Home - E-2 Business Plan Guide: Company Creation vs. Franchising
Craft a compelling E-2 business plan guide. Learn about the difference of company creation vs. franchising and optimize your chances of success in the USA.
If you plan to relocate and start your own business in the United States, you are likely looking into applying for an E-2 foreign treaty investor visa.
Read our post here to learn more about the E-2 visa and its requirements.
Two of the most popular ways to enter the United States through the E-2 visa are to (1) create a business or (2) purchase an existing U.S. franchise, both of which require a well-crafted business plan.
The content of E-2 business plan is specifically tailored to the type of business you are establishing in the United States; thus, this article serves as a guide for constructing your business plan properly.
It will include all necessary content for both options, illustrating their differences and the importance of using the correct outline when writing an accurate, comprehensive, yet concise business plan, and easy to read and understand.
Your E-2 business plan should primarily include an executive summary, company overview, your products and services, a clear description of your intended purpose in developing and directing your business in the U.S., a thorough market analysis, a well-crafted marketing strategy, organizational structure, your hiring or staffing plan for the next five years, 3-5 year financial projections, and supporting documents.
The company summary section in E-2 business plan must serve as a neat introduction to your business to quickly inform the reader, in this case, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) adjudicator, of the nature of your business, highlighting why you or your business venture qualify for the E-2 visa as a worthwhile investment.
It should start with an overview to understand your business at a glance, containing the company’s date of incorporation, name, and any registered fictitious names, a brief description of your business or the industry it is in, your business’s full address, hours of operation, and company website.
We also recommend following the overview with the following business description sections under your company summary:
Company ownership – include information such as where and when the company was incorporated and who owns the company, including the percentages of ownership. Remember that you must own at least 50% of your company (i.e., Applicant Name owns 70% while Another Shareholder owns the remaining 30%).
Location – where your business is located, including a summarized version of your lease agreement and brief geographical information of the city it is in.
Rationale to start the business – this section outlines your reason for creating your business in the U.S. or purchasing a U.S. franchise. You can use statistics and studies supporting your rationale and demonstrating that your business is viable and has growth potential.
Company creation example: “A 2021 study states that there is a rise in demand for Italian coffee, cuisine, and baked goods in Florida;” “A majority of Americans drink coffee daily;” “There is no Italian cafe around the location;” “Applicant Name is an expert in Italian cuisine and coffee-brewing methods with previous hospitality experience, etc.”
Franchise example: “The franchisor has a profitable business model with a proven track record of…”; “Applicant Name is confident in his/her ability to scale the cafe in the U.S. and will utilize his/her expertise in Italian cuisine, etc.;” “The cafe consumption in State is estimated to rise from X to Y% from 2020 to 2030;” “The franchisor offers rigorous training and support, including…etc.”
Employees – a brief table outlining the company’s needed employees, including their proposed salaries.
Investment summary – the investment section must include a detailed breakdown of the funds you will invest in your business, including the total investment amount to establish the business, broken down into necessary categories (i.e., equipment purchase, working capital, inventory, etc.). Your funding’s sources must be clearly defined, whether from personal savings, gifts, investments, etc., along with the evidence of the legitimacy and availability of these funds.
For a Company Creation with a Foreign Affiliation:
Include a brief foreign affiliate section under your company summary:
Foreign affiliate or Parent Company – include a brief overview of the foreign affiliate (i.e., parent company), including when and where it was established, the affiliate company’s ownership (in %s), website, contact information, and notable achievements (i.e., sales, revenue, etc.).
For a Franchise:
Include the following two sections under your company summary:
Franchisor company background – this section must include detailed information about the franchise, such as its history, reputation, and success. You must explain why you chose this franchise, demonstrating your understanding of its operations and business model, thereby convincing the USCIS adjudicator of your capabilities to grow your business.
