Overseas office opening 2

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Old Jun 14th 2018, 5:54 pm
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Default Overseas office opening 2

Hi all,

Posted a rather long saga as to how i got into a position where a move to the USA could be on the horizon.

My main question is......If a Spanish company was to employee me for a year (being based in the UK) for the sole purpose of enabling me to set up offices with them in the USA under an L1A, can anyone foresee an issue? The Spanish company is well heeled, been in business since the 70's, turnover in the millions and currently employ around 30 individuals. They are looking to claw back some business that they lost over there about 5 years ago, partly through not having any North American representation.

Thanks,

Mic
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Old Jun 15th 2018, 12:39 am
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Default Re: Overseas office opening 2

Nothing there seems an issue, as always a chat with the Company Immigration Lawyer would be a good idea.
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Old Jun 15th 2018, 12:40 pm
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Default Re: Overseas office opening 2

Thanks David, i thought that before we approached an Immigration lawyer, i'd try and be as clear as i can be in my own mind. This type of project is not something that the Spanish guys are familiar with so they have asked if this whole process can be handled by me (as far as possible) as part of my duties during the year leading up to the application. Obviously i'm aware that ultimately, they have to press the button but it will almost be with my hand up their back so to speak.
One thing that i picked up on with regards to 'opening a new business'. Would that fact that the Spaniards have been supplying goods to the USA on an ongoing basis prove to be a bit of a curve ball? Going back 6-7 years ago, they supplied as much as few $M per year but over the last few years has dropped to a few hundred thousand dollars. The business was exporting direct to existing USA based tool brands and not via a USA subsidiary or affiliate and then to the tool companies.
The statement i picked up on is ' Doing business means the “regular, systematic, and continuous provision of goods and/or services' My interpretation is that they have, in which case we couldn't approach this as the opening of a new office?
I am flying out to Spain on the 26th to finalise our plan and ideally, before i start spending their money on legal services, i wanted to be sure i haven't slipped up and overlooked the obvious.
Hence the questions,
Thanks in advance,
M

Last edited by Mic1; Jun 15th 2018 at 1:05 pm.
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Old Jun 15th 2018, 2:03 pm
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Default Re: Overseas office opening 2

Well you can use a L to start from scratch so not sure that is an issue.
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Old Jun 15th 2018, 5:24 pm
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Default Re: Overseas office opening 2

It's probably a case of whether exporting goods without going through an overseas branch or affiliate sidesteps the prior business being classed as doing regular, systematic, and continuous supply of goods. If it doesn't, then i interpret this to mean that we won't qualify as a new office.

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Old Jun 15th 2018, 5:59 pm
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Default Re: Overseas office opening 2

Originally Posted by Mic1 View Post
It's probably a case of whether exporting goods without going through an overseas branch or affiliate sidesteps the prior business being classed as doing regular, systematic, and continuous supply of goods. If it doesn't, then i interpret this to mean that we won't qualify as a new office.

Mic
I would have thought you would have to draw up a comprehensive business plan in conjunction with applying for an L1 visa since this is a new office in the US. Part of this business plan would be used to justify your position as a skilled/manager/executive being transferred to this new operation. The fact that your company originally supplied goods via secondary distributors but that you are now wanting to set up your own offices there should be in your favor.

Again I would have thought this venture would have been discussed with either your company's lawyers or outside lawyers specialising in creating new businesses in the US.
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Old Jun 15th 2018, 6:14 pm
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Default Re: Overseas office opening 2

If you do a search on this forum on "L1 Visa new office", plenty of threads of people wanting to transfer to US with new businesses come up.

The one below is interesting as one of our 'oldest' mods gives his view on what you should be looking at to set up a new business.

https://britishexpats.com/forum/us-i...ess-us-899658/
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Old Jun 15th 2018, 8:46 pm
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Default Re: Overseas office opening 2

Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl View Post
I would have thought you would have to draw up a comprehensive business plan in conjunction with applying for an L1 visa since this is a new office in the US. Part of this business plan would be used to justify your position as a skilled/manager/executive being transferred to this new operation. The fact that your company originally supplied goods via secondary distributors but that you are now wanting to set up your own offices there should be in your favor.

