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Own and Run a business while on H1B

Discussion in 'Start up company issues' started by arry04, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. arry04

    arry04 Junior Member

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    I am on H1B and along with my wife (on H4) am planning to start a restaurant / gas station business.
    My relative who is a Green Card holder will be responsible for running the business on day to day basis and will be given a salary. My wife though would like to participate in the business would only work voluntarily and would not draw any salary from it.
    Citing this scenerio, I have the following questions:
    1. Is this feasible ?
    2. What level of participation can my wife do in the business ?
    3. I have learnt that a person on H1B can be a passive investor and cannot work for it ..so how does the profit / loss statement work ? Would we be eligible for the monthly profit that is made on the business or will we have to reinvest the profit back into the same business ?
    4. Would the Profit / losses shown on the tax returns impact my immigration process ?

    Thanks
     
  2. arry04

    arry04 Junior Member

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    Re: Own and Run a business while on H1B

    Would appreciate any inputs or suggestions on this post. Thanks
     
  3. Ron Gotcher

    Ron Gotcher Attorney at Law

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    Re: Own and Run a business while on H1B

    You may own the business and provide general direction. You may not work there. The arrangement you have described in comfortably within the law, with the exception of your wife "volunteering" her services. She will be providing services that would normally be done by someone earning a salary. She is not really a volunteer in that she will receive profits as a community property owner of the business - profits that will be higher because you don't have to pay a salary to the person who will do her job.
     
  4. arry04

    arry04 Junior Member

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    Re: Own and Run a business while on H1B

    Thanks for the reply, I understand your point.
    Say for example at the end of the year the business shows a profit of X amount, would I be entitled to receive the profit ? or how would this profit be shared ? This is something which I have not been able to understand so far. Being a passive investor am I entitled to receive the share of the profit ?

    Regards
     
  5. Roy Vargis

    Roy Vargis Super Moderator

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    Re: Own and Run a business while on H1B

    Yes, you can be a shareholder of the business and share the profits. Your wife cannot work for the business.
     
  6. arry04

    arry04 Junior Member

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    Re: Own and Run a business while on H1B

    Thanks for the reply. So, as I understand that I cannot be the signing authority (issuing paychecks, paying billis etc. ). I can just be an investor who owns the business and get the share of profit/loss at the end of the year.
     
  7. Roy Vargis

    Roy Vargis Super Moderator

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    Re: Own and Run a business while on H1B

    Thats correct. Well, you could outsource the admin work so that you are not actually performing it.
     
  8. bhimarasetty

    bhimarasetty Junior Member

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    Re: Own and Run a business while on H1B

    Ron,

    I own a business in the same lines as discussed above. Now I am going for a H1-B visa extension. Would DOS or consular officers have access to this information that is more of a data residing with IRS?Will a check on my SSN provide them with this sort of information as well?

    Your advice is much appreciated as this will be the basis for go/ no-go for visa stamping.

    Regards,

    B
     
  9. Ron Gotcher

    Ron Gotcher Attorney at Law

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    It doesn't matter whether you own a business, as long as you don't work for that business without permission.
     
  10. raj5172

    raj5172 Junior Member

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    I am H1 visa. I am planning to start Gas station Business as LLC .i dont have any partners in my business. I am planning to hire 2 employees to run my day to day business. I want to take only profits from the business. If i dont that is there is any problem for my H1 extension or for my GC? As i am only the owner i need to sign on checks for paying to vendors like that . if i do that is there is any problem
    Hi Ron,
     
  11. Ron Gotcher

    Ron Gotcher Attorney at Law

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    As long as you aren't providing services for the company, there's no problem.
     
  12. Tasneem

    Tasneem New Member

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    Hi I am on H1 b visa and am wanting to start my online jewelry business. So can I hire a person on EAD to run the business? Or do I need to employ a green card holder only?
     
  13. Ron Gotcher

    Ron Gotcher Attorney at Law

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    As long as you don't perform any work that a paid U.S. worker would normally do, you may own and operate a business on any type of visa.
     

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