How Investment Can Result In A Green Card

By Guest Contributor Sabine Weyergraf –


Green Card sign with sky background


The goal for most immigrants is gaining permanent residency with a Green Card. If that is the case for you, the question is how to achieve this goal?

The most common answer is, by marriage. Marriage to a U.S. Citizen is certainly an option, as long as it is a real marriage. However, for a married couple who want to jointly immigrate to the United States, this is not an option. You might want to explore the alternatives. Generally, the alternatives are two non-immigrant visas, an L-1 Intercompany Transfer Visa or an E-2 Investor Visa, or the “purchase” of a green card by making the significant investment of $500,000 to $1 million in a company.

The L-1 Intercompany Transfer Visa permits the transfer of a Manager, which can certainly be the owner, of an overseas company to a subsidiary or affiliate in the United States. The requirements are: a) the transferred employee has been in a manager or executive position in the overseas company for at least one year, b) the U.S. company is a subsidiary or affiliate of the overseas company, and c) the U.S. company is a large enough operation that it will need to hire U.S. workers.

The overseas company and its U.S. affiliate or subsidiary do not have to be engaged in the same business activity and there is not a requirement for a set amount of money that must be invested.
However, the overseas company has to remain operational during the entire visa validity.
The L-1 visa for a start-up company will be issued for one year with the option of renewal for three years and then another three years. The renewal of an L-1 visa requires a significant number of employees.

For people who do not operate an overseas business or would like to receive more than an initial one year visa approval, the E-2 Investor Visa is a viable option. In general the E-2 Visa requires an investment of around $100,000 into the establishment of an U.S. company.

In order to apply for an E-2 Visa, the U.S. business investment needs to have already taken place. That means, either the purchase contract for an existing business with the purchase price in escrow or establishing your own start-up business. In the event you choose to purchase an existing business, it is important that the business already has employees. If a new business is established, the investor must show that the business has the potential to need U.S. workers and that the investor has already begun to look for qualified employees.

As previously said, the L-1 and E-2 are temporary non-immigrant visas. Then what is the process that moves you from temporary to permanent status.

If your U.S. company (affiliate or subsidiary) becomes well established, meaning it is profitable and providing employment for U.S. workers and your overseas company is also still operating, you can apply for a Multinational Manager Green Card. Your ability to apply is based on the fact that you are managing two companies in two different countries which both have employees.

For the Multinational Manager Green Card, it does not matter if you are in L-1 or E-2 status, it only matters that you are managing two different companies in two different countries, you worked for the overseas company for at least one year before coming to the United States and both companies have employees. The L-1 visa is not a necessity to receive a Multinational Manager Green Card.

However, if you closed your business overseas, you cannot apply for a Multinational Manager Green Card.

If you do not want to first apply for an L-1 or E-2 and prefer to go straight for the permanent residency, then you can “purchase” a green card. This is the Eb-5 program. This requires the investment of $500,000 to $1 Million either in the establishment of your own U.S. company or the investment in a Regional Center. $500,000 is sufficient if you invest in a designated rural or high unemployment area; investing in any other location will require an investment of $1 Million.

A Regional Center is basically an administration company that collects money from foreign investors and then invests it in designated projects, such as the build out of an airport, a solar field, housing or farms.

If you would like to invest in your own company, then you will need 1 Million Dollars readily available as the investment must be made in full. Income or expenses of an existing U.S. business cannot be used to prove the investment of 1 Million Dollars. After this investment is done, you receive a conditional residency for two years. Within these two years either your project at the regional center or your own company has to create ten full-time jobs. If you can show these jobs, then you will receive your permanent residency.




Sabine Weyergraf is founding partner and New York licensed attorney practicing solely immigration law with
Weyergraf Immigration, PA in Sarasota, Florida.
Contact: 941-706-4102,

This article is provided for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice.



Michael Monnot

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

To Franchise Or Not To Franchise – 4 Thoughts For Business Buyers

If you are thinking about buying a business, then one of the very first decisions you will have to make is whether you should buy an independently owned small business or a franchise. Both schools of business ownership can bring a buyer success, but it will be a matter of personal choice as to which path will be better suited for you.