Franchise agreement – this section summarizes the franchise agreement’s key terms and conditions, including royalties, marketing fees, and all other financial obligations. Include all of the franchisor’s support and training, including access to the franchise’s proprietary systems and resources, demonstrating your relationship with the franchisor. If available, include the franchise’s financial statements to illustrate its stability and potential for profitability. Overall, you must demonstrate the ability to meet your financial obligations beyond the initial investment required.
This E-2 business plan section highlights the company’s products and/or services, including its features, descriptions, and pricing.
It also discusses your targeted customers, the value your offerings provide them, and why your business will be successful. We recommend the following sections:
Nature of the business – this is a brief or short paragraph explaining what the business offers (i.e., Company Name operates a cafe specializing in Italian coffee and cuisine. Its products include coffee, brunch, snacks, and desserts items. It also offers catering services in City, State.).
Products and/or services – this section is where the products and services can be broken down with more descriptions and details on each offering. For instance, a full list of the cafe’s coffee, brunch, snacks, and desserts product selection as well as its catering service inclusions. Include pricing.
Targeted customers – describe your targeted customers. You can use demographics, such as age, sex, etc.
Optional: Existing and potential customers – do you already have existing customers? Are you already pursuing discussions with potential customers? If so, you can add them.
Value proposition – enumerate and describe your company’s value propositions. This section should clearly illustrate to the USCIS adjudicator the value your services or products bring. Why are you better than other competitors at providing your products or services? What values do your products and services offer, and how?
Anticipated success – this section must demonstrate why your company is headed for success. What factors will contribute to your company’s profitability and growth?
Company creation example: for a cafe, you can highlight the high coffee consumption in the area where you are establishing your cafe, how unique your offerings are, how there is little competition, what makes your business operations efficient, your cafe’s strategic and attractive location, and so on.
Franchise example: you can highlight how unique the franchise is in that area, your exclusive rights to the city, the franchise’s demand and success, the franchise’s excellent brand recognition in the state, etc.
This E-2 business plan section is vital and must demonstrate a thorough and well-written market analysis supported by evidence-based and valid references, such as statistics, studies, census, and more.
It must also include comparative competitor analysis and a market opportunity section. We recommend the following sections:
Market overview – you must provide an overview of the industry or segment in which your business will operate. Use valid resources like statistics, reputable market research, and census data.
Market research and target market – this section requires thorough market research to gather insights about your target market. You may include primary and secondary research to support your findings. You must convince the USCIS adjudicator why your target market is attractive and how your business is uniquely positioned to fulfill their needs.
Competitor analysis – this section is where you compare your business against your direct and indirect competitors in the market, comparing their strengths, weaknesses, value propositions, and pricing strategies to yours. Overall, you must highlight how your business differentiates itself from competitors, thus providing superior value positions.
Market opportunity and growth potential – Valid resources should support this section. Your gathered data must be analyzed to identify any market opportunities, gaps, and unmet needs in the market that your business can fulfill. Additionally, you can assess the market’s growth potential in terms of revenue, industry trends, and customer base, describing your business’s potential and positioning to capitalize on these growth opportunities.
This E-2 business plan section must demonstrate your market development strategy and how you will engage with the U.S. market.
Remember to illustrate what makes your business different or what sets you apart from competitors and your positioning in the market. We recommend the following sections:
Development strategy – how are you positioned, and how will you engage with the U.S. market? This section must briefly demonstrate your business’s positioning in the market. You must also include a list of marketing actions you will undertake to reach your targeted customers and generate new leads.
For a company creation – you are free to come up with your own marketing actions to enter the U.S. market, such as by utilizing an informative, attractive, and search engine optimized website; engaging with customers and generating leads through social media; joining associations; creating and distributing marketing materials, launching newsletter campaigns, and so on.
For a franchise – check for marketing restrictions and what the franchisor permits. Franchises often have marketing limitations to protect their brand reputation, ensure brand consistency, and leverage collective advertising efforts. The Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), given to franchisees before signing a franchise agreement, often states these marketing limitations. It also includes the %s that goes toward marketing efforts for the whole franchise system.
