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I'm on H-1B visa. Can I start my own business in the States?

Chicago, IL |

I'm on H-1B visa. Can I start my own business in the States while I'm working for a company?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Only as a passive investor. While on H-1B you can only work for the H-1B employer. You cannot work, whether paid or unpaid, for any other employer including yourself.

    J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.


  2. You can start your business but cannot work at it unless you qualify for an investor visa.


  3. Anyone can own a business in the United States. The question is whether
    you can work for that business. If you intend to be gainfully employed
    by your new business while continuing to be employed by your current
    employer then you will need a concurrent H-1B in order to work for your
    new company.

    ** PLEASE NOTE OUR NEW ADDRESS EFFECTIVE 10/29/2012:

    While this answer is provided by a Florida Bar Certified Expert in Immigration and Nationality Law, it is for general information purposes only and an attorney/client relationship is neither intended nor created. You should seek out qualified counsel to review your case and provide you with advice specific to your situation. Call +1-561-478-5353 to schedule a consultation.


  4. You can start the business as a passive investor. In the future if your company gains momentum and generates sufficient revenue you can have your company petition your h1b.

    Dhenu Savla, Esq.
    SwagatUSA, LLC
    www.swagatusa.com/ attorney

    This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not meant to be relied upon as legal advice.

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