Let’s take a look at the four major differences between an independent small business and a franchise to help you decide which camp will suit you best.


Business man pointing the text: Franchise



If you decide to go it alone and opt for an independently owned small business, you will most likely be going without the large-scale name recognition and branding that are associated with a large franchise. This can be detrimental in that a strong brand will automatically bring you customers loyal to the parent brand without having to try very hard. On the flip side of the branding coin, however, are the problems that can arise if the parent company or another franchisee makes a big negative splash in the media. Any of that bad press will automatically fall onto anyone within the franchise group.


If you are a marketing machine and love to create buzz about your business, then perhaps an independent business is for you. If you would rather focus your energy elsewhere and leave the branding to the parent company professionals, then a franchise would be a good choice.



Yes, a franchisee owns their business in the same way that an independent owner does – the difference lies in the decision making abilities of these two owners. If you are part of a franchise then decisions on product choices, renovation decisions and operating procedures may be made for you.


If you are a first-time business buyer, this might be a good bet because you don’t have to make every decision right away. If you are a complete control freak by nature, you might have issues with having the parent company tell you what to do.


Total Cost

Although debatable and entirely dependent on each individual business and each individual franchise, there are a few generalizations about cost that you can use to help with your decision about becoming a franchisee.


In general, the upfront costs for buying a franchise can be a bit lower than buying an independently owned business, but in return the independent business owner has more control over their cash flow than a franchisee would. For instance, a franchise can require a renovation and you would have to comply where an independent owner can delay renovations until the cash is more readily available.




This one is also helpful for a first-time business buyer. If you opt for the franchise route, then the day-to-day operations of your business will be established and tested. You will not, however, be able to make major changes to the standard operating procedures if one or more parts don’t suit the way you like to run your business.


Buying an existing independent small business also means that you inherit a set of operating procedures – the difference is that these procedures are not so set in stone. As you learn the ins and outs of running your new business, you can make any changes you see as necessary.


If you are considering a franchise over an independent business or vice versa – the best thing to do is have a chat with a business broker experienced with both franchise and independently owned businesses. Using your experience and your goals for business ownership you and your broker will be able to sort out which option would be best for you. 


Are you considering a franchise and have more questions about what it would mean to be a franchisee? Do you think an independently owned small business would be better for you and want to know what businesses are currently available? Please feel free to leave any questions or comments and we will be happy to help.




Michael Monnot

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

Hiring Winners

By Guest Contributor Jessica Trippler –


Cross the line


When I discuss employee performance with business owners and managers, they often times have very similar concerns and questions;


  • I have one sales person that isn’t selling as much as the others, I don’t understand why.
  • I hired a great person as a technician, why is their performance is lacking?
  • I hired someone with lots of experience but why they aren’t doing the job I need done?


These are all very good questions and valid concerns that all businesses struggle with at some point. They all want employees that perform a job to their standards. They want to save on the costs associated with employee turnovers and the time and energy it takes to do the hiring and training.


Ultimately, they want their employees to service their customers, every time, the way they would.


I believe the real question becomes “Did you hire the right person for the right job?”


Resumes and interviews are the most common tools used in the hiring process. But are they enough? Just because someone has experience in a certain industry or does well on an interview because we approve of their responses to our questions; it is not enough information to determine how someone is going to perform a particular job.


Did you know that only 20% of employees studied over a 16-year period were in a job that “fit” with their talents? It is important to recognize that different jobs require a different set of behaviors and values than other jobs. For example, the behaviors and values required to perform an accounting job are much different than the behaviors and values needed to perform a sales job. When looking to hire an accountant, you may search for someone who has experience, extensive attention to detail and someone who enjoys working with numbers. When hiring a sales person, you may search for someone who has an “outgoing” personality and a “can do” attitude. So how do we find the right person for the right job?


