EB5 Investors Magazine | Page 10

Continued from page 7 Industry Standards or Benchmarks Some industries, like the transportation and logistics industries, for example, benefit from the availability of industry benchmarks published by independent third parties, such as an association or industry consultants. Industry benchmarks can be extremely valuable in helping to justify a given project’s projections for both costs and expenses. However, one of the challenges of using industry benchmarks is being able to explain how the EB-5 project in question will be able to attain performance levels akin to the benchmark level as a new entrant to the market. Team Industry Expertise In many cases, EB-5 projects are started by highly experienced teams who have a considerable amount of industry expertise. While in a ‘normal’, non-EB-5 business plan, this expertise could be considered sufficient justification for projections, in EB-5 this is not always the case. In the eyes of USCIS, team members who are employed (or will be employed) by the company in question have a vested interest in portraying a strong view of the viability and potential success of the business and are therefore not always accepted as a valid basis for assumptions. If one is going to rely on the expertise of members of their team to justify projections and key assumptions, the expertise of these team members should be validated with an explanation of their experience in the industry. Ideally, anyone preparing an EB-5 business plan will have had the benefit of working with many EB-5 attorneys, economists and other practitioners and as a result, will have been exposed to a wide breadth of knowledge, interpretations of the law and RFE information in order to save the headaches that may arise from missing important details. Avoiding the Compounded RFE Several professionals in the EB-5 industry have observed with some degree of consistency the phenomenon that we will refer to here as the compounded RFE (also ۛ