Startups

CoFounder in H1b

New Gabbie
7d

Has anyone ever been a co founder of a startup on H1b?

If yes, did you need funding to get the H1b approval ?

How difficult is it to get approval as a cofounder ?

Also, how much was your equity stake ?

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  • I am a cofounder through an H1B which is filed under a entrepreneurship program affiliated to the university. The complications of filing H1B by your own company are three fold:

    1. Establishing business credibility: customer contracts, awards, revenue, business plan etc. which shows it’s a real business

    2. Paying market salary: having enough funding to pay market salary for the position for the duration of H1B or employment.

    3. Establishing employee employer relationship: since H1B is a work visa you should demonstrate employee relationship with your company. Having a minority stake, setting up a board that has ability to fire you etc. helps.
    7d5
    • New Gabbie
      OP
      For (2), does it need to be actual funding ? Or can owners pool together funds in the company account ?

      For (3), in case it is majority ownership, is there a way this can be made possible ?
      7d
    • Funding can be in the form of private investment from partners. But it should be shown in the company bank account. Based on point 1 you will be showing using that funding for operations and filing company taxes etc.

      Majority ownership is a grey area but if you create a board which can technically fire you that should work too. You can also try filing for O1.
      7d
    • New Gabbie
      OP
      Thanks for the detailed replies. On the funding amount, if there are two persons working part time 50% , will a funding of one person’s equivalent LCA wage suffice ? I would hope so. Essentially enough to pay for 1 year

      Yes majority ownership is a grey area. I know of a person who got this approved, but he said his lawyer mentioned he was lucky
      7d
    • There can be ways around it. Instead of applying for 40 hours a week try applying for 20-30 hours so based on min hourly wage you can work with less funding. At no given point of time during the employment you can skip the wagers that would have serious implications, so I am not sure if just 1 year pay would be enough for an approval of 3 year visa. This is something a lawyer might be able to answer.
      7d
    • New Gabbie
      OP
      Thanks ! Very informative
      7d
  • Oracle sunnyCEO
    Is the other cofounder GC/USC ? U can be a co-founder as employee of the company and get h1 on that company . Yes, u need funding to pay salary as per H1 rules
    7d1
    • New naduruk
      Also getting H1B with smaller companies tough?
      7d
  • New conga
    You will need to establish an employer employee relationship. Your cofounder will need to be under at will employment terms and a be minority stakeholder.
    7d1
    • New Gabbie
      OP
      Have you done this / are you aware of someone who has ?
      7d
  • Uber zuckerr
    Isn't it illegal for H1B ?
    7d1
    • New Gabbie
      OP
      Of course not , if you can show an employer employee relationship
      7d
  • Synchrony ————
    Conflict of interest. Talk to attorney. Most likely it’s not gonna work.
    7d0

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