From Idea to Approval: Writing an L1 Business Plan
You may not be aware of it, but tech giants like Google and Microsoft have a long history of hiring foreign nationals and partnering with other companies. The dreams, hopes, and ambitions of foreign investors and companies are realized in the U.S. This makes L1 the most sought visa globally.
But like most business plans, writing, reviewing, finalizing, and submitting a comprehensive L1 visa business plan takes time and patience. You will have to discuss the requirements of the L1 visa with your immigration attorney as well. If you want to communicate to the immigration officer about your company and why it wants to transfer employees with specialized knowledge to the American branch, you’ll need to simplify the information.
But avoid oversimplification at all costs and present concise and accurate information to the immigration officers formally. The fact is that an L-1 visa is not your average business plan, and it takes a lot of collective effort and technical understanding of the required guidelines and laws to meet the L1 visa requirements of USCIS.
Once the USCIS immigration officer reads your L1 business plan, he should be clear about essential information. In short, the immigration officer should have no confusion or questions about how you run your business operations or “why” you want to move your employees to the U.S. branch.
Make sure to clearly show how you can stand out in your competitive industry and how transferring specific employees is part of your immigration business plan and will help you drive growth.
From ideation to final submission, let’s break down the essential details of the L1 business plan:
From Idea to Actionable Plan to Get Approval
You must add helpful and updated information from ideation to the final stages of your L1 business plan preparation. For instance, describe the story behind your company and how the L1 immigration visa plan would help you scale up operations.
When planning and drafting an L1 business plan, you have to adopt the mindset of a business development expert and focus on how this action would positively impact the local communities. From ideation to creating an actionable L1 business plan, take your time and focus on simplifying the technical knowledge so that the immigration officer can better understand it.
Overview of Your Company’s American Branch and International Business
This is the executive summary of your L1 business plan, and it does not have to be ten pages long. Unlike conventional business plan summaries, you’ll need to focus on the details of your international and U.S. facility in the L1 business plan.
In this section, answer questions like:
- When was your company created?
- What does your company offer?
- What is the mission and vision of your company?
- What is your expansion approach based on your target market?
- What is your current financial position?
- What is your marketing plan?
- Who are the owners of the company?
- How many employees do you have in your company at the moment?
- What do your affiliate company and foreign parent establishment do?
Now, you need to cover the same ground for your international company. Also, quote information, like your parent organization’s revenue and growth rate over the past five years.
Collect Relevant Documents
One of the main components of creating an effective L1 business plan is to collect all the supporting documents during the initial writing stage. The sooner you collect the supporting documents for your company, the faster you can move on to the next sections of your L1 business plan.
And that’s because this part of the L1 business plan may take longer than other sections. And if you miss out on just one supporting document, it would interrupt your entire writing process and might create more issues. So, gather all the relevant documents “before” you start writing the rest of your L1 business plan.
You’ll need a deed or lease agreement, the foreign establishment’s financial statements for the last 3-5 years, the foreign company’s current organizational chart, and the expected chart of staff in the American branch for the next five years.
You will also need a franchise or business agreement and articles of incorporation. And this directs whether your company would work as an LLC or a corporation in the U.S. Also, collect the resumes of visa applicants you want to hire or transfer to the U.S. facility.
Talk about Your Company’s Geographical Location
Location determines how you’ll run operations and engage with company stakeholders. The location choice of your company can make a huge difference and impact overall operations, and it also depends a lot on your industry. In any case, location is a vital element in your L1 business plan.
Highlight you’ve signed or plan to sign a lease on a location. If you have a lease document, attach it to the application so the immigration officer can evaluate it.
Similarly, you can use lease agreement information, a buy-sell agreement, or a deed agreement to highlight the address where you’ll perform business operations.
Mention the size of your business premises in square footage and how much space you plan to use for office storage. And that’s because office space cannot be lower than the standard 500 square feet.
But if you’re unsure about the size of your location in square feet, add a photo so the immigration officer can get a rough idea of the size. Also, mention the lease length, dates, and potential options for lease extensions.
