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Starting a business by a H1B Visa holder

    • 1 posts
    January 11, 2008 6:37 AM EST

    Hi Everyone,

    I am in the US since last 3 years on an H1 with my GC process underway (just recieved the Labor approval). From the discussions in the forum, I understand that I can start a LLC under my name. I can also hire a US citizen / GC holder as a manager

    However,

    a). Would the LLC cause any issues with the GC Process – considering the fact that profits of the LLC are passed through to the owners and would reflect on my IRS returns? On an H1, I am only suppose to have active income from my employer (who sponsored my H1)

    b). Would treating the profits from the LLC as C-Corp (by filing IRS Form 8832) alleviate the above issue?

    amishbhavsar1/11/2008 12:43 PM
    • 68 posts
    June 6, 2007 11:43 AM EDT
    There is also another consideration based on my own experience...you can start a company, you can also have that company sponsor you for an H1B and even the green card which means you will be able to work for the company.  BUT the company needs to be real...i.e. funded, customers, revenue, a legal presence etc etc etc...this is not a loophole and the powers that be really do check it out to ensure the company is legitimate IF it sponsors you for the H1B.  If the company does well, generates revenues and creates jobs, this can give you the ability to apply for an expedited greencard...i.e. months versus lots of months...AGAIN, this is my personal experience a few years ago, chat to a lawyer to get the latest scoop.  Good luck!

    ---
    Andrew PS - Here's a free report on creating your startup success. Free report

    • 1 posts
    August 1, 2007 1:52 AM EDT

    chinni,

      My case could be interesting and motivating to you.

      Theory: US wel-come employement creation. If you demonstrate your intention well. There is no harm, even legally. Infact you will be given Red-Carpet wel-come.

       I started my own company in 2001 in India. I got a client in US in 2004. Needed to travel to US in Aug-2004. Only option I had was travel on H1B with my client sponsoring H1B.  He did and I came.

      Started my company in US in 2006. Leased space etc. It is in Business legally for the last one year in US. And 6 year in India. I filed tax - So nor IRS issue.

      Last week I got my L1A - So no USCIS issue. I supported and submitted all my documents with my intention to do business in US.

     Offcourse: when you start a company in US, you are not authorized to take salary and be active in business. However, you can do with help of GC holder/Citizen. (As an entrepreanure you need to have this capabilities :)).

     go with "there are no barriers, only bridges".

    -Chetan

    • 2 posts
    November 4, 2007 12:11 PM EST

    Thanks a lot for information, After your answers I have done research about C-corp. I am green card holder and my future business partner is H1B. He is planning to stay as passive investor in our start up. I have question, if anyone can reply to this will be great h elp.

    Can he get tax benefits on whatever expenses he make to run company, like flying, foods, entertainment ?

     

    • 2 posts
    November 5, 2007 12:21 PM EST
    thanks a lot johnqh.
    • 2 posts
    January 8, 2008 3:26 AM EST
    Hello Everyone,

    I have a question which I have not seen addressed by anyone. I am on H1-B Visa and work for a company in US. I understand that I can only open a company here but cannot work for it since I am already working for the company which has sponsored my H1-B.

    I don`t want to involve any Citizen or Green Card holder in my company. I want to do it all by myself and my brothers who reside in India. So now if I want to open a company, may be a C Corportation or a LLC, can I do this legally. I want to have me and my brother (who is not a US Citizen or a Green Card Holder but is an Indian Citizen) to run the company. I can be a sleeping partner, who is not working at all for the company and all the work is done by my brother who is the partner in the company I formed. Is that legal? Can I hire a person to work for my company, is that legal?

    Further can I share the profit or loss for the company? If I make profit for the company, I intend to pay my taxes to the IRS and if I have a loss, I would want to write-off my losses too.

    Thank you for your help!
    Regards,
    Geetika

    • 2 posts
    January 8, 2008 4:01 PM EST
    Hello Robertj,

    Thank you for your reply. But it was not really helpful. Seems as if you are trying to market your product here at the forum.

