As you can see from this: http://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/temporary-workers/e-2-treaty-investors you need to be here to "direct the investment" - you may have other options as well depending on how much you have to invest.
You certainly could invest a substantial amount in an at risk business and obtain a E-2 NIV along with your wife and kids, if any, if you are from a country which has a treaty agreement with US. E-2 gives you a long stay in U.S. so long you are able to show that you are in business and renew your NIV every two years. I don't think England is a treaty country as I recall. A consultation with an immigration attorney familiar with this process would be very helpful.
Your questions are beyond the scope of a general forum such as this and require a detailed private consultation with an experienced business immigration lawyer.
Briefly and in a nutshell:
1. The E-2 category requires "active" investment. The " raison d'être" (reason for being) of an E-2 Investor in the USA is to actively "direct and develop" (and run the everyday affairs) of the Investment business in question. ( Passive investment is only allowed for the EB-5 min. half a million 'regional center" investment model.)
2. A 50-50% investment will create a "joint venture" with "negative majority" and might end up "canibalizing" i.e. diluting the value of your brother's original investment and might create difficulties for him to renew/extend his own E-2.
3. If you are qualified, brother could hire you as an employee of the E-2 registered business, either in the "executive/managerial" category (the right kind of business degree is needed) OR in the "skilled worker" of an E-2 Investor category (min. 2 years worth of experience in the job offered needed, cannot be a job position which will "compete" with US workers.
For more information and custom-tailored advice, consult with an experienced lawyer. Most of us use Skype for our overseas consultations.
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The UK has an E2 agreement and yes, you have to develop and direct the investment as 50% owner. Can't just be passive. You could look into the EB5 category, and make a larger investment in your brother's business. Talk to an attorney that knows these visas, its a specialty within a specialty.
Due to the nature of this forum, Attorney Maria J. Marty does not have all the information required to provide legal advice. Accordingly, her responses on Avvo are intended as general and not legal advice.
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