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Business Plan Questionnaire Companion
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L-1 Business Plan Questionnaire Companion
Joorney questionnaires are specifically made to help us prepare the perfect business plan for you. We’ve provided additional explanations to help you fill out the form easily and get your custom-made professional business plan as early as possible
Foreign Company’s information

How will the Foreign Company benefit from expansion to the United States?

Benefits of the Foreign Company’s expansion to the United States:

  • Facilitate serving U.S. clients (when the foreign company already works with U.S.-based clients)
  • Access to first-hand knowledge of the new market (U.S.) and the ability to send feedback about market trends back to the foreign company
  • Having a point of sale in one of the world’s biggest economies (especially in situations when there is a U.S.-based warehouse)
  • Exploring the possibility of having certain products exported back to the foreign market which will bring the foreign company a USA-made product to sell.

Why should the Beneficiary be transferred to the U.S. company?

Examples for the existing company transfers:

  • To spearhead the launch of new product/business lines
  • To establish and lead a new department (marketing, production, import/export)
  • To negotiate processes and partnership terms on a daily basis
  • To establish a manufacturing plant (work on finding a location, equipment sourcing, staff supervising)

Examples for the new company transfers:

  • To have the skilled individual investigate the market and get in touch with prospective clients
  • To oversee team formation (recruitment and other HR activities)
  • To oversee logistics processes, such as import/export of products/services
  • To define key sales and marketing strategies

How will the Foreign company and the U.S. company cooperate?

Please see the examples below:

  • There is an import/export relationship (e.g. one company will import products/services from the other)
  • Supporting certain tasks/duties in the newly-established U.S. company (for instance, the foreign company’s marketing team will support the U.S. marketing department by taking over certain tasks)
  • Financial support (the foreign company is ready to commit additional funds to finance a certain activity in the U.S. – such as launching a new product, new marketing strategies, attending trade shows, etc.)
  • Outsourcing production and product design
US Company’s information

Principal Visa Applicant Information: Who is the principal visa applicant?

This is the main or primary applicant. We do not include the spouse, children, or other family in the business plan.

What is a d/b/a name?

D/b/a stands for ‘doing business as’. This is an assumed, trade, or fictitious name that allows you to do business under a different name than how your business is legally registered. In most states and locales, this name must be officially registered.

Example: Let’s say you choose to establish a company that provides cooking classes. The officially registered name of the business is John Doe’s Cooking Institute. You decide you also want to offer catering but want a name that better represents these services. You may choose to register a d/b/a name of John Doe’s Catering.

What is the differentiation between Affiliate/Affiliate vs Parent/Subsidiary?

A parent company is a legal entity that has controlling ownership in other companies which are called subsidiaries. For example, if a foreign pharmaceutical company owned 70% of a food distribution company in the U.S. and controlled company operations, this would constitute a qualifying relationship for L-1 purposes. One thing that this scenario also illustrates is that the company abroad and the U.S. company do not need to be engaged in the same line of work for a qualifying relationship to exist.

Subsidiary: A subsidiary is a legal entity that is directly or indirectly owned and controlled by another legal entity, called a parent. Usually for there to be a parent-subsidiary relationship, at least 50% of the subsidiary must be owned by the parent company and controlled by the parent, or owned 50% in a joint venture with one other company where they have equal control.

Branch: A branch refers to an office of a company that is in a different location than other operating divisions of the company. A branch is not a separate business entity, so if a foreign corporation wanted to open a branch in the U.S, they would not have to incorporate a U.S. entity, although the foreign company would need to register in the state where the branch office will operate.

Affiliate: Companies are affiliates if they are owned and controlled by the same parent company or by the same individual or group of individuals. When a group of individuals owns the companies, they are considered affiliates if, within the group, each person owns and controls about the same proportion of each company. For example, if four friends jointly owned Company A, with each person owning 25%, and jointly owned Company B, with each person owning 25%, these two companies would be affiliates.

Why do you as the applicant need to know, ‘Is the company operating’?

This enables us to present your business accurately. It determines whether we use future or present tense when writing the business plan.

How do I know if my business is considered operational?

Typically, your business is operating if you have registered the company and are making sales.

U.S. Company’s Business Activities

Which type of business is the company?

In many cases, a business will participate in multiple activities. For example, an online business selling a physical product will also be a wholesaler or retailer. Please make sure to read through each description and choose all the types of activities that apply to the business in the questionnaire.

