Is this ok to bring foreigner as a cofounder?


I am looking for a technical co-founder, but unfortunately my local relatives are not willing or not quialified enough for the task so I am thinking where else I could find a partner. I know a person who is working on open source project that is releavnt to my startup. Is this a good idea to contact this programmer and discuss partnership with him?


I can paraphrase my original question. Does anybody know of a successful startup that was founded internationally?

Co-Founder Foreign

asked Jul 18 '10 at 23:32
Alex Radzie
40 points
  • Where is he from? I assume that you are in the US, right? – A. Garcia 14 years ago
  • I am from Eastern Europe, the programmer I am willing to contact lives Western Europe. – Alex Radzie 14 years ago
  • Alex, how could I contact you? – Karim Agha 13 years ago

4 Answers


One of the places that the fact that he is a foreigner comes in to play with entity selection and setup. There are limitations to ownership of some entities by foreigners (such as s corporations).

answered Jul 19 '10 at 22:40
172 points


When is talking bad?

Yes it's a good idea.

answered Jul 19 '10 at 01:00
16,231 points


Communication is key to a partnership, it amongst others is interlinked with trust. See how well you communicate and use your gut feeling to see whether you trust him. Communication with foreigners is mostly more difficult. If the person comes from a culture that is very distinct from yours (like Chinese vs. American), I would think twice about a partnership.

answered Jul 19 '10 at 08:08
1,567 points


Yes, talking to a potential cofounder is fine. Be honest with him, and think about how well you know this guy before spilling all your secrets.

I'm a bit taken back by the lack of information in your post, and the fact that the local guys said no or are "not qualified" in your words. Could it be that the pitch you have for your startup is not quite compelling enough? Have you considered how hard it is to obtain work visas in most countries today?

answered Jul 19 '10 at 08:17
Jesper Mortensen
15,292 points
  • The last few years I have spent working in a very small software company and didn't have a chance to network with a lot of great people there. Also, most of my carrier I have been writing web applications but now I am working on a slightly more complex task, it requires specific set of skills that most of my former colleagues simply don't have because they are interested in other things. – Alex Radzie 14 years ago
  • @Alex Radzie: I'm a bit late with this comment, but if it's Eastern and Western Europe, then it matters a good deal whether you are inside "fortress EU" or not. Getting work permits for non-EU citizens to EU is hard, and believe it or not, the same goes the other way if he wants to move to you. About the accepted answer, limitations in ownership of companies -- well, there are such rules in a few places, but it's really quite rare. You should go see a lawyer of course, but forming a suitable company for your startup is likely easy. – Jesper Mortensen 14 years ago

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Co-Founder Foreign