David Johnson Speaks On U.S. Business Travel and Work Visas for Entrepreneurs

David Johnson spoke on “U.S. Business Travel and Work Visas” for Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator (ERA) on January 26, 2021. He discussed:

  • U.S. Immigration Basics
  • Business Travel Using ESTA / Visa Waiver or B-1/B-2 Visa
  • Current Covid-Related Travel Restrictions
  • Common U.S. Work Visas
  • Policy Changes Under President Biden
  • Preparing for U.S. Travel

Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator (ERA) is New York City’s largest accelerator program.  ERA companies gain direct access to leading members of the New York City tech community through the ERA mentor network and are also given access to the right investors, sales prospects and partners..

The CARES Act: Loan Program Options for Small Businesses to Consider

On March 27, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to alleviate the economic impact of COVID-19 on both individuals and businesses. The legislation provides economic assistance to small businesses through several Small Business Administration (SBA) program options.

Paycheck Protection Program Loans

The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses. The program provides qualified small businesses with loans of up to $10 million. The program is retroactive to February 15, 2020 to help bring workers who may have already been laid off back onto payrolls. Loans are available through June 30, 2020.

Who is Eligible?

Qualifying businesses in all U.S. states and territories:

  • Businesses, nwith 500 or fewer employees
  • Certain businesses with greater than 500 employees in certain industries, including the hotel and food industry
  • Sole proprietors and independent contractors
  • Approved franchises listed on the SBA’s registry
  • Businesses receiving funding through a Small Business Investment Company

Guidelines for Loans

  • Loans are up to two months of average monthly payroll costs from the last year plus an additional 25%
  • Maximum loan amount up to $10 million
  • Loans will be fully forgiven if the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent and utilities however at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll
  • Payroll costs must not exceed $100,000 of annual compensation per employee
  • Initial loans have a maturity of 2 years and an interest rate of 1% (loans past the initial term have interest rates capped at 4%)
  • No collateral or personal guarantees are required
  • First payment deferred for six months
  • No borrower or lender fees payable to SBA as before

How to Apply

Small businesses and sole proprietors can apply starting April 3. Independent contractors and self-employed workers can apply starting on April 10.

Applications can be made through any existing SBA lender or federally insured depository institution or credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. Visit www.sba.gov for a list of SBA lenders.

For more information on the program including forms and the interim final rule, please visit the U.S. Department Treasury site page. The rules and details remain in flux, so please check back often for additional changes and updates.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advances

The CARES Act expands the Small Business Administration’s long-standing Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL) to offer financial support to more businesses experiencing reduced revenue due to the pandemic. Historically, the SBA has offered disaster relief assistance to businesses, homeowners and renters in specific areas where federally declared disasters occurred however, companies in all states and U.S. territories can now apply.

Who is Eligible?

  • Businesses with fewer than 500 employees
  • Cooperatives, ESOPs, and tribal small businesses with fewer than 500 employees
  • Sole proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed persons
  • Nonprofits and veterans organizations

Guidelines for Loan Advances

  • Loans are available up to $2 million to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact
  • The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profits
  • Long-term repayments can be up to a maximum of 30 years and are determined on a case by case basis
  • Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay
  • Payments on COVID-19 EIDL loans are deferred for one year
  • Borrowers do not have to prove they could not get credit elsewhere

How to Apply

The SBA offers additional information and details on the SBA site. Unlike the PPP loans, the EIDL submissions are made to SBA, not the banks directly.

Determining the Best Option for Your Business

Every business should consider the various assistance programs available to determine which may work best for both short- and long-term business planning. Remember that many states are also offering loans, grants and incentive programs. Consider all qualification criteria, terms and repayment options.

For questions or more information, please reach out to your Gibney contact or email info@gibney.com.

Nicolo Rivolta Discusses Visa Options For Tech Start Ups at Belcham Catalyst

Nicolo Rivolta discussed visa options for emerging businesses at Belcham Catalyst in San Francisco yesterday. Belcham Catalyst is a collaborative accelerator program in San Francisco for promising high-tech companies that prepares them for successful growth and scaling. Nico discussed E-2/new company visas as well as the B-1 visa option as an alternative to the H-1B category.

Nicolo is an immigration attorney in the San Francisco office. He focuses on U.S. business immigration, providing long-term strategy planning to employers and foreign nationals and helping navigate complex immigration laws.

New EB-5 Program Rules Start November 21: What To Expect

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has made significant changes to the Immigrant Investor Program (EB-5) through their establishment of new EB-5 modernization regulations.  The EB-5 program permits individuals to apply for permanent residence in the U.S. if they make the necessary investment in a new commercial enterprise in the U.S. and create 10 full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.   Regional Centers are economic enterprises designated by USCIS for participation in the Immigrant Investor Program.

