The opportunities that the United States offers to people or companies that want to do business in its territory are numerous, but it is important to know how to do so to avoid inconveniences in the future.
Founded in Pennsylvania, Cuevas, García & Torres, the law firm with offices in Miami and Orlando (Florida), was established in 1995, and its practice focuses on commercial immigration law, real estate law, business and corporate transactions law, as well as business and community litigation. Associations legislation, relating to associations and federations of homeowners.
For this reason, we spoke with Andrew Cuevas, president of this law firm, about the current business environment for Colombian entrepreneurs and the legal aspects they must consider in order to achieve their investment goals in that country.
How have business operations been affected by the epidemic?
With regard to commercial and real estate law, there is no negative impact. Unlike. The North American economy was extremely strong and the potential enormous.
In terms of commercial immigration law, there were problems because consulates do not process work visas and are dedicated, at the moment, to processing F1 visas for students and J1 for training, as well as attending other types of emergencies.
So, what is the outlook for people or entrepreneurs interested in doing business in the United States?
From my experience, I can confirm, and it may sound bad, that the pandemic has opened up many opportunities. Although many businesses are forced to close, the truth is that there is still great demand for many goods and services. It is as if the local economy has not been affected.
On the other hand, real estate development in the country continues to advance, which increases the investment field.
Based on all this, I can assure you that a Colombian entrepreneur who wants to do business in the United States has many opportunities.
But isn’t the fact that consulates do not process work visa applications a problem for them?
Despite this, we continue to fulfill the many demands and advanced processes of Colombians. What happens is that foreign executives who want to achieve their goals must go through additional procedures, because they must first enter the United States as tourists, and then proceed to change their status.
This additional step requires more planning to advance the business application while you are in the United States rather than actually entering with it.
As a legal office, we want to always provide a comprehensive service to the client, helping them achieve success throughout the process, starting with compliance with immigration requirements. In addition, we refer them to other professionals, such as accountants, real estate, or business brokers, so that they can establish and standardize their companies.
What can you tell us about the required requirements?
There are immigration procedures available to almost anyone. You don’t need a college degree or a large corporation to enter the country. In our case, we represent both the small and large entrepreneur and even those looking for job offers.
However, despite the fact that the possibilities are open not only to those with large capital, it is necessary to review each case in particular.
What work visas are there?
Well, there is, for example, the E-2 Investor Visa. Although the minimum investment is not required within its requirements, I would suggest it to be $ 80,000 or $ 100,000.
It is also possible to obtain an L-1 visa, to transfer businesses or companies already established or newly established.
Another is EB-5, for economically strong people who want to lend sums of $ 900,000 to companies or corporations in the process approved by the US government.
With these visas, is it possible to access the residence?
Yes, although each one of them has different steps and includes specific processes for obtaining it. For example, the EB-5 program offers residency access from the first moment.
Although the validity periods of visas vary between three and five years, many people do not wait until their expiration approaches to begin to follow the various steps required for residency.
I want to comment that there is another process called “exceptional ability”, which allows prominent people in their country, in various professional or artistic fields, to obtain residency.
What are the residency benefits for entrepreneurs and individuals who want to do business in the United States?
With the changes made in the previous administration, taxes were greatly reduced. For example, the highest company-wide definition is 21 percent. On average, companies pay 12 to 18 percent of their net income, but you need to be mindful of the situation in which the business is located, because state taxes vary.
Finally, what recommendations would you give to people interested in establishing themselves in the United States for business?
The most important thing is that they study legal options well before investing in a company or buying a home. Once they understand it well and are counseled, let them begin the process.
It is common for many people to do business and then look for the legal framework that helps them, but this is a mistake, and when they understand it, it is too late.more information