An E-2 investor’s visa allows a national of a treaty country to be admitted to the United States by creating a bona fide enterprise, investing a substantial amount of capital in that enterprise, and create jobs for legal workers in the United States through the enterprise.
In order to qualify for an E2 visa, you must be the owner of at least 50% of a bona fide business. According to the United States Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS), “a bona fide enterprise refers to a real, active and operating commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking which produces services or goods for profit. It must meet applicable legal requirements for doing business within its jurisdiction.”
The business owner must invest a substantial amount of capital into that bona fide enterprise. Although there is no exact dollar amount for a “substantial investment,” the E2 visa investment must be able to establish the enterprise, ensure the investor’s commitment to the enterprise, and be sufficient to fund the enterprises operations and allow the enterprise to grow and become profitable.
A major part in the E2 visa investment and application process is the business plan. The business plan should show the Consulate that your business will be able to support itself, that you will be able to derive an income from the business, and that you will be able to hire people.
It is very important that your business be profitable and sustainable, as your E2 visa will be reviewed for renewal 5 years after it is issued. If your business is not profitable, then your visa will not be renewed.
If you think that you qualify for an E2 visa, contact Boyer Law Firm’s immigration attorneys today.
When purchasing a home or office space, there are many factors to consider before closing on a property. Once you have found a property that you think you want to purchase, you want to make sure that you do your research before the closing.
Before you make an offer on the property, it may be a good idea to hire a Florida real estate closing attorney to perform a title search on the property, but at the very least, a title search should be performed before closing on the property.
Additionally, you want to make sure of the following before closing on a property:
- A proper title search was conducted and the property is now free of all liens and encumbrances. If a proper title search is not performed, then you may end up in a horror story situation where the previous owner’s debts become yours.
- A home inspection was performed on the property. Don’t put this off to the last minute.
- Verify, or have your closing attorney verify, that all utility bills are up to date including electric, water, etc.
- Determine if flood insurance will be required, as flood insurance rates are expected to increase by 25 percent.
Don’t wait until the last minute to have these items completed. You should contact a Florida real estate closing attorney at least three weeks before the date of your closing if you are currently in Florida, and more than a month before if you are overseas, in order for the closing to be performed correctly.
The Embassy Suites Hotel on Baymeadows Road in Jacksonville, Florida, located right by our Jacksonville office, sold to a group of hotel investors from San Diego for $8.8 million, or $41,900 per room, on October 10.
The Jacksonville hotel market has been steadily improving, and this trend is expected to continue; Revenue per room is up 9 percent from the beginning of the year. This buy is expected to be profitable for the buyers for the following reasons:
- The Baymeadows/Southside area of Jacksonville is home to about 45% of all office space within the Jacksonville market.
- Jacksonville is consistently rated one of the “Hottest Cities in America” for business expansions and relocations according to Expansion Management Magazine
- Jacksonville has been in the “Top 10” of that magazine for eight straight years and is the only city to claim the number one spot three times.
Because of the large investment and number of staff required to run a hotel, many foreign investors who purchase a hotel will also qualify for an EB5 visa. If you are interested in purchasing a Jacksonville hotel or starting another type of business, contact Boyer Law Firm’s business, immigration, and commercial real estate attorneys today.
At an asking price of almost $1,000 per square foot, the Miami luxury condo market is seeing a drastic increase in prices, and this trend is expected to continue.
There are currently about 10 luxury condo resales with a minimum asking price of $1.7 million, or $750 per square foot, which are under contract in downtown Miami. However, according to Condo Vultures, there are 85 more resales available, and their asking price is an average of $970 per square foot. This difference in pricing illustrates how quickly Miami luxury condo prices are rising.
Miami-Dade did not have the biggest increase in median sales (Broward County did with more than a 20 percent increase), it did have the highest median price at $159,000, a 5 percent increase from last year.
When most people think of a foreign corporation or foreign LLC, they think of a company that is outside of the United States. However, this is not the case when it comes to the legal terminology of business.
