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Can H1B or H4 Open A Business In USA?

by JC, published: 2013-02-17 12:32 viewed: 3949 times
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Can H1 or H4 foreigner visa status open a business in USA? Below are my understanding about this.

It is OK to open a business under LLC or C corp., but not S corp. S corp is only for U.S. citizens. For visa holders, people recommend the C corp.

You are not allowed to work for your own company unless you sponsor your own H1B.

You can take only the dividends from the company and file taxes properly.

You need to hire people to work for the company. You make the decisions for your company at the board meetings.

You can't have benefits of health insurance for example unless you have an H1B sponsored by your company.
Comments (4)
1. Krish 2013-02-14 06:54
It is incorrect to say that S-Corp can be owned only by Citizens. S-Corp owner need to be Citizen or Resident Alien. Per IRS, H1 holders are Resident Alien (see Substantial Presence Test).
2. JC 2013-02-15 21:18
@Krish,

I guess you are correct. Permanent resident holding a green card can become a shareholder or officer in an S corporation.

The other thing I learned is that, generally speaking, for Federal tax purposes, S corporations are not taxed at the corporate level. Instead, the income flows through to the individual shareholders who are then taxed on the income under the individual income tax. Thus, the Federal S corporation tax treatment eliminates the double taxation of income for most income earned by S corporations.
3. Krish 2013-02-17 11:06
@jc. What you stated is again partial fact. True Permanent resident holding a green card can become a shareholder of S-Corp but it is also True that Non-Permanent Resident BUT Resident Alien can be shareholder of S-Corp.

The key here is, ANY Resident Alien can be shareholder of S-Corp. Tax regulations does not differentiate between Permanent Residents (Green Card holder) and Visa holder Resident Alien (who passes substantial presence test).
4. JC 2013-02-17 12:32
@Krish,
If H-1B visa holder can meet the substantial presence test, yes, you are correct that he/she is eligible for registering S-Corp.
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