The new EB-5 regulations will take effect November 21, 2019. Investors seeking to be “grandfathered” in under the old rules must file an I-526 petition with USCIS before the new regulation’s effective date.

New EB-5 Regulations: What to Expect

  • Increases minimum investment amounts: The minimum investment in Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs) increases from $500,0000 to $900,000 and from $1 million to $1.8 million in all standard areas. The final rule also provides that investment amounts are subject to additional increases every five years based on inflation.
  • Changes how Urban TEAs are defined and designated: TEA designations will now be determined by the Department of Homeland Security, and state and local TEA determinations will no longer be accepted.
  • Provides priority date retention for subsequent EB-5 investor petitions: The investor must have a priority date set by a previously approved I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur and be reapplying due a failing investment project, termination of a regional center, or a backlog of visa applications.
  • Clarifies procedures for removing conditions on permanent resident status: This includes situations where dependent family members must file their own I-829, Petition to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status.  Entrepreneur investors are initially granted conditional permanent resident status for two years, and must petition to have the conditions on status removed within a prescribed period.

EB-5 Regional Center Program

The current EB-5 Regional Center program has been extended through November 21, 2019, passed by Congress as part of a Continuing Resolution. This program extension date now coincides with the effective date of the new EB-5 regulations as listed above.

Gibney will continue to monitor this matter and advise of developments. For additional information, please contact your designated Gibney representative or email info@gibney.com

David Johnson Partners to Discuss Immigration at Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator

David Johnson is partnering with Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator on November 8. ERA Global helps global startups enter the US market through acceleration programs at ERA’s New York City offices.

David will discuss immigration issues to consider for international companies expanding into the US Market. David Johnson leads Gibney’s Emerging Business Group.

About Emerging Business
Having represented entrepreneurs and start-up businesses for decades, Gibney’s Emerging Business Group guides entrepreneurs though all stages of the start-up and business lifecycle. We are uniquely structured to serve the full spectrum of our clients’ needs efficiently under one roof. Learn more.

David Johnson and Kristen Smith Present Starting a Business in the US for Emerging Businesses

Immigration Partner David Johnson and Corporate Partner Kristen Smith will present “Starting a Business in the US: Strategies for Foreign Entrepreneurs & Entities” to members of the Belgian-American Chamber of Commerce (BelCham) on June 5. As part of Netwerk Ondernemen’s “BOOST ME” program (4-month startup accelerator), a group of Belgian founders will join BelCham for three intense days in NYC to learn first-hand about the American mindset of winning and get the tools needed to fast-track international growth. This event will be hosted at Gibney. The presentation will cover corporate and immigration best practices for emerging businesses.

About Emerging Business
Having represented entrepreneurs and start-up businesses for decades, Gibney’s Emerging Business Group guides entrepreneurs though all stages of the start-up and business lifecycle. Uniquely structured to serve the full spectrum of our clients’ needs efficiently under one roof. Learn more.

David Johnson Presented U.S. Employment Visa Seminar

Partner David Johnson presented “U.S. Employment Visa Seminar: A Guide for Entrepreneurs” on October 11, 2018. The presentation was for Innovate46 in cooperation with the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce, New York. Innovate46 is an event for Swedish emerging businesses which have the US as a potential key market.

David discussed key issues for entrepreneurs looking to establish or expand their business in the U.S. Topics included U.S. immigration basics, business travel using ESTA /Visa Waiver, common U.S. work visa categories and recent policy changes.

David Johnson Speaks on Emerging Business Issues

David Johnson spoke at a joint presentation with Innovation Norway and Nordic Innovation House. David discussed key legal issues for Nordic companies to consider when establishing a presence in the United States. Topics included corporate entity formation and tax considerations and visa and immigration matters. David and Stephen are attorneys in Gibney’s Emerging Business Group, focusing on providing comprehensive legal services to foreign companies looking to expand in the U.S.

Starting a Business in the U.S.: Key Legal Issues to Consider

Emerging Business Partners Kristen Smith and David Johnson spoke with Innovation Norway and their spring cohort of Norwegian startups. Kristen and David discussed key legal issues for these foreign companies to consider when establishing a presence in the United States. This presentation was part of Innovation Norway’s twice yearly Entrepreneurial Marketing program. In Spring 2018, ten (10) Norwegian startup companies are visiting New York City for a two-week intensive series on how to grow their business through successful marketing, branding and sales approaches.

Supporting Innovation

CHALLENGE

As an emerging business, our client, a technology company, needed guidance on its corporate formation and the preparation of the operating agreement. The company also needed transactional support and guidance in determining the best solutions for long-term growth.

SOLUTION

We drafted and reviewed employment, independent contractor, master service, non-disclosure and consulting agreements, and established a profit sharing plan. We continue to assist with contractual matters and day-to-day business issues as they arise. Our corporate attorneys partner with the firm’s supporting services in real estate, tax, immigration and labor and employment, to provide comprehensive solutions.