{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Has anyone started a company on an H1b?", "post_id": "592e240022d5c20010ba84ac", "reply_count": 13, "vote_count": 7, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting" }

Has anyone started a company on an H1b?

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You can register a LLC. You cannot pay yourself a salary. You can be a partner of that LLC, and end of financial year you can take partner distributions.

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You cannot draw a salary - no W-2 can be associated with your name. The reason being the H-1B your are on currently will be associated with your current employer (e.g - PWC)

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But can you spend time working on it? Say I set up a pop up restaurant/stall that only opens on weekends, and set it up as an LLC. Then say I don't hire any employees, but spend time in the stall myself on weekends without drawing a salary. But since I'm the only partner, I take the partner distribution at the end of the year. Is that legal?

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A foreign national lawyer from back in my area did that (granted on a TN visa, not an H-1B but I think the rules are similar) and recently got deported. http://www.cbs7.com/content/news/First-on-CBS7-West-Texas-Attorney-Rahul-Malhotra-to-be-deported-421212013.html

No. Because you cannot. It's not legal. But let us know if you do and don't get deported!

So is there a way for a foreigner to start a company in the US? What about students?

I thought you can start a company but you cannot work for your firm!!!.. please correct me if I am wrong!!!..

Can you be majority/sole shareholder? Or do you need an American partner

You don't need to have an American partner.

Pwc1 is correct. You can start a company on H1, just not work it.

Can you be "involved" with the work or can you not contribute (not taking a salary). As in -- you can't run it without hiring people, right?

Second scenario: say I have an employee for the weekdays but spend time myself on weekends

Hopefully you are putting up your stall in a location where your LCA is tied to - that a tricky situation, since LCAs are employer dependent. Second option is more doable legally for the type of business you have mentioned. You can have have someone helping you - not necessarily an true employee (W-2), but he can be a contractor on 1099

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