In Florida, a foreign company is any company who is incorporated in a different state or county. If a foreign corporation or foreign LLC wants to do business in Florida, then they must register to do business with the Florida Division of Corporations and maintain a Florida Registered Agent. Your company will still be domestic to the state or country in which it was first incorporated, but you will legally be able to do business in Florida.
A contract is an agreement between two or more parties that is intended to be enforceable by law. When one of the parties does not perform their obligations under the contact, then a breach of contract occurs.
In order for a breach of contract in Florida to exist, the following must be true:
- There is a contract that was entered into by both parties (It is always better if this contract is in writing.);
- There was a breach of that contract; AND
- The second party incurred damages as a result of the first party’s breach of contract. (The damages incurred MUST be a result of the breach.)
A contract is an agreement that is intended to be enforced by the courts. Therefore, if you have entered into a contract with someone, they breached the contract, and you suffered damages as a result, then you have a right to sue the other party for the actual damages your suffered and, in some cases, punitive damages (punishment damages).
If you have been a victim of a breach of contract in Florida, then Boyer Law Firm can help. Our civil litigation attorneys have handled all types of breach of contract cases for all types of contracts.
The Small Business Association (SBA) is processing small business loans again now that the government shutdown is over. SBA is one of the many Florida agencies that offer funding to entrepreneurs who are starting a Florida small business.
Funding is very important when it comes to starting a Florida small business, but planning is equally as important. You want to start your business on a solid foundation, starting with how you incorporate your business.
Although there are many websites available that advertise “cheap incorporation,” they are not worth the money you pay because you are not getting the advice you need. For example, should you setup a C-corp or S-corp? What are the differences? What are the tax implications? These are all questions that our business incorporation lawyers will be able to discuss with you so that you can determine what is right for your business.
Once you have incorporated your business, Boyer Law Firm can also assist you with registered agent services, commercial real estate, business planning, preventative business law, and more, so contact us today about starting a Florida small business.
Part of obtaining an E2 Investors Visa is creating an existing business that will thrive. Creating a business can be hard to do while you are overseas, so it is a good idea to obtain a temporary B visa while you are setting up the company. If you obtain a B visa, that will benefit you because you will be able to visit office locations to rent, find staff to hire, speak to suppliers and distributors, and more.
When applying for an E2 visa, it is important to visit office locations in order to find the best fit because that will be the heart of your business. For E2 visas processed in Paris, the Consulate asks that the petitioner to provide them will a signed lease agreement as part of the application. Additionally, you may find a business that you would like to buy instead of starting a business from scratch.
Another reason it is a good idea to obtain a B-visa is to find good employees. One of the requirements of the E2 visa is that the business creates jobs. Finally, a B visa will allow you to meet and develop relationships with local suppliers, distributors, and vendors in order to setup a supply system for your business.
Although home prices have risen, there are still “bargain basement properties” on the market, according to the Jacksonville Business Journal, and house flipping in Jacksonville has increased in the third financial quarter of 2013.
House flipping refers to a property that is bought and resold within six months. Most house-flippers will do this for multiple properties, often at the same time. One of the greatest assets that a Jacksonville house-flipper can have is a reliable and experienced real estate closing attorney who can ensure that the closings on these properties are done correctly and efficiently.
Here at Boyer Law Firm, we have helped both individuals and companies with house-flipping. If you are house flipping in Jacksonville, we understand that you need the closing to be done quickly so that you can earn your profit and move onto the next property, so contact us today.
There are some people who think that in order to start a successful business you have to move somewhere like New York or Silicon Valley, but that is not the case; there are many business opportunities and resources in Jacksonville, Florida.
Florida is a very business-friendly state, and Jacksonville is quickly becoming one of the big cities of the South, especially when it comes to business.
The University of North Florida, located in Jacksonville, held a leadership conference for its students on Friday, and one of the main themes of the event was the many opportunities for young entrepreneurs in Jacksonville.
Elton Rivas, Co-Founder of One Spark, was the keynote speaker of the event. One Spark is a competition held in downtown Jacksonville in which inventors and entrepreneurs compete for a chance to win $300,000 in crowd funding to capitalize their business. The last event had more than 150,000 attendees.