Add Competitor Analysis
In this section, you will need to research and objectively review your key competitors. One of the vital components of any business plan is competitor analysis, which is true for the L1 business plan. Follow in the footsteps of the most successful businesses that closely monitor their key competitors.
When you analyze your key competitors, find out the cause-and-effect of their new products or services and how they changed the market for good. With an extensive competitor analysis report, USCIS will take your L1 business plan and company application seriously and increase your chances of approval.
Highlight Ownership Structure
In this section of your L1 business plan, add precise details about your company’s ownership structure. Some companies add a visually attractive graphic to showcase their ownership hierarchy, while others add a brief paragraph to highlight company ownership only.
Visualizing your company’s ownership structure is a better idea and makes it easier for the immigration officer to have a clear idea at first glance.
Include Your Marketing Plan
Your marketing plan is a crucial aspect of how you plan to reach out to your target audience. Digital marketing is at its peak and has become a no-brainer for companies to invest a lot in online marketing strategies to achieve their long-term business goals faster.
From social media to search engine optimization to paid digital ads, highlight how you plan to develop and execute various marketing campaigns to drive growth in the next 6-12 months.
Companies that operate globally and plan to operate in the United States leverage social media. Brands have managed to master the social media game to engage directly with their target audience and boost online exposure simultaneously.
No matter how simple or complex a marketing plan you add, highlight its essence and how you plan to implement it. Ideally, add a timeline to your marketing plan and segment your marketing campaigns for the American branch and the parent company.
Present Information without Errors
It seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many businesses tend to make common grammatical and structural mistakes in their L1 business plans. Depending on whether you already have existing operations or plan to start operations, make sure to use the correct tense forms.
If you’re operational, use the present tense, while using the future tense makes sense if you haven’t started the operations yet. Similarly, be careful about your word choices and how you place words in different sentences. For starters, use verbs rather than passive voice. And avoid slang and familiar words that can make your L1 business plan look unprofessional.
Besides, you don’t want to signal to the immigration officer that you’re not serious about getting approval for your L1. Address your company as “LLC” or “Inc.” depending on your business structure. You can also add photos to better present information and include pictures of your social media presence, website, and the company’s in-house location.
Add Growth Elements and Ideas
Before you draft and present your comprehensive L1 business plan, you must determine how to drive business growth. Your best shot is to focus on growth elements and ideas and make convincing points about how you will realize these ideas in the coming 3-5 years.
The more growth elements you highlight in your L1 business plan, the better your chances are of getting approval for your L1 application. If you’re wondering what business growth elements you should highlight, this can be a small or an extensive list.
After all, it all depends on your current financial position, market situation, industry, etc. Highlight personnel growth, marketing strategies, and expansion to demonstrate your company’s growth potential.
While this may sound like a section where you can highlight many elements, make sure not to exaggerate growth potential claims, naturally, you don’t want to bolster growth potential with unrealistic expectations just to win over the immigration officer.
Include Your Financial Forecasts
If you want an L1 visa application to work, you must add detailed, updated, and logical financial projections. The financial plan of your L1 business plan should include an investment summary, feasibility analysis, break-even analysis, balance sheet, profit and loss statement, and sales forecast.
While the L1 visa category is complex, it has many benefits. Once you figure out how to navigate the application process and communicate with the immigration officer through the information, you should be able to get approval.
When dealing with an L1 business plan, the focus of small and medium-sized enterprises should be to draft and submit a thoroughly prepared and structured application without errors and ambiguities. Without this approach, you risk USCIS scrutinizing your company’s credentials.
Ready to take your business to the next level? Let Synvest Capital help you create a winning L1 business plan. Our team of experienced professionals will work closely with you to understand your goals, market opportunities, and financial projections, and craft a customized plan that can help you secure funding, attract investors, and grow your business. Don’t let a poorly written business plan hold you back from achieving your dreams. Contact us today to learn more about our services and take the first step towards success!