You can start your own company?
The OPT program is basically an extension of F-1 student visa status, and if you are unemployed for more than 90 days during the allowed one-year period, the OPT will automatically end, so it will no longer be possible to maintain your F-1 status. Therefore, it is most important to find an employer who can work stably during the OPT period. Many international students are having a hard time finding a job in the U.S. due to the difficulties of many businesses during the last two years of COVID-19 and the current economic downturn.
As we explained in the previous column, the USCIS recognizes various types of work such as payment, multiple employees, short-term multiple employees, work for high, self-employed business owner, employment through an agency, and unpaid employment as conforming to OPT. If you have been approved for OPT but are stomping your feet because you couldn’t find a suitable job, you can find a way to start a corporation yourself.
There are many ways to start a company in the United States. The most representative forms of corporation include Sol Proprietary, Partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), and Corporation. International students who have just obtained their degrees will start with small capital as individuals, so they tend to consider LLC suitable for start-up companies. LLC owners, called “Member,” are not held personally liable for the company’s debts, unlike corporation. In addition, it is relatively less burdensome in terms of form and management because it is operated only by LLC members’ decisions without the need for a formal management structure such as the formation and holding of a board of directors like corporation. In addition, unlike corporation, the income of the member is separated from the income of the company, so there is no separate tax on the profits of the LLC company, and you only have to pay for the personal income of each member.
Even if a company is established as LLC, it is possible to process tax reports by selecting the C-corporation form under the tax law. This is because not only does this help maintain a simple management form as a startup company, but international students who founded LLC are considered employees at the same time as LLC owners, so they can avoid double taxation by treating their profits as salaries, not dividends.
If you have any further questions about starting a company during the OPT period, please contact us at email@example.com.