Intellectual Property: A gateway to E-2 investment?

intellectual property investment
Facundo Bermudez
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Published on 26 Apr 2024 Time to read 9 min read Last update on 3 May 2024

In the pursuit of expanding business ventures into the United States, entrepreneurs encounter a wealth of opportunities and challenges. Among the pathways to entry, the E-2 visa stands out as a promising avenue, offering a streamlined process for establishing or growing business operations within U.S. borders. Central to this endeavor is the requirement to demonstrate a substantial investment in the U.S. economy—a criterion that can vary in interpretation and implementation. But what qualifies as a substantial investment? And for those disinclined to part with cash or tangible assets for their American venture, what alternatives exist? That’s where intellectual property investment comes into play. Let’s delve in.

What does Intellectual Property mean?

Intellectual Property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, designs, symbols, names, and images used in commerce. It’s a broad term that encompasses various forms of intangible assets that individuals or businesses can own and control. IP rights are typically granted through legal mechanisms like patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets, offering creators and innovators exclusive rights to their creations for a specified period. But how is this related to the E-2 visa?

Exploring how intellectual property qualifies as an E-2 investment

1. Demonstrating Substantial Value

As an existing business owner, when transferring intellectual property (IP) as part of your E-2 visa investment, it’s essential to demonstrate that the IP holds substantial value. This means showing that the IP has worth significant enough to contribute meaningfully to your U.S. business venture. To establish this value, various methods can be employed.

One common approach is to enlist the services of professional appraisers who specialize in valuing intellectual property. These experts assess the unique characteristics and market potential of your IP to determine its monetary value. Their evaluations provide objective insights into the worth of your IP, helping to validate its suitability as an E-2 investment.

Market assessments are another valuable method for gauging the value of your intellectual property. By analyzing market trends, demand for similar IP assets, and potential revenue streams, you can gain a clearer understanding of the market value of your IP. This information strengthens your case by demonstrating the commercial viability and competitive advantage offered by your IP.

2. Assessing Contribution to Business Operations

This involves illustrating how the IP will play a pivotal role in various aspects of your business endeavors, ultimately driving growth and profitability.

One key area where the IP can contribute is in product development. If your IP includes patents for innovative technologies or processes, trademarks for unique branding elements, or copyrights for creative works, it can serve as the foundation for developing new products or improving existing ones. By leveraging the unique features or capabilities protected by your IP, you can create differentiated offerings that appeal to target markets and meet customer needs more effectively.

Moreover, your transferred IP can be instrumental in shaping your marketing strategies. Trademarks, for instance, can help build brand recognition and loyalty among consumers, giving your U.S. business a distinct identity in the marketplace. Copyrighted materials, such as advertising content or digital assets, can be used to craft compelling marketing campaigns that resonate with your target audience. By integrating your IP into your marketing efforts, you can enhance brand visibility, attract customers, and drive sales.

Furthermore, your transferred IP can directly contribute to revenue generation for your U.S. business. Licensing agreements, royalties, or sales of products and services based on your IP can create income streams that contribute to the financial success of your business venture. By maximizing the commercial potential of your IP assets, you can enhance the profitability and sustainability of your U.S. operations over the long term.

3. Creating a Comprehensive Business Plan

Crafting a robust business plan is not just a formality, but a critical requirement for a successful E-2 visa application. Your plan serves as a roadmap, guiding both immigration authorities and yourself on how your U.S. business will operate and grow. Central to this plan is outlining how the transferred intellectual property (IP) will be seamlessly integrated into your business operations.

It’s not enough to merely state that you possess valuable IP; you must demonstrate how it will actively drive growth within your U.S. venture. For instance, if your IP includes patented technologies, your business plan should elucidate how these technologies will be utilized to develop innovative products or services that fill market gaps, attract customers, and ultimately increase revenue.

Moreover, your plan should emphasize how the integration of IP will create employment opportunities. Whether through research and development activities, product manufacturing, marketing initiatives, or other business functions reliant on IP, the utilization of intellectual property should lead to job creation for U.S. workers. Providing specific projections or estimates regarding the number and types of jobs that will be created can strengthen your case.

