If you could condense the American dream into a single idea, I would say it’s the desire to create your own life, no matter what the social circumstances you born into. The ability to work for yourself is closely linked to this idea, and the hope of growing wealthy from self-employment continues to attract foreigners to our shores.
For foreigners who want to purchase franchises, there are a few roadblocks that must be overcome before self-employment can be attained, as this article explains. Firstly, there are visa issues to be overcome, and then international investors must meet a select criteria in running their business.
QSRonline tells the story of Kay Kirby, who runs a Sobix Subs franchise in Florida. Kirby, who is English, has worked in the restaurant business his whole life and wanted to open a food franchise in the US. Kirby has availed of the E-2 visa, which provides temporary residency, but Kirby admits that being foreign creates many challenges.
"It's so hard, you've got to renew the visa ... every two years," Kirby says. "You have to pay so much taxes, [and] you have to employ Americans only."
On the franchisor’s end, a certain amount of discretion is required. Some franchisees in the past have used franchising simply as a pathway into America, and others don’t really understand the realities of franchising.
Jim Parker of Worldvest Properties Inc. in Florida advises franchisors, especially in the QSR sector, to look for franchisees “who understand the risk of the fast food business and have the capital to undertake such a venture.”
All in all, there are a lot of decent, highly-eligible foreign entrepreneurs just waiting for the change to open their own franchise in America. Hopefully, they’ll find the right one.