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Buying a Optical Business in Florida

Buying a Optical Business in Florida

Old Apr 1st 2019, 1:25 pm
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Default Buying a Optical Business in Florida

Hi

I write in hope for some similar experience and any helpful tips.

My wife and I have longed negotiated the move to Florida. We have a share of a villa in Kissimmee and travel at least 2 times a year and love the lifestyle and prospect for our child. We have a 4 year old girl and expecting our second child at the end of this month.

I currently own an Optical practice in the UK and would like to do so in the states (ideally co owning both practices) and my wife is a qualified secondary Math teacher.

At Christmas I was over and visited an optical practice for sale. Spoke with the Director and Broker and addressed all the accounts. I have bought and sold practices in the UK so buying and analysing accounts the business seems viable. The business is a long trading practice and runs identical to what I do in the UK.

On return from our holiday I met up with a US attorney in the UK and we discussed the E2 options and if this business qualifies. She was in the understanding it would be a simple case and qualifies.

We plan to travel again when the baby is born and look into schools and finalise the purchase if we feel it correct.

Would someone have good contacts or companies for healthcare, short term rental in or near Boca, car leasing initially and any other helpful tips from someone who setup and moved on an e2 visa.

I understand my wife can look for work once she arrives as she will be linked to the business E2 visa, is this correct?

Any helpful tips would be great.
Thanks

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Old Apr 1st 2019, 3:19 pm
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Default Re: Buying a Optical Business in Florida

Originally Posted by Chris McG View Post
I currently own an Optical practice in the UK and would like to do so in the states (ideally co owning both practices)
Might be worth looking in to the L1 visa as well then, if you'll keep the business running in the UK. It would be far preferable to an E2 if you can swing it, particularly as you have kids.

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Old Apr 1st 2019, 3:26 pm
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Default Re: Buying a Optical Business in Florida

Hi Thanks for the reply

Would an L 1 visa be better as I assumed this would only be eligible for 7 years maximum then leave the country for 1 year.
Where I was aware an E2 would generally be easier to renew every 5 years rolling if the business is doing well enough.

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Old Apr 1st 2019, 3:28 pm
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Default Re: Buying a Optical Business in Florida

Originally Posted by Chris McG View Post
Hi Thanks for the reply

Would an L 1 visa be better as I assumed this would only be eligible for 7 years maximum then leave the country for 1 year.
Where I was aware an E2 would generally be easier to renew every 5 years rolling if the business is doing well enough.
The difference is that there is a direct path to a 'green card' from an L1, unlike the E2. Depends on what you want to do really, if you're happy only being in the US temporarily then an E2 would be fine, but if you think you might want to stay permanently, then personally I'd look at the L1, although if the immi lawyer didn't mention it then presumably there's a reason for that and perhaps you wouldn't qualify for it?
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Old Apr 1st 2019, 3:58 pm
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Default Re: Buying a Optical Business in Florida

Unless you are licensed and qualified to provide optical services in Florida (each state has it's own regulatory regime for just about everything - medical, legal, financial, construction, insurance, cosmetological, etc., etc., etc.) then your business in the US would be fundamentally contingent on you being able to hire and retain qualified licensed staff. Therefore, given the US "hire and fire" laws, which give equal right to employees to walk out often with literally no notice, I am not sure that you have a viable business model.

Also you cannot just swap a UK license for a Florida license, you would likely require significant training (courses) and retesting to obtain a Florida license to practice. ….. A friend who was a qualified and experience doctor in Venezuela, with a specialization in anesthesiology, spent several years doing courses and exams …. to be requalified as a houseman needing further supervised experience to be fully qualified, again.

BTW living in the US is very different from visiting on holiday, and from everything I have heard, I would not want to put my daughter through the public (brit-speak: state) school system in Florida, which is not considered enviable even by US standards.
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Old Apr 1st 2019, 3:59 pm
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Default Re: Buying a Optical Business in Florida

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
The difference is that there is a direct path to a 'green card' from an L1, unlike the E2. Depends on what you want to do really, if you're happy only being in the US temporarily then an E2 would be fine, but if you think you might want to stay permanently, then personally I'd look at the L1, although if the immi lawyer didn't mention it then presumably there's a reason for that and perhaps you wouldn't qualify for it?