Again I would have thought this venture would have been discussed with either your company's lawyers or outside lawyers specialising in creating new businesses in the US.
Thanks SDG,

Re business plan, between me and the Spanish company that plan to employ me, we're pretty good i think. Luckily, i tick a few boxes with regards to justifying my position so that is not a concern. The idea was for me to research as best i can to confirm that we have water tight grounds an for application prior to engaging an immigration attorney as opposed to parting with a grand for a consultation fee only to be told i've overlooked the obvious and it's a no go..........with egg on my face.

Being as we don't have an existing office it the USA, my understanding is that the visa would obtained on the basis that we are opening a new office and it wouldn't simply be a case of moving me to an existing office as it doesn't exist. Therefore, my concern is that because a substantial amount of business has already been done between the company and customers in the USA, the impression from what i read is that it wouldn't qualify.
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Old Jun 15th 2018, 8:57 pm
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Default Re: Overseas office opening 2

This is what i am finding:
Foreign companies can obtain an L1 visa if they want to open a new office in the United States. A “new office” is one opened by an organization that’s already been doing business in the United States via a branch, parent company, affiliate or subsidiary for no more than one year.
As i previously mentioned, the Spanish guys have been exporting to the USA for many years. The above clearly states, no more than one year.
Or am i missing the obvious ?
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Old Jun 16th 2018, 2:26 am
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Default Re: Overseas office opening 2

Originally Posted by Mic1 View Post
This is what i am finding:
Foreign companies can obtain an L1 visa if they want to open a new office in the United States. A “new office” is one opened by an organization that’s already been doing business in the United States via a branch, parent company, affiliate or subsidiary for no more than one year.
As i previously mentioned, the Spanish guys have been exporting to the USA for many years. The above clearly states, no more than one year.
Or am i missing the obvious ?
the obvious (how I am understanding it) is that once it is over one year of doing business... the office is no longer a'new office' hence the definition of 'new'. The Spanish guys may well have been exporting to USA for many years, but this is different to them having their own entity there.
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Old Jun 16th 2018, 10:48 am
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Default Re: Overseas office opening 2

Thanks for your input Karen.
Correct me if i'm wrong though but the way i interpret an L1 visa is :
A) To allow an employee to transfer to an existing office
or
B) To enable a foreign entity to open a new office as long as the company hasn't been trading with the USA for longer than one year (which we have).
Time to call a lawyer for clarification in think.
M
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Old Jun 16th 2018, 3:55 pm
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Default Re: Overseas office opening 2

Originally Posted by Mic1 View Post
Thanks for your input Karen.
Correct me if i'm wrong though but the way i interpret an L1 visa is :
A) To allow an employee to transfer to an existing office
or
B) To enable a foreign entity to open a new office as long as the company hasn't been trading with the USA for longer than one year (which we have).
Time to call a lawyer for clarification in think.
M
You are misinterpeting requirement (b).

The scenario you lay out may very well be an excellent case.

Legal consultation is a good idea.

BTW, nothing is "airtight."

​​
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Old Jun 16th 2018, 10:29 pm
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Default Re: Overseas office opening 2

Originally Posted by Mic1 View Post
The idea was for me to research as best i can to confirm that we have water tight grounds an for application prior to engaging an immigration attorney as opposed to parting with a grand for a consultation fee only to be told i've overlooked the obvious and it's a no go..........with egg on my face.
What’s a grand for good solid advice to a company with an annual turnover in the millions? I bet they spend more than that on paper clips each year.

Just get the company to hire a lawyer.

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Old Jun 16th 2018, 11:21 pm
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Default Re: Overseas office opening 2

Originally Posted by Twinkle0927 View Post


What’s a grand for good solid advice to a company with an annual turnover in the millions? I bet they spend more than that on paper clips each year.

Just get the company to hire a lawyer.

Ha,

Directors in my company have $50k expenses auto approved.
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Old Jun 17th 2018, 10:52 am
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Default Re: Overseas office opening 2

Originally Posted by S Folinsky View Post
You are misinterpeting requirement (b).

The scenario you lay out may very well be an excellent case.

Legal consultation is a good idea.

BTW, nothing is "airtight."

​​
Thanks SF.

As you say, nothing is a given but i'm quietly confident.
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