Hi, everyone! My name is Ben Frear, and I’m an immigration lawyer for entrepreneurs. Recently, I’ve had a number of clients and prospective clients ask me about the possibility of running several types of businesses on the E2 Visa. Naturally, their first question is: Is this possible?

Since many of you probably have the same question, I thought I’d address it in this blog post.

E2 Visa: Running Multiple Businesses

To answer the question, yes, you can run multiple businesses on an E2 Visa. However, you have to be careful about how you set everything up, since an E2 investor can only work for the business entity that is printed onto their visa.

There are three common scenarios:

Scenario 1: The DBA Setup

The first scenario is the DBA setup. Here’s a common situation: a client has a US business entity and plans to operate a primary business that offers one type of service, and a DBA (Doing Business As) that offers a different type of service.

For example, I once had a client with an LLC for his cleaning business. He also registered a DBA for a home watch service that operated under a different brand name. Both of these offerings were explained in the business plan, and the US consulate was fine with this and approved his E2 Visa.

Similarly, I had a client who was launching a truck repair business while simultaneously running a used car dealership. This setup was also found to be acceptable.

In my opinion, the DBA setup is the best way to go from a purely E2 perspective (assuming that each business is explained in the initial application). However, whether it is a wise business decision depends on your specific circumstances.

Scenario 2: The HoldCo Setup

The second possibility involves creating separate entities controlled by one holding company. Essentially, the E2 investor creates three (or more) companies, each with separate EINs and bank accounts. One company is designated as the holding company, and the others are operating companies controlled by the holdco which is controlled by the investor. The investor transfers their personal funds to the holdco, which then transfers the funds to the operating companies. These funds are then spent on everything needed to establish the operating businesses.

While I believe aligns with the regulations, it puts the investor in a bit of a legal gray zone compared to the DBA setup. Additionally, due to the complexity of this structure, the adjudicator may require additional time to decide if this is all okay. For example, I recently spoke with a gentleman who was placed in administrative processing for six months while the officer decided if the case was approvable.

Scenario 3: The Passive Investor

The third scenario involves being a passive investor. If you’re interested in making a separate investment in a business and then being completely passive in its operation, this is permissible. You just have to be careful to avoid any active work in the business. Unfortunately, “work” is not clearly defined in US immigration laws. Therefore, in this scenario, it’s best to be nowhere near the daily operations to avoid crossing the line into active work territory.


In conclusion, while it is possible to run multiple businesses on an E2 Visa, you must set everything up correctly to stay within the regulations. The DBA setup is usually the simplest and safest route, but depending on your situation, the holdco setup or passive investment might also be viable options.

Thanks for reading, and good luck with your entrepreneurial journey!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. For specific legal advice related to your situation, please consult with a qualified immigration attorney.

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Ben Frear, Esq.

Immigration Lawyer for Entrepreneurs

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