Friday, September 9, 2011

Looking for a Few Good Florida EB-5 Projects...

I will soon be making a major announcement regarding the expansion of a Florida EB-5 Regional Center in which I am now a principal.   The RC, governed and administered by some of the most respected entrepreneurs and business leaders in the country,  will be going Florida-wide.  I have been given carte blanche to modify the RC, and will be doing so in keeping with the same spirit of fair-dealing with which I have governed my law firm for the past two decades.  Specifically, we are looking for projects which meet the following criteria:



  • Project principals whose professional and financial backgrounds will withstand detailed due diligence scrutiny;

  • Job-creation-driven projects in credible industry sectors located in TEAs or rural areas;

  • Principals comfortable with our RC-wide structure, which is a 60 month interest-only model with principal repayment at maturation of loan...no equity EB-5 funding;

  • "Troubled Enterprise" projects, but only those whose historical financials show profitable activity before being interrupted by the current economic crisis;

  • Projects which do not seek to "cash out" principal investors via EB-5 funds;

  • Projects in which principals have significant equity and domain expertise;

  • Projects able to front the administrative hard costs for inclusion under the Regional Center umbrella (i.e., I-946 amendment,  preparation of EB-5-compliant business plan, offering documents, econometrics, I-526 exemplar, marketing materials, web content and SEO), which typically run from $25-30K.


The principals will have to agree to a number of concrete operational guidelines intended to protect the EB-5 funds invested; these will be project-specific but will include things such as real-time job creation modeling (to distinguish reality from projections BEFORE additional investors are brought in), back-end structural protections designed to control EB-5 investor risk (e.g., seniority at liquidation, revenue set-asides for repayment, etc.), and a clear understanding that the availability of low-cost Foreign Venture Capital (FVC) is wholly dependant upon the viability of the job creation requirements which will secure permanent residency for ALL EB-5 investors at the I-829 level.  The bottom line: your project will be subject to ongoing scrutiny and supervision by the Regional Center in order to insure that our investors' interests are protected.


Since the handshake happened a few weeks ago,  we've seen a signficant increase in the number of prospective projects making their way to my email...via word of mouth, I suppose.  Now that we are "going public" with the news, inquiries will increase.  As they do, I am forced to spend an increasingly greater percentage of my time examining and discussing potential projects...uncompensated time.  I've always been of the opinion that it isn't right to charge a person to get them to the point where they can make an intelligent decision about whether or not they need your services, and I feel the same way about EB-5..."free initial consultation", tragically, has been my hallmark for decades. (-: In order to keep it this way, I ask any prospective projects who want to know more about what we are doing to please:



  1. NOT call but, rather, contact me via my email, jlatour@latourlaw.com, with a brief summary of the project, total capitalization, and EB-5 capital needs.  I promise I'll respond ASAP -- a few days or less unless I am abroad -- and tell you whether or not the project is of interest.

  2. Send me whatever documents you can but please do NOT ask me to sign an NDA...whether or not the project is of interest to the RC, you are communicating them via me, an attorney, so all that you relay to me is protected and confidential. (Besides, I can't even remember what I had for lunch yesterday...)


If we like the project, next comes the DD on the principals and the project's history, followed by agreement on terms and project deployment/exemplar prep and submission.  (Despite all  you've read online about having to have a new project "pre-approved" before an existing EB-5 Regional Center can market it, that's baloney .  When the project plan is prepared, the project can be marketed subject to USCIS conditions to which we will faithfully adhere.)


So...TALK TO ME!  Next up, a story about a Chinese dynamo and our upcoming three week seminar tour of China...have a great weekend and 去鳄鱼 (Go Gators!)  J



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