Please describe the U.S. Company’s business
In order to write a successful business plan, we must be able to describe in detail how the business will function and operate.

What do you really need to know about my business?

We need to know how the business will be managed, how your products/services will be created or produced, and other processes that are essential to running your business and serving your clients, and of course how you will sell your product and services to clients. Review these samples for a better understanding:

Food Wholesale >  View Example

Cosmetics Retail > View Example

Restaurant > View Example

Bar & Restaurant > View Example

Hedge Fund > View Example

Trucking > View Example

Please list your suppliers and what they supply to the business

Who are my suppliers?

Suppliers are those who will provide you with the essential products and services you will need to produce your product(s) or service(s) on an ongoing basis. Here are a couple examples of some of the types of suppliers that are likely to be identified for various business types:

Restaurant – Sysco (food), Sam’s Club (food and supplies), Restaurant Depot (equipment)
Real Estate – Home Depot (building supplies), Property Management Inc. (property management services)
Consulting – Apple (computers), HubSpot (CRM/marketing software service provider), Switchfast (IT service provider)
Shoe Wholesaler – Prada, Nike, Reebok

Here are few real examples:

Vehicle Care Services > View Example

Furniture Wholesaler > View Example

Tobacco Retailer > View Example

U.S. Company’s Products/Services
The key factor in determining your financial projections and viability of your business is understanding your revenue model and direct costs. In other words, we need to understand how your business will make money.

How should I fill out the table?

Products/Services – What are you selling? How do you make money? In many cases this is straightforward but for some businesses it may not be. This should be a list of the most prominent/common products/services you will offer.

Unit of Measurement – Imagine you’re generating an invoice for a client. Will you charge per hour, per project, per item, per pound? That should be your unit of measure to use here. This may be different for the different product(s)/service(s) you provide.

Raw Materials Cost OR Purchase Price – For each product/service you list, tell us how much you spend specifically to buy or produce one unit (excluding the personnel costs).

Sales Price – How much will you charge your clients for one unit of your products/services?

Here are examples of how you should – and should not – fill out this section.


Do This

View Example 1

View Example 2

View Example 3

View Example 4

View Example 5


Don’t Do This

View Example 1

View Example 2

View Example 3


I have a lot of products, do you want all of them?

No. In the case of many products, we recommend you group products into categories and use the average cost and average selling price of the products in that category. See example below:


Don’t Do This

View Example 1

View Example 2


Do This

View Example 1


What if my business is project based?

This is a very common question. If you provide services on a per project basis and the project fee will vary, use an average price and cost of a singular project. If you have a lot of different types of projects, include the ones that are most popular and will make up the majority of your sales. Make sure to think about the future as well and include projects you plan to offer in future years.

It may also be advantageous – at least for the purpose of the business plan – to create packages to represent different likely combinations of your products/services. Please also inform us of how many projects you expect to have in one year or per month. Here are some examples:

View Example 1

View Example 2

View Example 3

U.S. Company’s target areas
In order to be as precise and realistic as possible in the business plan, we must know where you plan to sell your products and services. This will have an impact on various aspects of your business plan.

What if I don’t know my target area yet?

While you may not know your future target areas, start by telling us where you will first offer your products/services? Are you a retail business that will only have one store in a specific city in Year 1? Do you plan to open additional stores in other cities in Year 2 and beyond? If you’re a service provider, you may want to focus on offering your services only to clients in the U.S. to start with plans to expand into other countries in future years.

U.S. Company’s target clients

What if I don't have target clients identified yet?

That’s okay that you don’t have your detailed strategy worked out yet, but who do you think are most likely to buy your products/services generally? This should be a description of whoever you instinctively believe will be most likely to buy your products. Is it people in a certain age range, gender, or with specific interests or hobbies? Are you selling to businesses? Will you sell to a specific company or certain types of companies? Anything you can tell us about your most likely customers, whether they are consumers or businesses will be very helpful.

U.S. Company’s competitors

Don’t you (Joorney) research competitors?

Although we will research and identify likely competitors as part of our market analysis, it is very helpful for us to know if you have specific competitors you have identified and want to be compared to. Providing at least one helps us better understand how you envision your business.

Competitive advantages
This section demonstrates to immigration officers that you have done your research, have a viable plan to attract clients, and that your business is likely to succeed. It is imperative this is filled out with careful consideration and listing unique points of how you will differ from your competitors.

How do I identify my competitive advantage if I’m unsure?

