E-2 Visa Painting Franchise Guide

This comprehensive guide will explore the advantages of starting an E-2 visa painting franchise.

E-2 visa overview

We will cover the E-2 visa, the advantages of franchising, the painting industry, deciding between residential vs. commercial painting, the investment for a painting franchise, identifying the best states to set up the franchise, and painting franchise trends you can leverage to gain an edge against competitors.

You will need this information to make an informed decision as you dive into the E-2 visa painting franchise.

The E-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa available to nationals of treaty countries with which the United States has a treaty of commerce and navigation. It allows you to develop and operate a business in the United States.

To qualify, you must meet these requirements:

  • Be a national of a treaty country. Click here for the full list of qualifying treaty countries. If your country is on this list, you can apply for an E-2 visa.

  • Invest a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the U.S. Note that there is no specific investment amount. An investment is considered substantial in relation to the total cost of the business. The USCIS uses the proportionality test to determine this, weighing the amount of qualifying funds invested against the cost of starting the business.

  • Enter the U.S. solely to develop and direct your business; thus, you must have at least 50% ownership or a managerial position within it.

Note that since the E-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa, it does not naturally lead to obtaining a green card. However, as long as your bona fide U.S. enterprise is profitable and operating, you can renew indefinitely.

For a more in-depth guide on the E-2 visa, click here.


A franchise is a license granting the franchisee access to a franchisor’s business model or processes, trademarks, and business knowledge. It allows the franchisee to sell products or services under the franchisor’s business name in exchange for an initial start-up fee, royalties, and annual licensing fees.

Here are some advantages of purchasing a franchise:

  • A franchise business comes with an established brand and business model. It is tried and tested and already recognized by customers. Rather than starting a business from scratch, franchising is an easier way to enter the U.S. via an E-2 visa.

  • The franchisor provides franchisees with training, support, and resources to start and operate the franchise. Thus, it is an excellent option for first-time or inexperienced entrepreneurs. This ongoing support from the franchisor is valuable as it gives you access to an industry expert’s advice.

  • Franchises come with market-tested products and services and established brand recognition, thus reducing the risk of failure.

  • Franchises come with established supplier relationships. Forming contracts with external suppliers is easier, resulting in favorable terms and reduced costs.

  • Franchises come with established customer bases. Since the franchise is a recognizable name, people trust it more than start-ups in the same industry. This is another advantage of having established brand recognition. People already trust the brand.

However, note that you will still have to demonstrate that you have the skills and experience to run this franchise successfully. If you have had commercial or residential painting experience in your home country, starting an E-2 visa painting franchise in the U.S. makes sense.

Another point to remember is that not all franchises will qualify for the E-2 visa. The franchise still needs to demonstrate that it is on the path to success. It cannot be marginal or exist solely to provide for you and your family. It has to show positive projections that lead to growth and potential to benefit the U.S. labor market, e.g., by employing U.S. workers as the business grows.

An E-2 visa painting franchise commercial business

Painting industry

An E-2 visa Painting franchise employee painting a wall

A fresh exterior or interior paint coat does wonders for any commercial or residential property. Homeowners, landlords, and businesses across sectors utilize painting businesses. So long as there is new property construction, remodeling, repairs, and refreshers, painting businesses will be needed.

Between 2007 and 2014, over 2 million U.S. workers, including painters, left the construction industry, resulting in a labor shortage. This shortage is still felt today. This makes the painting industry especially attractive to entrepreneurs who can fill this gap.

Furthermore, a 2021 Sherwin-Williams survey found that 50% of respondents cited that their top reason for hiring painters is they could not reach areas that need to be painted. 41% said it is a job best left to professionals. The third leading reason is needing more time to do it themselves. Thus, this survey tells us that painting services will always be needed. Homeowners of large properties with elaborate structures and high ceilings will want to hire professionals for their painting needs. Moreover, busy individuals are more likely to seek painting service providers.

Here are more painting industry data by IbisWorld:

  • In 2022, the house painting and decorating contractors industry had a market size of $18.6 billion, measured by revenue.

  • The industry’s growth rate increased by 01.% in 2022, growing 3.8% annually from 2017 to 2022.

  • The main negative factors affecting the painting industry are high competition and residential construction value.

  • Majority of the sector’s revenue stem from residential construction. Thus, the demand for painting services increases as more houses are built.

  • House starts are expected to grow in 2022, increasing opportunities for the painting industry.

Residential vs commercial painting

One of the vital decisions you must make when buying an E-2 visa painting franchise is whether to focus on residential or commercial painting. Residential painting caters to homeowners, involving tasks like interior and exterior painting for townhouses, condominiums, apartments, and more.

On the other hand, commercial E-2 visa painting franchise involves larger projects for businesses, institutions, and organizations like hospitals, schools, factories, and more. It typically also offers additional services like sandblasting, industrial coatings, epoxy, waterproofing, etc., which may require special equipment and a larger team of workers.

The choice between the two depends on your expertise, market demand, and opportunities in your chosen location.

Investment for an E-2 Visa painting franchise

One of the key considerations when starting your E-2 visa painting franchise is meeting the initial investment required. While costs vary significantly depending on the franchise brand and location, you can generally expect to invest between $50,000 and $150,000 in your E-2 visa painting franchise venture. This investment covers franchise fees, equipment, supplies, marketing, and initial working capital.

However, it is crucial to remember that the required investment capital for the E-2 visa is not a specific number. Rather, it is judged using a proportionality test.

To satisfy the proportionality test, in general, the lower the cost of starting the business, the more funds have to be spent or committed before application. For instance, if it costs $100,000 to start the business and you have already put at risk or committed $80,000, you will likely pass this criterion.

Find The Best Painting Franchise In The USA With The Right Investment.

Best states to start your painting business

In general, it is helpful to look at expanding regions since this equals more construction opportunities or a booming rental market, such as Florida, which may need ongoing painting services year-round.

According to Gosite, IbisWorld data states that the painting industry thrives in California, Florida, and New York.

Moreover, Zippia states the best ten states for painters, based on income and opportunities, are:

  1. New Jersey

  2. Wisconsin

  3. Pennsylvania

  4. Minnesota

  5. Vermont

  6. West Virginia

  7. Massachusetts

  8. New York

  9. Maine

  10. Missouri

E-2 Visa Painting Franchise Trends

To differentiate your business successfully, you can incorporate trends or value-adding features that could give you an edge against competitors.

Consider the following trends in the E-2 visa painting franchise industry:

  • Eco-friendly options¬†will attract environmentally-conscious customers who may support sustainable painting methods.

  • Pet-friendly and kid-friendly options¬†also reassure families with pets and children who may seek safer paint alternatives.

  • Utilizing technology¬†can streamline your operations, from automated quotations, invoices, and scheduling to advanced color-matching software. These are ways to stand out from the competition through technology.

  • You can emphasize¬†strong client relationships¬†by guaranteeing top-notch customer service.

  • To provide added value to customers, you can¬†collaborate with complementary businesses¬†like interior designers or architects as a one-stop shop offering a wide range of property improvement services.

  • You can offer other¬†complementary services, such as wallpapering or murals, to give more options to customers.

Contact E2visafranchises.com for a free consultation!

Ready to start your own E-2 visa painting franchise in the U.S.?

Our dedicated team of immigration attorneys and business writers at E2visafranchises.com is here to guide you toward your E-2 journey. We also specialize in finding the right franchise for you. Schedule your free consultation today.

e2visafranchises logo

Frequently Asked Questions

Schedule A Video Call


(*) required. Your data is kept confidential.