To answer this question, my business partner, Mark Welker, and I, use a process called Hiring Winners. This process begins with determining the behaviors and values needed to produce the key results for a certain job. Then, we assess the candidate for the job using a Disc and Motivators Assessment. This profile assessment is so important because helps to determine if that person’s behaviors and values match the jobs’ requirements. If we feel the applicant and the job may be a match, we can then move onto the next step which is our Hiring Winners Interview Process. This process includes twelve categories of hand selected questions used to further access how the person will perform the job. We have experienced a much higher employee retention rate, employee and employer satisfaction, and a higher productivity rate with all of the businesses we work with, since implementing our Hiring Winners process. It has become our proven method for hiring the right person for the right job, the first time and every time.


Please request a complimentary DISC and Motivators Assessment at



Jessica TripplerBusiness Perfomance Insights


Business Performance Insights
4575 Via Royale
Suite 218
Ft. Myers, FL 33919


Michael Monnot

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


VIDEO: 3 Question Goal Reality Check

By Guest Contributor Ron Frost –



These are 3 very important questions to ask yourself in regards to your dreams or goals. For more information visit or



ron frost

Ron Frost
Motivational Speaker | Life Coach | Business Coach



Michael Monnot

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




Who Is Going To Buy My Business?

keys in the keyhole


If you are considering selling your business, you may have asked this question – who is going to buy my business?


This question may be important to you for a myriad of reasons. For most small business owners, their business is a very large part of their life, sometimes even an extension of their life. They have spent a great deal of money, countless hours and an enormous amount of energy making the business what it is today. To personally invest so much into something without creating an emotional attachment would be nearly impossible.


This emotional attachment to your business is a good thing, it keeps you personally invested in the success and future of something you’ve worked so hard to build. It gets you out of bed every morning and helps you endure the long hours that are sometimes necessary.


This strong emotional attachment can become a problem, however, when the time comes to put your business up for sale. Your business is your baby, and you don’t want anyone who isn’t up to your version of par to take over the keys.


So, you ask yourself “who is going to buy my business?”

The answer is a simple one. Whoever has enough money.


This simple answer can cause havoc for the heartstrings of a seller because it means that you may need to hand over your business to someone you don’t necessarily like if you truly want to sell.


How do you get past your emotions and allow this to happen?


Remember why you are selling in the first place. No one can be at the helm of their business forever. By selling instead of closing the doors you are getting a financial return on all the investment of time, energy and money – and that financial investment can give you freedom to start a new chapter of your life.


Remember that once the keys have changed hands, it isn’t your business anymore. Most entrepreneurs are control freaks by nature – you have to be to keep a small business running. That control can’t carry over, however, to the new ownership. Once they write you a check that business now belongs to them. Considering this emotional switch beforehand will help you when the time comes to sit down at a closing table.


Remember that everyone’s money has the same value. You may not be madly in love with the person who would like to buy your business, but willing buyers shouldn’t be turned away because your personalities don’t mesh. All that matters is they want to write you a very big check and are willing to take over ownership of your business.


If you want a great return on all of your investment in your business – put your emotions to the side and instead focus on your new future after the business sale.


Are you considering selling your business but are worried about who might take over? Do you have questions about what kind of return you could get on your business? Please feel free to leave us any questions or comments here, and we will be happy to help.



Michael Monnot

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

Why The Latest BizBuySell Report Is Good News For Both Business Buyers And Sellers

Overall, small business indicators continue to point toward a healthy market for buying and selling

-Bob House, Group GM of


The latest BizBuySell Insight Report covering the final quarter of 2015 is out, and it has great news for both buyers and sellers.


For sellers, the news continues to be good. Median sale price increased 7.6% over the last year, and the number of closed transactions remains high.

2015 Q4 Closed Small Business Transactions


If you are a buyer, then the strength of small businesses in the market means good things for your future purchase. Median revenue and median cash flow of sold businesses remained strong and was even up in the last quarter of 2015.

