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Starting business as B-1/B-2 visa holder in California

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  • Starting business as B-1/B-2 visa holder in California

    Greetings,

    I recently came to the US with B-2 visa. I am considering starting a business here.
    Here at forum I've read that a foreigner can actually start a business but can't work at it because it is permitted by the visa status. The information is dated back to 2004 so I wonder if something has changed?
    Can a foreigner start a business in California, hire those who will run it and, for example, get back to his/her country and be only an owner of the company?

    Thanks.

  • #2
    You might want to run this by an immigration attorney to be on the safe side. However, someone may come along here with some additional information for you.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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    • #3
      A B2 is a tourist visa and is not appropriate for employment purposes. There is no blanket prohibition against foreign nationals owning businesses in the US. There are many tax and other legal implications of doing so, here and in your home country. It is not something you should attempt on your own. You should consult with an attorney well versed in these matters.
      I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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      • #4
        While that is still the rule, you need to be very careful not to do anything that would violate your current visa status. You should certainly talk to an experienced immigration attorney.

        In most cases, I think it is very hard for a person to own a small business and not be engaged in activities that might constitute "employment". It really depends on the facts. If you were living in Los Angeles and bought a car wash in San Jose and had a full time manager on site, that would be very different than owning local business where you were frequently on the premises, for example.

        You need to sit down and discuss your specific facts with someone who can apply the law to your individual situation.
        David K. Staub (www.illinoisbusinessattorney.com)
        Forum posts are not legal advice, are for informational and educational purposes only, and are not a substitute for proper consultation with legal counsel.

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        • #5
          This post is nearly a year old. And no, a SSN has nothing to do with one's ability to work or own a business in the US.
          I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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          • #6
            The post Elle is referring to was a spam post and has been removed.
            The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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