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E2 Visa Case Study: A Lawn Care Business in Florida

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In today’s global economy, the pursuit of business opportunities across borders is not just a strategy for multinational corporations, but also for small business owners and entrepreneurs. The E2 visa program in the United States is a pathway that enables individuals from treaty countries to move to the U.S. to invest in and operate a business. This case study examines the journey of a French national who successfully acquired a lawn care business in Florida through the E2 visa process, detailing the pragmatic steps taken and the unexpected challenges encountered.

E2 visa Lawn care Florida

Introduction to the E2 Visa

The E2 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows individuals from treaty countries to enter and work within the United States based on an investment they will be controlling. For many, this visa represents a chance to embark on the American dream by owning and running a business.

Meeting the Aspiring Entrepreneur

Our story begins in France, at a conference dedicated to the E2 visa, where I had the pleasure of meeting a Frenchman with a passion for the outdoors and a dream to own a business in the United States. This individual, whom we’ll refer to as Jean, had a diverse professional background, with ten years in the French army followed by a decade as a taxi driver. Despite his strong work ethic and varied experiences, Jean yearned for a change, particularly one that would allow him to work outside and engage directly with the rhythm of nature.

Why Florida? Why Lawn Care?

Jean’s criteria for his entrepreneurial venture were clear from the outset: he desired a business with a recurrent revenue model. Such a model is known for its stability and predictability, essential qualities for a new business owner in a foreign country. With the warm climate and the year-round need for lawn maintenance, Florida was a prime location for such an enterprise. Jean narrowed his focus to pool cleaning and lawn care businesses, industries ripe with opportunity in the Sunshine State.

The Search for the Perfect Business

Our search for the right business was thorough and strategic. We initially found a promising opportunity, but upon closer inspection, we advised Jean against proceeding due to several red flags. Jean’s trust in our guidance as his business broker was important, and it paid off when we discovered the ideal business for him.

This lawn care company had been thriving for over 15 years, built from the ground up by its original owner, a young entrepreneur who started the business at 16. The company boasted a loyal and diverse customer base, with some clients having been with the business for over five years. Furthermore, the equipment was top-notch, from reputable brands and in excellent condition —a factor not to be underestimated in this line of work.

The seller, still in his 30s, was as much a part of the company’s fabric as the brand itself. However, he was moving to a northern state, creating the perfect exit opportunity for him and an entry point for Jean. The synergy between Jean and the seller was immediate and genuine, which is often a critical ingredient for a smooth transition in business acquisitions.

The E2 Visa Application and Approval

With the business identified, and the terms agreed upon, Jean’s E2 visa application was robust. It showcased not only his investment but also his commitment and his business plan’s viability. It was no surprise when Jean received his visa approval. He was ready to start his new chapter in Florida.

Overcoming Initial Hurdles

Relocating to Florida, Jean took the reins of the business with enthusiasm. However, the first week presented an unforeseen challenge: two key employees abruptly left. This development could have been a significant setback, but with the seller’s assistance—demonstrating remarkable integrity and commitment to the business’s legacy—Jean quickly filled the positions. This swift action prevented any noticeable impact on operations.

Sustaining and Growing the Business

Jean’s dedication to maintaining the quality of service paid off. He retained 99% of the original customer base, and his open-minded approach led to new contracts. There was, however, a single instance of prejudice, a reminder that biases still exist; one customer expressed a preference for “American only” service. Jean addressed this with professionalism.

Thriving in the Sun

It has been over six months since Jean took over the lawn care company. His business is flourishing, and the personal fulfillment he finds in his work is palpable. His wife will soon join him, having stayed behind in France to ensure the business’s foundation was solid. Jean’s journey underscores the possibilities that the E2 visa offers and stands as a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit.

Jean’s story is a case study in due diligence, adaptability, and the importance of good relationships in business. For those seeking to explore the E2 visa path, it serves as a blueprint for success. The process is rigorous, but with the right approach and support, the dream of owning a business in the U.S. can become a reality. Jean’s lawn care business in Florida not only survives but thrives, and he now enjoys the fruits of his labor under the Florida sun, an inspiring tale for E2 visa seekers worldwide.

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Sylvain Perret

Sylvain Perret is a business professional who has been living in the United States since 2010. Along with his wife Daphnee, he has established several businesses in the country, including Integrity International Brokers, an agency based in Orlando where he works as a business broker, real estate broker, business consultant, and business plan writer. Over the years, he has helped numerous clients from around the world achieve success in their projects to create or take over a company in the United States with an E2 visa. He is highly knowledgeable about U.S. immigration issues and is the author of the book "S'expatrier aux USA grâce aux visas d'entrepreneurs", which is soon to be translated into English. Sylvain is also a Certified Business Intermediary (CBI) by the International Business Brokers Association and is regularly consulted on issues related to this field. At the age of 50, Sylvain chose to enhance his expertise in finance and strategy by pursuing a Master of Business Administration from the University of Central Florida. He successfully graduated in May 2023, adding a valuable finishing touch to his knowledge. He is active on LinkedIn and Twitter, where he shares his insights and experiences with a wider audience.

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