    Thanks,
    -Geetika

    • 1 posts
    August 12, 2007 9:08 AM EDT

    Hi Mani,

    Did you get any reply ? Your questions are valid. I am also looking for answers

    -Pranav

     

    • 11 posts
    June 27, 2006 9:46 AM EDT
    Hi Chinni,

    The only type of business you (as a non-US resident) can incorporate in the US, is a C corporation. That allows you to incorporate a company in any state of the US, but you need to have a foreign address. So incoporation is possible, but read on...

    Having said that, I`m not sure if the IRS would release a ITIL for your purpose if you currently hold a H1B visa, the reason being that the W7 form (which you must use to receive the ITIL, inorder to receive the Federal tax number), specifically says that the person must not be affiliated or resident in the US. Your status is a little odd (not sure if you count as alien resident or not), so the best would be if you either go to www.irs.gov and look for the answer, or just call them up on their customer service phone lines.

    Be aware, I`m a layman when it comes to this, so this information might be totally wrong.

    Have fun,
    George.

    ---
    George André www.codeness.com Attention to details

    • 1 posts
    June 4, 2007 6:28 PM EDT
    paul2145r , please post what you know. I`m very interested in this topic, especially if my wife, who`s on H4, can participate as well.
    • 1 posts
    November 5, 2007 4:02 PM EST

    Thanks for the information,

    I need an additional information to the last post. I have a similar situation. I am a green card. My friend in H1B.. We are starting C corp which means he will be a passive investor. Now he works for a company and earns income from that company (say 80000). Now if say he invests 10000$ in the company can he get tax benefits for that 10000$?

    • 14 posts
    December 11, 2011 4:15 AM EST

    If you are working currently in US on a H1-B visa, You CAN start a business (a C corp) just like any other, as long as YOU DO NOT work for that company. You can only work for the company that sponsored your H1B and only the kind of work specified in the petition. There is no deviation of any kind to this rule.

    ---
    How to Get Rid of Sore Throat

    • 1 posts
    July 30, 2012 9:13 PM EDT

    Hi all, 

    here is my question :)

    I am coming with H1B visa soon, I'll be working in Dallas. 

    I'll be working only 3 days a week. Here at home, besides my work, I have a photostudio, which I run on weekends and usually I shoot rockconcerts in the evening after work. So I was thinking - is it possible on H1B visa, to open a small company and work in it as a photographer (which is totally different from the job I'll be doing for the sponsor company). And my husband will come with an H4 visa I think, can I appoint him as a CEO? Or if I can't open a company and work for it, can I work as a freelance photographer and where do I register that, because I'll have to pay taxes?

     

    Thank you!

    • 1 posts
    November 7, 2009 2:59 PM EST

    Hi guys,

    I'm in the exact same case as trevohay : I was on a student visa (F1), and now I'm on OPT, which is like a one year extension of the student visa, allowing me to work for any employer.

    I believe I can create a company, even a LLC and be active in it, since with an OPT I'm not bound to one company like it is the case with a H1-B.

    So my main concern is to know whether or not, once my company founded, I can sponsor myself for a H1-B.


    I'd really appreciate some help on this. And thanks for the previous answers, it was very interesting.

    • 79 posts
    November 5, 2007 8:06 AM EST
    If it is a C-corp, he will get reimbursed by the company on those expenses.
    • 1 posts
    May 14, 2008 2:20 PM EDT
    Hi Chinni,
     
    I have plans to start a consulting business too and currently I am on H1. I know that I can start a C Corp but how do I get paid for the profits that my company would make? How do I equally share the profits and the losses? will I have a say in the company or will I be just a passive investor?
     
    Can you please provide me some suggestions.
     
    Thanks
    • 1 posts
    August 6, 2007 5:22 PM EDT

    Hi,
    Can anybody please answer the following questions. I really appreciate your help and time in advance.

    1) I know that we can start a company on H1b but I have to hire some body to work for the company. In this case how can I pay her/him salary as I cannot sign the paychecks.

    2) Can I keep any restrictions(in issuing checks) on the person I hired?

    3) As I am planning to start a consulting  company can I sign the NDA,contracts,invoices..etc?

    Thanks & Regards

    Mani

     

    • 2 posts
    April 18, 2007 7:57 AM EDT

    Hi,

    I`m also having the same question. Can H1B holder start up a business..
    If so what are the formalities of the same

    Would help if someone provides me pointer on the above mentioned.

