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Start-Up Act 2.0 Explained By The Senators Who Introduced It

The Wichita Eagle, newspaper published an article written by the four Senators who introduced the Start-Up Act 2.0.  The bill introduces some important immigration measures to help entrepreneurs get visas in the US.  Specifically, the bill introduces a STEM visa which will allow STEM graduates to stay in the US and start their own companies and thereby create jobs. It will allow an entrepreneur visa.  In addition, it will incorporate some of the issues tackled in HR 3o12 that eliminated per-country caps for employment-based immigration.  Watson Immigration Law welcomes the new bill and is hopeful that we may get surprised even in an election year. Below is a copy of the text for the newspaper and above is a link.

Jump-start economy- Published Sunday, May 27, 2012, at 12 a.m.

The following commentary was written by Sens. Jerry Moran, R-Kan; Mark Warner, D-Va.; Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; and Chris Coons, D-Del.:

Conventional wisdom says that Congress does little during an election year. But Americans are eager to see Congress address our country’s challenges – most important, the economy and job creation.

That’s why we introduced bipartisan legislation, Startup Act 2.0, last week to help jump-start the economy through the creation and growth of new businesses.

Companies less than five years old have created nearly all net new U.S. jobs for almost three decades, according to Kauffman Foundation research, averaging roughly 3 million each year. Passing the JOBS Act in March was good news for the young companies now creating jobs. But entrepreneurs face additional challenges beyond access to capital. Startup Act 2.0 picks up where the JOBS Act left off by helping entrepreneurs to succeed.

Vital to any new business are the talented individuals who turn ideas into reality – including foreign-born entrepreneurs. More than a quarter of technology and engineering companies created in the U.S. between 1995 and 2005 had at least one key founder who was foreign-born, according to researchers at Duke University and at the University of California at Berkeley. Yet current immigration policies have hurt U.S. efforts to compete in the global contest for entrepreneurial talent.

Startup Act 2.0 creates an Entrepreneur’s Visa for legal immigrants so they can remain in the United States, where their talent and ideas can fuel growth and create American jobs. It also creates a new STEM visa so that U.S.-educated foreign students who graduate with a master’s degree or a doctorate in science, technology, engineering or mathematics can receive a green card and stay in this country, launch businesses and create jobs.

Our plan also eliminates the per-country caps for employment-based immigrant visas – which hinder U.S. employers from recruiting the top-tier talent they need to succeed. U.S. future economic competitiveness depends on our winning the global battle for talent.

Another significant challenge facing startups is gaining access to enough capital to get off the ground. Our plan will make permanent the exemption of capital gains taxes on the sale of certain small-business stock held for at least five years – so investors can provide financial stability at a critical juncture of firm growth. Our plan also creates a targeted research-and-development tax credit for young startups less than five years old and with less than $5 million in annual receipts.

Startup Act 2.0 also seeks to move taxpayer-funded university research more quickly to the marketplace, where it can propel economic growth. U.S. universities have historically been responsible for groundbreaking discoveries, spawning new industries and creating countless jobs.

Another obstacle facing new businesses is the expense and time required to comply with government regulations. Our bill requires all government agencies to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of all proposed “major rules” with an economic impact of $100 million or more.

Finally, Startup Act 2.0 will direct the U.S. Commerce Department to assess state and local policies that aid in the development of new businesses.

In the past 16 months, six countries have implemented new policies to encourage more entrepreneurship, innovation and job creation within their borders. The U.S. cannot afford to turn a blind eye to our competitors or use the coming elections as an excuse to delay action on an issue so critical to our economic future.

Many of these bipartisan ideas are supported by President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. We look forward to working with the president and our colleagues to prove that conventional wisdom about Washington, D.C., won’t hold true this year.