4. Consulting with Immigration Experts

At Visa Franchise, we’re dedicated to assisting individuals in achieving their goal of relocating to the United States. Since our establishment in 2015, we’ve proudly aided over 1,200 families hailing from more than 65 countries in turning their American Dream into reality. Through our efforts, our clients have collectively generated over 2,500 American jobs, with many operating businesses boasting revenues surpassing $1 million.

Our commitment to excellence is underscored by the trust placed in us by our clients. To demonstrate our confidence in our services, we offer a full fee guarantee to those who meet our eligibility criteria and adhere to our list of requirements when investing in their business and applying for their visa.

Whether your preference lies in purchasing a franchise, starting your own business, or acquiring an existing one, we have a tailored process to suit your needs. What’s more, we’re proud to share that some of our clients have received visa approval in less than six months! Just imagine residing in the U.S. in under six months and relishing in all the benefits it has to offer.

If starting or expanding your business in the US piques your interest, click here to request an exclusive and complimentary guide where you can explore all the details.

What advantages come with using intellectual property as a substantial capital investment?

Transferring intellectual property (IP) interests from your existing business to your U.S. company offers several advantages:

– Leveraging existing assets: By utilizing your IP as substantial capital, you’re leveraging assets that you already own. This can be advantageous because it allows you to invest in your U.S. business without needing to acquire new assets or make additional financial commitments.

– Reducing financial risk: Since you’re not required to make a substantial monetary investment, transferring IP can help mitigate financial risk. This is particularly beneficial if you’re hesitant to allocate a large amount of capital upfront or if you have limited liquidity.

– Preserving cash flow: Transferring IP allows you to preserve your cash flow by avoiding the need to allocate funds from your existing business for investment in the U.S. company. This can help maintain financial stability and flexibility for your global operations.

– Capitalizing on Intellectual Property Value: Intellectual property can be a valuable asset that contributes to the success and growth of your U.S. business. By transferring IP, you’re capitalizing on its potential to generate revenue through licensing agreements, royalties, or commercialization opportunities.

– Maintaining control and ownership: Since you’re transferring assets from your existing business to your U.S. company, you retain control and ownership over the intellectual property. This allows you to continue benefiting from the IP’s value while expanding your business into the U.S. market.

Example Case: Utilizing Intellectual Property as an E-2 Investment

In a notable Quora discussion, George Favvas, the founder of PerkHub, a prominent enterprise software platform, shared his firsthand experience of using intellectual property as an E-2 investment. George, alongside his Canadian co-founder, successfully implemented this strategy, showcasing its viability.

Their approach began with both founders signing agreements irrevocably assigning their intellectual property to the startup, a standard procedure in many startup formations. By doing so, they put their IP at risk, a crucial requirement for E-2 visa eligibility.

Moreover, their acceptance into the renowned 500 Startup accelerator endowed their intellectual property with implicit value.

Let’s say the accelerator invested $X in exchange for Y% of the company’s equity. By receiving this investment, George and his co-founder argued that their intellectual property had gained value. They calculated this value by dividing the amount of investment ($X) by the percentage of equity given to the accelerator (Y%). Then, they multiplied this result by the percentage of equity they retained (1 – Y%), which represented the portion of the company still owned by them. This calculation helped them determine the value of their intellectual property, which they used as part of their E-2 visa application.

Armed with this strategy and confident in its compliance with E-2 visa regulations, they proceeded to apply for the visa and were granted a five-year period to pursue their entrepreneurial endeavors in the United States.

intellectual property investment


In summary, we’ve explored the potential of leveraging intellectual property as significant capital for the US investment visa. While it’s acknowledged that this process isn’t without its complexities, with proper guidance, navigating it can be made more manageable. Take George’s case, for instance, where he successfully employed this strategy and reaped substantial rewards.

That’s why we extend an invitation to you: if you’re intrigued by the prospect of securing a pathway to relocation in the United States, we’re here to assist you every step of the way. Reach out to us today to explore your options and embark on your journey toward a new beginning.

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Mentioned visas

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