I assume because I didn’t elaborate on the current UK business buying the US business and setting this up independent then the L1 wasn’t much of a factor.
Thank you

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Old Apr 1st 2019, 4:10 pm
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Default Re: Buying a Optical Business in Florida

E2 seems more obvious to me but which visa is something you need to discuss with your Lawyer.

I do not know how it works in Florida but certainly where I am you have the Optician who seems to be an independent, does the eye tests and then the business they work out of which they may own but usually not and does the selling side.

Sounds like you will be running the business not doing the optical side, if you are then see Mr P comments.

Your wife can apply for Employment Authorisation, not sure it would make much sense eventually teaching now, likely income vs child care costs. But that is certainly something she could look at long term.
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Old Apr 1st 2019, 5:05 pm
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Default Re: Buying a Optical Business in Florida

Are you an optometrist or optician? If you intent to be licensed to practice , Florida is a difficult state to get a professional license. I know by experience in the Pharmacist and Dentist fields. Local professionals use their political clout to prevent snow birds and retirees from flooding the market with part time professional services. On the optician side are not computer aided grinding equipment putting pricing pressure on smaller providers? On the optometrist side it has always been very competitive in most areas.
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Old Apr 1st 2019, 5:06 pm
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Default Re: Buying a Optical Business in Florida

I buy on line.
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Old Apr 1st 2019, 5:09 pm
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Default Re: Buying a Optical Business in Florida

'On the optician side are not computer aided grinding equipment putting pricing pressure on smaller providers?'

Yup..they are..
And Costco.
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Old Apr 1st 2019, 5:14 pm
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Default Re: Buying a Optical Business in Florida

Originally Posted by Hotscot View Post
'On the optician side are not computer aided grinding equipment putting pricing pressure on smaller providers?'

Yup..they are..
And Costco.
I’ve just bought 2 pair of script readers from Costco and hubby 2 pair of script specs. No-one can come close to their price IMO, 2 year guarantee too.
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Old Apr 1st 2019, 10:50 pm
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Default Re: Buying a Optical Business in Florida

Thank you for all the comments.

We have best friends who live and school their kids in Florida and Visiting schools would be necessary before we ever purchased a practice.
we still feel the outdoor and sport aspects and opportunities are superior to the UK.

The practice runs with Optician independent taking their own Eye are fees and the main sales of the business is eyewear and lenses.

If you are happy to settle for meadocre medical devices with little and no professional measurements then online maybe suffice.
underestimating the expertise of a dispensing Optician is something we face in the UK also. However it is very uncommon for this mistake to be made more than once and customers always return.
You get what you pay for and if you preach better quality medical devices online then why not self prescribe your own health medication or YouTube your own surgery. Everything can be found online.


I have approached the license side of things in Florida and for a licensed Floridian Eye Doctor a license is required but I am not an Optician directly and the business and practice is owned by Directors who employ a licensed Optician. It has been a practice for 23years successfully and has employed Opticians who take their own eye care fees independently.

Thank you I was unaware of the ease of losing such staff and this is something I would need to analyse more. The availability of employing other eye doctors is definitely something I would need to know.

In all matters tho is it identical in the UK really. Staff can leave and you need to find others. Being a good employer and treating employees well has and is always the key I think personally.

Being a responsible employer and caring for the community with being there for their health needs first has always served to help in repeat happy custom.




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Old Apr 1st 2019, 10:54 pm
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Default Re: Buying a Optical Business in Florida

'The practice runs with Optician independent taking their own Eye are fees'

No offense but your writing style is a little strange..what does this mean?
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Old Apr 1st 2019, 10:58 pm
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Default Re: Buying a Optical Business in Florida

Originally Posted by Chris McG View Post
If you are happy to settle for meadocre medical devices with little and no professional measurements then online maybe suffice.
underestimating the expertise of a dispensing Optician is something we face in the UK also. However it is very uncommon for this mistake to be made more than once and customers always return.
You get what you pay for


LOL. Best glasses I've ever had I've bought on line, worst, from the local optician, who point blank refused to admit my lenses were mis-centred.
Now I don't doubt ever doubt the skill of the optician in testing my eyes, but I NEVER see an optician at the heavy selling stage, just someone who remeasures my OC - the number they try to guard like its a state secret.
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Old Apr 1st 2019, 11:00 pm
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Default Re: Buying a Optical Business in Florida

The Eye Doctor (Optician) is registered to the practice but takes their own eye test fees directly from the patient.
The business subsequently services glasses lenses and contact lenses.

Thank you
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