Thus, before developing your marketing actions, refer to the FDD and your franchise agreement first. Thus, instead of stating that you will create your own website, you will use the franchisor’s existing one.
Likewise, instead of creating your own social media pages, you will utilize the franchisor’s existing ones. Alternatively, you may write that you will seek permission for your franchisor’s approval for every new marketing action plan you come up with.
Competitive advantage – what differentiates your business from its competitors? What makes your offerings unique? What added value do you provide that cannot be found or replicated? This section must convince the USCIS adjudicator that your unique strengths and advantages will lead to profitability due to your compelling value proposition and sustainable competitive edge. You can mention any intellectual property assets your company possesses, your business operation’s efficiency and cost-effectiveness, unique products or services, market differentiation strategy, etc.
This E-2 business plan section discusses the key members of your management team, which is essential in convincing the USCIS adjudicator of your and your team’s competence and highlights the business’s potential for generating more jobs as it grows. Include the following under this section:
Your resume – highlight your expertise, skills, and background that makes you suitable and qualified to grow your business, especially if you have previous relevant experience in the same industry.
Key members – this section includes the key members of your management team, including their names, positions, skills, competencies, qualifications, previous successes, and relevant backgrounds making them suitable for their roles.
Organizational structure – this section must present an overview of your business’s organizational structure, defining the key roles within the company, including management, operations, sales, marketing, finance, and other necessary functions and departments. It must be structured to support the function and growth of the business efficiently.
Personnel plan – you must outline your business’s hiring plan and personnel requirements, specifying the employees required. This section must demonstrate to the USCIS adjudicator how your business will create jobs in the U.S.
Finally, the last E-2 business plan section is a financial analysis of your business. It includes comprehensive financial statements demonstrating that your business is financially viable, capable of generating revenue, and can support your initial investment and ongoing operational expenses.
Use realistic assumptions based on market research and industry benchmarks applicable to your business. Include the following:
Sales forecast – this section outlines your business’s projected sales revenue, usually for the first three to five years.
Income statement (profit and loss) – this section summarizes your business’s revenues, expenses, and net profit loss, including details of the company’s projected sales, cost of goods sold, operating expenses, and other incomes and expenses, demonstrating the business’s profitability.
Cash flow statement – this presents the inflow and outflow of cash within your business, providing information regarding the cash generated from your operations, cash used in investments, and cash flows from financing activities. It evaluates the business’s ability to manage its cash resources effectively.
Balance sheet – the balance sheet is a snapshot of your business’s financial position usually at the end of a fiscal year, presenting the company’s assets, liabilities, and owner’s equity. It enables a glimpse of the business’s solvency, liquidity, and financial stability.
Though it may share similarities with a company creation E-2 business plan, a franchise business plan focuses on presenting an established franchise brand, existing customer base, proven business model, credibility, and the franchisor’s support system and financial projections.
It benefits from the franchise’s pre-defined processes or systems and cohesive marketing strategies, making it easier to establish. However, you must still carefully evaluate franchise opportunities (and there are many to choose from!) and customize your plan to support your circumstances and goals.
Click here to find franchise opportunities that suit you.
Crafting a comprehensive yet easy-to-understand E-2 business plan can be daunting and complicated, especially for complex businesses.
For a worry-free E-2 visa petition, it is best to work with our experts, who will work closely with you to tailor your business plan according to your vision, translating it into a compelling narrative highlighting your business’s potential and profitability. Click here to inquire.
E-2 is a nonimmigrant visa for foreign entrepreneurs to start or invest in a business in the United States, promoting economic growth and job creation.
E-2 investment refers to the capital invested in a US business by an E-2 visa applicant, demonstrating a substantial commitment and the ability to develop and direct the business.
To qualify for an E-2 Visa, you must be a citizen of a treaty country, invest a substantial amount in a US business, and show that the business will generate job opportunities and contribute to the US economy.
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