Rivas spoke of how he has become more successful staying in Jacksonville than he would have been had he gone out to Silicon Valley to start a business or join the corporate world. He encouraged the participants of the event to not be afraid, take a chance, and start a business, and he emphasized this point with the quote, “Fears are stories you tell yourself.”
In addition to becoming a large city, there are many business networking groups and opportunities for young entrepreneurs in Jacksonville that offer guidance and support in starting a new business. If you are interested in taking advantage of Jacksonville’s business climate and starting a business, contact Boyer Law Firm’s business law attorneys today.
Those crazy celebrities! Here are some weird and amusing celebrity wills:
Farah Faucet left nothing to her long-time love Ryan O’Neal, but did leave $100,000 to an ex-lover. The rest of her estate went to her son.
Marilyn Monroe left all of her belongings to her acting coach, Lee Stasberg. Stasberg was instructed to distribute Monroe’s belongings to her friends and family, but he stored them in a warehouse until he died. In 1999, his widow sold Monroe’s belongings for $13.4 million.
Oprah Winfrey has repeatedly announced that when she passes, she will leave $30 million to her pet dogs, with the rest going to charities.
Jack Benny, one of the most successful celebrities of the mid 1900’s, left a large sum of money to a florist so that his wife would receive a single long-stemmed rose every day for the rest of her life.
Janis Joplin amended her will just two days before she died. In her will, she set aside several thousand dollars so that her friends could have a party at her favorite bar in San Anselmo, California.
Marie Curie left a gram of radium, considered to be invaluable, to the University of Paris “on the condition that my daughter, Irene Curie, shall have entire liberty to use this gram… according to the conditions under which her scientific researches shall be pursued.”
Former Chief Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger decided to write his own will instead of having one properly drafted. The will had many flaws in it, including misspellings and the fact that he forgot to account for estate taxes. This error could cost his son and daughter more than $450,000 in taxes.
Chief Justice Burger is just one example of why it is so important to hire an estate planning attorney to draft your will. If you need assistance with wills, trusts, or other estate planning tools, contact Boyer Law Firm today.
Most people think that in order to be an entrepreneur you need to start a new business; this is not true. Many entrepreneurs start their businesses by buying an existing business. Buying an existing business in Florida can be more advantageous than starting from the ground up and can save the business owner a lot of start-up time and effort.
When you purchase a new business, it will usually include an existing customer base, existing location, existing product(s), and existing physical assets.
An existing customer base is the number one reason to buy an existing business, but you need to make sure that this existing customer base will be loyal to the business, not to the old owners or old employees.
Often times, the loyalty of the customer base will be determined by the type of business you are buying. If you are buying a hair salon, for example, many of the customers are not loyal to the actual hair salon; they are loyal to the hair stylist who is used to them and knows how they want their hair cut. On the reverse side, if you are buying something like a restaurant, then the customer base should be pretty loyal unless you drastically change the menu items or other important aspects of the business.
The second thing that will come with buying an existing business in Florida is the location. This is an important thing to consider when purchasing a business because the location can either help or hurt you.
The business you are buying will also most likely have an existing product, whether it be recipes for a restaurant or clothing for a store. The business may also come with trademarks and certifications on the products that the previous owners obtained.
Lastly, the business will usually come with physical assets. In the case of a restaurant, these would include ovens, tables, kitchen equipment, and more. If the business you are buying is selling for a low price, then you may be able to get a great deal for these business assets.
If you are interested in buying an existing business in Florida, contact Boyer Law Firm’s business law attorneys today.
Owner’s title insurance protects the owner of a property against any mistakes that may have been made during the title search. A title search is a search of all official records on the property. It guarantees that there are no other owners of the property, that the person selling you the property is the legal owner, and that there are no liens or encumbrances on the property.
