Business Plan for a US Visa: 8 Drafting Tips

by Lemuel Lim, Immigration Lawyer

This video provides 8 tips for writing a business plan for a US business visa.

[Video Transcript:] Whether you are writing a business plan for a potential customer, a joint business venture, or simply to get financing such as a loan, writing a business plan can sometimes be quite a daunting task. It may even be lonely if there is no one around to help you. Writing a business plan for the purposes of getting a visa to the United States is do different.

There are a number of visas to the United States which require a business plan as part of the application process. These include the E-1 Treaty Trader Visa, the E-2 Investor Visa, the L-1 Intracompany Visa, and the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.

Of all the many things you could potentially say in a business plan, one of the difficulties many people face is to understand the question: “What do I need to include in my business plan for it to be persuasive?”

So, what should be included in your U.S. visa business plan? In this video we give you 8 suggestions and tips as to things you may wish to include when compiling your business plan for your U.S. visa. Let’s get started.

1) Describe the Nature of Your Business.

Sounds obvious, right? But it can so often be overlooked. YOU might know what your business is about but always have in mind whether the person looking at your application will understand too. Make sure you explain, in clear and simple English, what products or services you are offering and what the objectives of your business are. You may even want to include a bit about why your business is different from current competitors to show that you have a viable business plan.

2) Do a Market Analysis.

What do we mean by “market analysis”? Very simply, all this means is that you do a study of how attractive your business model is compared to what is currently out there in the region you are operating in, and the industry you are betting into. This is very important because you are showing the decisionmaker that you have done your research and you are actively looking to make the business as successful as possible. In your market analysis, you should include the names of any competing business, showing their relative strengths and weaknesses, what type of products and services they are offering, and how they charge or price things. You also want to include a description of what your business’s target market is and the type of customers or clients you are targeting.

When you are doing a study of your competitors, many applicants find it helpful to use what is called a SWOT analysis. In other words, for each competitor, you do a little graphical diagram showing what each competitor’s strengths and weaknesses are, what the opportunities are for your business, and what the threats are from each competitor.

3) Write Down the Permits and Licenses You Will Need to Obtain in Order for Your Business to Operate in Your Chosen Area.

You may also want to include key pieces of regulation that are very important for you to comply with. You may also want to state whether you have already gotten these licenses or where you are in your application to get these licenses. Ultimately you want to show the decisionmaker that your business is lawful and that you are intending to operate the business lawfully.

4) If Applicable, Describe the Manufacturing Process or the Production Process of How Your Business Will Work.

Write down what materials or equipment you will need, what supply sources you have secured, and detail any contracts that supply the things you need for your business and also any contracts to help distribute your products or services.

5) Include a Section in Your Business Plan on Your Marketing Strategy.

Ask yourself two questions: number 1, “How will you price your products or services in a way that is competitive”, and number 2, “How will you advertise or get your business out there”.

6) Put Down Your Business’s Organizational Structure.

Who are the directors of the company? What is your own position in this company? Who are the key people in the company? If there is an oversight board of non-executives, who are these people? For all key persons and employees, including yourself, you want to list what each person’s job description is, and their qualifications and experience that allows them to do the job assigned to them.

7) For Some Visas, Such as the E-2, It Is Important to Show the Business’s Ability to Create Jobs in America.

Your explanation should include the business’s staffing requirements and include a timetable for hiring. Make sure that for each employee you have hired or will hire, that you include their job descriptions. This is an important area of focus for some business visas, so be sure to pay careful attention to this section.

8) Finally, Include Sales, Cost, and Income Projections.

There is no strict requirement on the format of your financial projection, but however you choose to present this in your business plan, please make sure that it is as clear as possible to help the decisionmaker to understand that you have carefully thought out the viability of your business.

So let me conclude by saying this. At the end of the day, you want to make sure that your business plan is COMPREHENSIVE and CREDIBLE. Comprehensive meaning the decisionmaker has enough information to draw conclusions about the viability of your business and that it meets the requirements of the visa you are applying for. And credible enough to show that you are being realistic about your business prospects, and that no one is going to throw doubt as to whether you really are being serious about operating a business. We hope that you found this video helpful. Please do check out our resources page at our Genesis Law Firm website. My name is Lemmy, and I wish you all the best in your application.

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