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Please define been a "silent partner" in an LLC as a G-4 visa holder and the types of roles one can take in an LLC

Arlington, VA |
Filed under: Starting an LLC Tax law

Me and my friend, both G-4 visa principal holders (employees of int'l organization), would like to start a business. Both of us want to keep our G-4 status and thus keep our full time jobs.

We understand that as G-4 visa holders we can invest in any company. We also understand that we'de have to be "silent partners".

1) Can you please define "silent partner"? What types of activities can we conduct without jeopardizing our G-4 status? How active can we be in managing this business?

2) Can the two of us, and only us two, form an LLC? (thus, no US Citizen or Permanent Resident in this LLC)?

3) Is an LLC/Partnership the best scheme you would recommend given these restrictions?

4) What types of roles can we take? (president, VP, treasurer, secretary...)

5) What about taxes?

Thank you

Attorney Answers 1



I believe what you are referring to is considered "passive income." This means that you can own shares or units of interest in an LLC, but cannot be an employee or active member of the company. So taking on a role as officer is likley going to be very problematic. You would be prohibited from managing or operating the business. For example, not being allowed to sign contracts.

While you can certainly create the entity and own it even though all owners are foreign residents, by virtue of being an owner does not entitle you to work, reside in or enter the US.

I think you should first discuss the limits of what you can do with an immigration attorney ( I have a referral for you if you like) then contact a business lawyer like myself to discuss the best entity options.

Most of us here, including myself, offer a free phone consult.

Best regards,
Natoli-Lapin, LLC
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