If issues are found in the title search, then the title company will provide the closing agent with a list of items, called a Commitment, that need to be fixed before they can issue title insurance on the property. This list of issues may include an unpaid mortgage on the property, liens from contractors or other workers who were unpaid, property taxes that were unpaid, and more.
There have been horror stories throughout Florida of fake closing agents and fake title companies that will claim a property is free and clear without even performing a title search.
If the closing agent ignores these items, then they will not be covered by the title insurance, and they will become your debts.
This is why it is so important to choose a reliable, experienced closing agent, preferably a real estate attorney. Here at Boyer Law Firm, our experienced closing agents ensure that every item on the Commitment is fixed and that the title is truly free and clear.
Your estate consists of all of the assets that belong to you; these estate assets may have a positive balance and add to the value to your estate, or they may have a negative balance amount and diminish the value of your estate.
Given that there are no loans or other negative balances, the following estate assets will add value to your estate:
- Actual Money: Cash, checking and savings accounts
- Certificates of deposit
- Your investment portfolio: stocks, mutual funds, and bonds.
- Your retirement funds: pension funds, 401(k), IRAs, and any other money reserved for retirement.
- Profit-sharing funds with employer
- Your possessions: your house, vehicles, boats, equipment, livestock, furniture, household appliances, jewelry, other valuables, etc.
- Insurance products, especially life insurance
- Your business: any funds or ownership interest of your business
- Annuities that you have coming to you
- Home equity
- Anything else that you consider valuable, both sentimentally and monetarily.
Estate assets that carry a negative balance and will usually diminish the value of your estate are:
When going through the estate planning process, it is important to asses all of your estate assets, both positive and negative in order to properly plan. If you need a will, trust, or assistance with other estate planning tools, contact Boyer Law Firm’s estate planning attorneys today.
After being hit hard by the Recession, South Florida businesses are bouncing back. Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade counties have seen a 3.6 percent increase in business compared to the national average of only 0.3 percent.
“South Florida is becoming this burgeoning start-up community,” said one tech entrepreneur who recently started a business in Fort Lauderdale. He also said that he and other local investor have more money to invest because “the real estate market is on the upswing, both commercial and residential.”
If you are interested in starting a business or purchasing a property in South Florida, contact Boyer Law Firm today. We can help you with incorporation services, investment visas, including E2 and EB5 visas, business planning, and more.
Source: Sun Sentinel
A surf parks in Florida, even on the coastal cities, is still viable because they allow surfers to refine their skills and learn new tricks for when they go back out into the ocean.
The ideal business model behind these surf parks would be a 2-acre wave pool capable of generating waves of all sizes while maintaining a consistency among the waves.
Surf parks are an international business. The three biggest and best-known are Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon surf park in Florida, Wadi Adventure in United Arab Emirates, and Wavegarden, a price research and development site in Spain’s Basque country.
“Mother Nature stipulates that surfing only can occur where waves can be born. When man takes his hand to forming the waves, it unlocks the potential of surfing anywhere. And that is the most powerful thing,” said Doug Palladini, president of the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association.
Source: Kansas City Star
A Jacksonville mother and son decided to buy a property from someone who they thought was a friend without obtaining proper Owner’s Title Insurance. The three made a verbal agreement in which the mother and son would pay the friend a down payment and then monthly payments for the remainder of the purchase price.
This agreement was illegal because the Florida Statute of Frauds requires that real estate transactions have to be in writing to be enforceable.
After making payments on the property for a while, the mother and son learned the harsh truth: There were judgments against the property, the taxes on the property were delinquent, their “friend” not the owner of the property, and he was currently incarcerated.
The moral of the story is that there is no substitute or excuse for not performing a proper title search and obtaining Owner’s Title Insurance on any real estate purchase that you make.
It is so important to choose a reliable, experienced real estate attorney to perform this task. Here at Boyer Law Firm, P.L., our experienced closing agents can ensure that a proper title search is performed and that proper Owner’s Title Insurance is obtained.
Source: Florida Times-Union
Probate is a process for settling the deceased’s estate; it includes assessing assets, paying off debts, and distributing the remaining assets to the decedent’s beneficiaries.
