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Hi Peter,

Thanks for taking the time out to answer questions!

I am from India and am in US on H1B with gc process underway in EB2 category. I (along with a fellow friend) have been thinking of doing something on our own but are always discouraged by the immigration process. If we were to start something on our own, what are our options? H1b where you have a majority stake seems to not be an option. Is there an alternate way to do this?

I don't seem to satisfy requirements for O1.

An H-1B might still be an option. Ownership is not a bar unless it rises to a controlling interest.

Thanks for the answer! A followup question:

So would something like this work?

Owner 1 (<50% ownership, say 49%) on H1b

Owner 2 (<50% ownership, say 49%) on H1b

Investor 1,2 (>0% ownership, say 2%)

(I understand that things vary from case to case but trying to get general idea here)

That's the general idea but USCIS also will want to see a board of directors that neither you nor your co-founder can control so if the two of you are on the board, there needs to be a third board member at a minimum.

Then it is a non-starter, right? If you are starting a company, then you do have controlling stake.

Just needs to be <50%

yeah, this is my line of thought as well. But it gets complicated when there are two co-founds in the same boat :)

[Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. I am especially not your lawyer, or anyone else's. This is not legal advise. I recommend anyone in this situation retain an attorney and ask them for legal advise on this subject.]

Get an angel check. One share in a billion leaves neither cofounder with a controlling interest.

For what it's worth, I recommend giving more like 2% for a sole angel, assuming their contribution runs little further than satisfying this control problem. But technically speaking, whatever somebody agrees to should solve the control problem.

not if there are multiple co-founders and possibly some investors involved.

The fact that you are suggesting this itself is a joke. I would never suggest any one with a family from India on H1B to start a company.

Because failure is not an option. If then, `he` will have to find another job in 10 days or leave the country.

Failure never happens instantly. You know exactly when you are going to run out of investment or personal savings, and can plan accordingly.

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