The pitfalls in starting a business with an E2 are the same as the pitfalls in starting a business without an E2 because once you get the E2, you are essentially just running a business.
Now, there are pitfalls specific to running a business on a visa such as loss of the visa upon failure of the business. That is an extra risk that a non-visa business owner does not take on. To go a little further, an E2 visa holder has permission to work in the US only for the business for which it was granted the visa. So, if the business doesn’t work out and the visa holder can no longer work for that business, he or she will lose the visa and will no longer be able to work in the US.
Another risk that an E2 visa holder takes is that the initial investment must be made before applying for the visa. So, in theory, there is a chance that an applicant could invest money in the business and then not obtain a visa to be able to then come work for the business making the investment somewhat meaningless. This risk can be pretty easily guarded against though by talking with an immigration attorney before making the investment to make sure that everything else is in line and that you will qualify for the visa.
All that said, E2 visas are usually pretty easily renewable as long as your business stays in operation. The initial visa will usually be granted for 5 years and you will have to subsequently renew it in intervals of 5 years. Again, this renewal process is usually pretty painless if you can show that your business is still in operation.
Any business venture involves risk, so protecting yourself against risk is important. For that reason, I would suggest that you speak with an immigration attorney before making a decision. An experienced immigration attorney will be able to navigate you through the process and help you avoid any pitfalls. If you are looking for an immigration lawyer to help you with your visa application, or if you just have more questions and want to chat, I invite you to check out. Our easy-to-use legal platform offers flat-fee pricing and free consultations. Good luck w/ the business!