As foreign investors evaluate their E visa strategy it is important to consider what transactions will count toward the total investment of the planned business. Given the nature of some small businesses, it is sometimes difficult to accumulate a high level of investment. However, if carefully planned one can reach an acceptable level of financial investment. Consider the following types of transactions:
1. Payments for office space leases. USCIS or the Consular Posts will normally consider any deposit toward to any office space. However, one can also prepay a lease in advance and have any prepaid amounts count toward the total investment.
2. Equipment. The government will count any purchases of office, commercial, or industrial equipment toward the total investment. Also remember that one can lease equipment and use any prepaid amounts toward the total investment. Tip: Don’t forget to include computers, phones, networking gear, fax machines, and copiers toward the total investment.
3. Inventory. Carefully aggregate all of the expenses for prepaid inventory. Retain all invoices to establish market value of the goods purchased because this will count toward the investment.
4. Company Car. If you used for the business operation, an investor can include the cost of a vehicle.
5. Insurance. One should not overlook insurance expenses as part of the investment. Consider adding up the prepaid premiums for property insurance, as well as liability, worker’s compensation, and business interruption insurance.
6. Accountant and Bookkeeping fees. Any prepaid retainers can be counted.
7. Lawyer Fees. A foreign investor will generally hire immigration and business counsel to assist in the business startup and investor visa process. Accordingly, include these fees.
8. Marketing Fees. Any prepaid fees toward advertising and/or public relations campaigns can be counted toward the total investment.
9. Website Design and Implementation. Great websites are expensive to design and implement. Thus, don’t forget to include these expenses as part of your total investment.
10. Signing Bonuses for Key Employees. One interesting way of reaching a higher level of investment is to offer key hires a signing bonus. Since the bonuses will be paid in advance, then the investor can count the bonus toward the total investment.