You should approach this question by asking yourself what is going to make you better at running your business than other people? Besides price, why are people more likely to purchase from you? How do you intend to stand out from your competitors? Explain how you are different or unique while ideally staying away from price.

U.S. Company’s Year 1 Development Plan

U.S. Company’s Year 1 Development Plan

It is important to show the company’s development plan to address the One Year Requirement. In the following section please be as detailed as possible about the company’s activities on a month-to-month basis. Example of activities:

  • Finding a suitable place to rent out an office, posting job ads with vacant positions, starting the recruitment process, having the initial meeting with U.S. clients, establishing pricing strategies, printing catalogs, etc.
  • Analyzing the sales process to identify shortcomings and find a way of improving it by defining guidelines for the upcoming period
  • Working on KPIs and financial statements to establish clear goals regarding the costs of optimization and sales growth
  • Discussing new systems for process quality control in order to eliminate potential customer complaints, improve order processing times, and increase efficiency
  • Arranging meetings with the Foreign company to discuss the current condition, financial stability, market presence, and room for potential improvements

For all activities, it is advisable to show the reason behind performing them.

Personnel Plan - In-house Employees

Personnel (three-layer structure)

In order to meet the requirement of not having the Beneficiary in charge of the company’s day-to-day duties, please note that it is recommended to have a three-layer personnel structure in Year 1 (the Beneficiary, the managerial level below the beneficiary, and the operations staff below the managerial level). It would be great to consult with the immigration attorney on this point in order to ensure that the personnel plan is aligned with the overall strategy that has been prepared for the case.

Personnel Plan - Applicant

Do I need to put a salary as the applicant?

In most (not all) of our business plans, we include a salary for the applicant because we need to show that you meet the requirement of having the necessary funds to support yourself and your family in the U.S. as a direct result of what you earn from the business. In addition to including a fixed salary, we can also show that you will be able to support yourself based on the expected dividends that you will receive from the net profit that the company generates. However, these dividends must equal or exceed an average salary.

We will check – or ask you to consult – with your immigration attorney to ensure that we are consistent with their strategy.

Personnel Plan - Already-Hired
Make sure to give us accurate information that is the same as what you have (or will) provide to your attorney. This information must match between the business plan and other documents in your application.

What do you need here?

Please include full name, position title, description of the employee’s duties, current salary, and the way your employees are paid ensuring the information matches exactly what appears in the employment documents.

Personnel Plan - Employees to be Hired
Creating American jobs and demonstrating realistic growth can be very advantageous for your application. Further, in order to create a 5-year projection, we need a 5-year hiring plan.

What if I don’t know my future hiring plans yet?

Imagine how you picture the growth of your company for the next 5 years and be realistic and sensible. It’s important to show at least some growth and that is difficult if you plan to do everything alone. Consider what roles or functions you would need to hand off to someone else to be able to grow, or simply which tasks you prefer the least.

What if I don't know the salary I'm going to pay my future employees?

Salaries are very important as they must be sensible for the U.S. market. If you are unsure, you can search occupations and find average US salaries here

If you have an estimate in mind or know what you’d like to pay them, include that. If it is too low, we will ask you if we can increase to the lower end of the average salary for similar positions in the same industry.

If you want us to advise on salary, please make that note in the questionnaire, do not leave the section blank

Personnel Plan - Independent Contractors to be Hired

What is the difference between an employee and a contractor?

Employees are part-time or full-time workers, likely to be long-term, that are on your payroll and for which you pay payroll taxes. A contractor is an individual or company that is outside of your organization that is usually paid for a specific task or function.

Business Expenses

What should be included in the business expenses section?

As part of this section, you should describe the recurring costs and expenses that your company will incur for running your business after your visa is granted. By doing so, we can complete your business expenses and demonstrate that you have carefully considered the future cost of

Investment in the U.S. from abroad

In this part, we want to obtain two main types of information:

Total (capital) investment – referring to the investment amount to be deposited to the U.S. company account in order to establish operations in the U.S. (in case of a new company) or investment deposited to finance a certain activity (in case of an existing company). In the case of an existing company, we usually include the initial investment as well (made at the beginning of the operations).

Source of (capital) investment – we need to respond to the question “Where are the funds coming from?” This can include some of the following options: personal funds of the beneficiary or beneficiaries (in case there is more than one beneficiary), corporate funds of the foreign company (in case the foreign company, as a legal entity, is investing corporate funds in the U.S. company) or both options combined (Beneficiary + foreign company).

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