2015 Q4 Key Financials of Sold Small Businesses


While many are looking at 2015 and wondering where the much anticipated wave of baby boomer sellers are, the numbers indicate that baby boomer sellers continue to stay on as owners and are retiring later than the business owners of past generations. Even without the huge wave of baby boomer sellers last year, the market is starting to level out. This leveling out of the market from a seller’s market toward a buyer’s market is good for both sides of the transaction – as it means sale prices remain high and businesses are healthy overall.


Want to read more of the BizBuySell Insight Report? Click here.


Want to read more analysis? Check out this article from


Do you have questions about what the latest industry numbers mean for your business and the future of a potential sale? Want to know what the businesses you are interested in buying look like compared to the same time last year? Ask us! Please leave any questions or comments here and we will be happy to help!



Michael Monnot

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


The 4 Ways Business Buyers Can Immediately Tank Their New Purchase

Although unfortunate, this does happen. Business buyers get their hands on a profitable business and within six months they are calling us to sell because they are literally days away from complete and utter failure – like having to lock the doors and walk away bankrupt.


How does this happen? There are four big mistakes that can cause you to pull the rug right out from under your own feet, but they can easily be avoided if you know what they are and apply some common sense to your new venture of business ownership.


A sad man with beard wearing eyeglasses standing on a sinking boat with those arrows on his back pointing down symbolize that his business is loosing. He needs help. A contemporary style with pastel palette soft blue tinted background. Vector flat design illustration. Square layout.


Spending All Of Your Cash


You might have $100,000 to spend on a business, but that doesn’t mean that you should be shopping for businesses that are listed for $100,000. Buying a business and launching yourself into business ownership is an expensive adventure, and you will need to reserve enough of your capital to keep yourself in the black long enough to get the business generating a profit with you at the helm. You will need cash for licensing fees, for your new commercial lease, for inventory and payroll in your first few weeks as owner – only to name a few. When deciding what you can and can’t afford, be honest with your business broker about the money you have available and they can better assist you with finding a business that will reserve some of your cash.


Ignoring Red Tape


Yes, bureaucracy is annoying. Licensing requirements are confusing, expensive and time-consuming – but that doesn’t mean that you can skate around the requirements. You need to be sure that you are operating your business in accordance with the licensing requirements of your industry, state, county and city. If you aren’t, it is only a matter of time before you are caught – and the consequences can be devastating (think the loss of a liquor license or major fines and penalties, for example). Pay attention to the red tape.


Coasting Too Early (Or Ever)


You found a great little business, and from day one you were lucky enough to be pulling a profit, so you take your foot off the gas and let the business essentially run itself. This always ends in disaster. Think about why this business was great in the first place. The former owner worked incredibly hard to maintain what worked and continually focused on the future growth of the business. That simple formula, always maintaining and growing your business, is the key to success. Owners that stop trying always stop succeeding.


Changing Everything


You bought a profitable restaurant, but you hate everything about it. The decor is dated, the equipment isn’t the top of the line and the menu doesn’t appeal to your vision of restaurant ownership. You spend your first six months of ownership completely gutting the kitchen and dining room, a massively expensive renovation. Then you come up with an entirely new menu that is a huge divergence from what the restaurant used to serve. While you are at it, you also change vendors and essentially every operating procedure. After all of this massive upheaval, you are shocked that you can’t get customers in the door and that all of your staff jumped ship. Where did everybody go? The old phrase “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” goes a long way in explaining this most expensive of mistakes. The restaurant in this example was successful because it had a regular clientele who loved the menu and quaint decor and a happy staff who were good at their jobs. New owners who change things before they give themselves the time to understand why certain aspects of the business work (or why they don’t work) are setting themselves up for failure. A new owner is far better off following in the footsteps of the prior owner until they are sure the changes they want to make are changes that will actually improve the business, not hurt it.


If you are looking at businesses to buy – be aware that you need to be careful of too many changes, you need to keep the business growing, you need to stay on top of red-tape issues and you need to be careful with your cash if you want to be successful.


Are you in the business market and are curious about what businesses you could afford with the cash you have available? Do you have more questions about how to avoid the pitfalls we talked about here? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments here and we would be happy to help.



Michael Monnot

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

Michael Monnot


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

Michael Monnot


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


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