If the decedent’s estate went through foreign probate in another country and the decedent had property or other assets in Florida, then the estate must also go through the probate process in Florida for those assets.
Similarly, if the decedent’s estate is goes through the probate process in Florida and the decedent had assets in another country, then the estate may be required to go through the foreign probate process in that country.
If you own property in Florida, then it is important to have a proper estate plan to make the probate process easier for your beneficiaries. These estate planning tools include wills, trusts, and more. If you have a will in another country or state, then you should still contact an estate planning attorney to ensure that your will is valid in Florida, as the requirements for validity may be different.
If you are currently acting as the executor of an estate, need to be named as the executor of an estate, or need assistance with estate planning, contact Boyer Law Firm’s estate planning attorneys today.
There has been a major increase in the popularity of Fast Casual restaurants, also known as Quick Service restaurants, in Florida. This segment led the restaurant industry growth in the second financial quarter of 2013, with overall traffic increasing by 8 percent.
The only other segment of the restaurant industry that sustained growth was the fine dining segment, with an overall traffic increase of 6 percent.
A quick service restaurant (QSR) is a type of restaurant characterized by its fast food cuisine and minimal table service. QSRs can be fast food restaurants, cafes, walk-up counters, and more.
Whether you are a U.S. resident who has always wanted to open a restaurant or a foreign investor who is interested in starting a business for a visa, a quick service restaurant can be an excellent investment.
Boyer Law Firm, PL, can help you with the start-up of a quick service restaurant, including incorporation services and business planning, or we can assist you in purchasing an existing QSR, so contact us today.
Source: South Florida Business Journal
Northrup Grumman Corp. has filed plans for its $80 million Hawkeye manufacturing plant, which is expected to create 400 jobs in Northeast Florida, and they are not the only company that is creating jobs. As a result of these new jobs, many people are relocating to Florida from other states and countries.
Relocating to Florida can be a real headache if you don’t have someone to help you. The first thing that should pop into your mind is finding a place to live. Boyer Law Firm’s real estate attorneys can give you piece of mind through this process from finding a house, all the way through the closing. We have purchased many homes for both domestic and international clients, so we are experts in managing situations in which the client cannot be present at our office.
The next thing that people usually don’t think about when relocating to Florida is Estate Planning. Even if you have drafted a Will and other Estate Planning documents in another state, they may not be acknowledged in Florida. Florida may require certain things, such as witnesses and notarization that another state did not when you drafted your Will.
Taxes may also differ when you cross state lines. By scheduling a planning meeting with Attorney Boyer, he can explain to you the difference in the laws and answer any questions you may have.
So no matter what reason you are relocating to Florida, contact Boyer Law Firm today to help you with your real estate, estate planning, tax needs, and more today!
Welcome To Florida!
If you want to come live and work in the US, a great way to do so is through an investors’ visa, such as an E2 visa. In order to qualify for an E2 visa, the country you are a citizen of must have a treaty with the US.
An E2 visa requires the applicant to invest a substantial amount of money in a new business or purchasing a current business and invest in its improvement or restoration. Simply investing in real estate or other passive investments will not qualify you for an E2 visa; the investment must be made into a business.
In addition to your initial investment, you must demonstrate that the business is a real, active and operating enterprise that will be able to be maintained and generate a profit of more than a marginal degree.
There is no definition for the terms “substantial amount” or “marginal degree;” those amounts vary depending on the type of business in which you want to invest. Here at Boyer Law Firm, we have assisted clients in obtaining an E2 visa for restaurants, gas stations, wholesale distribution, hotels, software companies, and more.
If you think you may qualify for an E2 visa or other investment visa, contact Boyer Law Firm today.
Gov. Scott has challenged Florida tourism to attract 100 million visitors per year, compared to the 91.5 million visitors the state saw in 2012, in order to grow Florida business in multiple industries.
Despite the recession, Florida tourism has grown 2.4 percent over the past decade.
Florida tourism boosts not only the tourism industry, but also the retail industry, construction industry, and many other sectors. If achieved, the goal is estimated to create 121,298 jobs in Florida.
