 

After you have signed non-disclosure agreements and have had a chance to check out a few businesses, the next set of paperwork you will encounter will be your purchase contract.

 

What is a purchase contract?

When you find a business you really like, you will put together an initial offer with your business broker and present that offer to the sellers. This initial offer opens up the negotiating table, and after a bit of back and forth between both parties you will hopefully have your amended offer accepted by the sellers.

 

Your initial offer, once accepted, essentially becomes the purchase contract. This contract is basically a guide for what will happen during the transaction process.

 

What will it include? It will vary from transaction to transaction because businesses are inherently complex and each one is very different from the next. Some basic items the purchase contract will cover? The price offered, the length of the due diligence period and the length and scope of training are a few of the things covered in your contract, but there will also be many more.

 

The complexity of this agreement is one of the major reasons the professional help of an experienced and qualified business broker is necessary for a successful transaction. Drawing up a purchase contract on your own could leave you in a lurch if you forget something critical (see Buying a Business With No Chairs: Understanding the Purchase Agreement in a Business Sale for more).

 

An important point about seeking professional help with your purchase contract: your business transaction attorney could also help you with the purchase contract  – however, notice we said business transaction attorney. Your family law attorney or the attorney you used for a civil lawsuit are not going to understand a purchase contract the way a business transaction attorney would. Remember that an attorney’s sole purpose is to protect you from any and all risk – and all businesses come with an inherent amount of risk. This contradiction means it will be tough to properly advise you if your attorney has never been a part of a business transaction. The solution is to use the advice of a business transaction attorney and business broker instead.

 

Do you have more questions about the purchase contract in a business sale? Would you like to know more about what’s included? Ask us! Feel free to leave any questions or comments here and we would be happy to help.

 

Want to read part 1, The Non-Disclosure Agreement? Click here.

Want to read part 3, The Commercial Lease? Click here.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@infinitybusinessbrokers.com
12995 South Cleveland Avenue, Suite 249
Fort Myers, FL 33907

http://www.infinitybusinessbrokers.com



Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

12995 South Cleveland Avenue, Suite 249
Fort Myers, FL 33907

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

12995 South Cleveland Avenue, Suite 249
Fort Myers, FL 33907




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