    Thanks
    Mala

    • 2 posts
    April 19, 2007 10:21 AM EDT

    Thanks Murali..This literally helped a lot..

    Mala

     

     

    • 1 posts
    September 14, 2007 7:21 AM EDT

    Hello All,

    I am also in the process of starting up a new solutions & Consulting firm. I am working on H1 B visa for a different company. I have the same questions as Mani and Pranav above. Some one please advice.

    Thanks,

    Jandy

    • 1 posts
    April 11, 2013 2:08 PM EDT

    Hi I had similar question. Im on H4. Can I sell handmade products online?My husband is on H1. If I consider that h1 holders can start business. Then the income that comes from online selling, how can it be handled? Please need urgent help.

    • 1 posts
    May 13, 2008 8:43 PM EDT
    Hi, I am in the same situation.  I am an H1B holder and my partner is green card holder.  I don`t understand why we can only start a C corporate?  Why can`t we start an LLC in which I can just be an passive owner?  LLC is more tax favorable to us.  Thanks for any help on this topic!
     
     
    Hi All,

    If you are working currently in US on a H1-B visa, You CAN start a business (a C corp) just like any other, as long as YOU DO NOT work for that company. You can only work for the company that sponsored your H1B and only the kind of work specified in the petition. There is no deviation of any kind to this rule.

    However, you can establish a company and appoint a director or CEO to run your business. For someone who is just starting the Entrepreneurial dream, it is a serious obstacle. But, the positive side of it is you don`t have to kill your dreams or delay. You `can` participate in some restricted activities of the business, in the role of investor, but certainly not of executive nature.

    Many Entrepreneurs partner with Permanent Residents and/or citizens to start their businesses. They remain as passive investors in the business, but they can own everything (if desired) about the business and leave all the management to the rest of the team.

    So if you have a dream and you are serious about it, talk to an attorney to get started. Clarity and a trusted Legal partner are very important to realize the dream of entrepreneurship. I agree it is very expensive to consult a good attorney, but trust me, you will never have enough money to buy  peace of mind.

    Hope this helps,
    Wish you all the best.
    Murali 
    • 3 posts
    June 19, 2006 5:26 AM EDT

    Hi,

    This has been a burning question for a while. Appreciate any information or directions in this regard.

    Is it possible for a person who is currently working on H1B visa in USA to start a business on his own? On searching for this topic, I found different answers on various forums, some say it is quite possible to start and run a business, while some warn that it is not possible.

    Can a person who is currently on H1B, add Google Adsense to his blog and make some additional income?

    Thank you verymuch in advance for any answers or directions on this topic.

    • 3 posts
    June 27, 2006 3:39 PM EDT

    Hi George,

    Thanks for your inputs. I have been working in USA for almost 3 years, and as far as I know I would be an alien resident, till green card (lawful permanent residency) is issued.

    I am planning to talk to an Immigration attorney to get more clarity on my options to start a business while still working on my H1 at another company.

    Thanks,

    Murali

    • 3 posts
    April 18, 2007 5:48 PM EDT
    Hi All,

    If you are working currently in US on a H1-B visa, You CAN start a business (a C corp) just like any other, as long as YOU DO NOT work for that company. You can only work for the company that sponsored your H1B and only the kind of work specified in the petition. There is no deviation of any kind to this rule.

    However, you can establish a company and appoint a director or CEO to run your business. For someone who is just starting the Entrepreneurial dream, it is a serious obstacle. But, the positive side of it is you don`t have to kill your dreams or delay. You `can` participate in some restricted activities of the business, in the role of investor, but certainly not of executive nature.

    Many Entrepreneurs partner with Permanent Residents and/or citizens to start their businesses. They remain as passive investors in the business, but they can own everything (if desired) about the business and leave all the management to the rest of the team.

    So if you have a dream and you are serious about it, talk to an attorney to get started. Clarity and a trusted Legal partner are very important to realize the dream of entrepreneurship. I agree it is very expensive to consult a good attorney, but trust me, you will never have enough money to buy  peace of mind.

    Hope this helps,
    Wish you all the best.
    Murali 
    chinni2007-4-18 22:50:3