Whether you are interested in starting a restaurant, retail store, tourist attraction, or another Florida business, Boyer Law Firm’s business law attorneys can assist you every step of the way.
Source: South Florida Business Journal
If a title search is not performed, then there is no way of knowing that the person selling you the house is the actual owner of the house. They could be a neighbor who knows that the actual owners go out of town for several months a time. They could have an ex-spouse, sibling, or other person on the title who does not want to sell the property. If you purchase a house from someone who is not the owner, or is just a partial owner, then you DO NOT own the house.
Contractor’s Lien Claim
If the person you buy the house from has had work done on the property and did not pay the contractor, or the contractor did not pay the sub-contractors, sub-sub-contractors or materials men, then there will be a lien, or debt, placed on the property. If you do not perform a proper title search, then this debt will become yours when you purchase the property, and the lien placed could potentially be more than the value of the property.
An easement occurs when a piece of the property extends onto another person’s land. If this easement is done without permission of the land owner, then the new owner of the property could be forced to deconstruct the portion of the structure that is located on that property, costing them time and money.
Zoning and Building Restrictions
These can also be detrimental to a purchaser who does not perform a title search. What if you purchase a property to start a business only to find out that it can only be used for residential purposes? You are out of luck. What if the building that you purchased is not up to code or building regulations? It is now your responsibility to fix it, once again costing you time and money.
The best way to prevent any of these situations from happening is to hire an experienced real estate attorney to ensure that a proper title search is performed and that you receive title insurance on the property.
South Florida has the nation’s highest foreclosure rate, which means that it has a large supply of bank-owned properties. These banks prefer to sell to Florida real estate investors who pay cash, which is why 69% of South Florida home sales were paid with cash, and 66% of home sales were cash across the state of Florida.
“The banks have an urgent need to get these bad loans off their books as soon as possible,” said the founder of a South Florida club for investors. “They’re willing to sell for 30 percent less to a cash buyer rather than waiting for a buyer with a mortgage.”
The majority of those paying cash for these properties are foreign Florida real estate investors who view condominiums as a safe investment, profiting from renting out the units of the property. If you are interested in purchasing a home in South Florida, contact Boyer Law Firm’s real estate attorneys today.
Source: Sun Sentinel
Fishing in Florida is a $5 billion business that supports more than 80,200 jobs.
Fishing supports several industries including retail, boat manufacturing and repair, research, and tourism. The majority of fishing expenditures goes to trip-related expenses, including food, lodging and transportation. These expenditures totaled $2.8 billion in 2011.
Florida has more than 2,270 miles of tidal shoreline and more than 11,000 miles of waterways. The climate in Florida also allows for year-round fishing. Approximately 46 million Americans fish, which is more than the number of those who play golf and tennis combined.
If you are interested in starting a business related to fishing in Florida, including tackle sales, retail stores, hotels, and boat manufacturing and repair, contact Boyer Law Firm’s business law attorneys today. We can help you with every aspect of your business, including planning, incorporation, and more.
Source: Florida Trend
The two most common ways to transfer ownership of real property in Florida is through either a Warranty Deed or a quitclaim deed. In both cases, the grantor is the person who is selling, or relinquishing their ownership of the property, to the grantee.
All Florida deeds must be signed by the grantor in the presence of a notary public.
A warranty deed provides protections including verifying that the seller is who they say they are and the assurance that there is a clear title, meaning that there are no liens on the property. This assurance is done through a title search performed by a Florida real estate closing attorney or agent.
A quit claim deed is when the grantor does not wish to make any warranties to the grantee. The deed simply transfers all the “right, title, and interest“ to the grantee. Although a quit-claim deed is usually a cheaper option, it is usually not the best idea because it does not guarantee that the grantor is the actual owner of the property, and it does not guarantee that the property is free of liens or encumbrances.
If you are looking to buy or sell a property, it is important to hire an experienced Florida real estate closing attorney to ensure that the transaction is done correctly.