Forming and operating a USCIS-designated EB-5 regional center is a virtual necessity for project developers competing in the marketplace today.
EB-5 Regional Center Formation
For EB-5 project developers, forming and operating a USCIS-designated EB-5 regional center is a virtual necessity for competing in the marketplace today. And we would know – we formed our own regional center years ago to cover the State of Mississippi, it is now pending expansion into adjoining states, and we have ongoing relationships with regional centers in several other states as well. In addition, we have worked with developers to form regional centers that they will own and operate. While forming a regional center is lengthy and somewhat costly endeavor, it is practically mandatory for anyone committed to raising EB-5 capital in the long term.
Our office has assembled an experienced and skilled team of professionals who can work with you to form a regional center. A person or group petitions USCIS for a regional center by filing Form I-924 and providing significant documentation. This includes:
- Information about the Principals and their development experience
- Reasons why the proposed geographic area is appropriate
- A thorough explanation of a proposed project or projects that will contribute to the area economy, which will include an EB-5-compliant business plan and financial forecast as well as evidence of any progress made at the time of filing – the more tangible effort you can demonstrate, the more likely your chance of success
- Offering documents by which the project will be introduced and marketed to investors – an offering or private placement memorandum, a limited partnership agreement (assuming that is the investment structure), and a subscription agreement
- A marketing plan, which must be compliant with U.S. law
- An economic study, whereby an economist uses appropriate methodologies to show USCIS that your project is more likely than not to create sufficient jobs for the number of investors from whom you seek subscriptions
We have a skilled team at our office who have worked on many such petitions, but we cannot do it alone. We consistently work with a network of skilled professionals, including economists and corporate attorneys, so we are able to quarterback the whole regional center formation process for our developer clients.
Renting your regional center
Many of the costs associated with regional center formation can recouped after the designation is awarded by “renting” your regional center designation to developers who wish to do projects within your geographic area. In fact, there are a number of regional centers which only do this and do not develop projects of their own or raise capital. For a per investor or flat fee, a regional center can allow developers to operate under their designation, which permits additional types of jobs to be counted – naturally, this relationship is often a win-win for both the developer and the regional center.
Still, there are important factors here of which regional center principals must be aware. You will need to perform due diligence on any project which will operate within your jurisdiction and you must adhere to USCIS’ annual reporting and recordkeeping requirements for not only your own projects, but also those which take place within your regional center. Nonetheless, with our help and the assistance of the skilled professionals in our network, you may be able to use your regional center as a source for semi-passive income – or, at a minimum, pay for its start-up and day-to-day expenses.