What can I do on a B1 business visitor visa?

You can't "work," but you can engage in a limited number of "business" activities.

Permissible activities include:

  • facilitating business transactions for a foreign company (for instance, taking orders for goods or services to be produced outside of the US);
  • negotiating contracts;
  • attending business meetings;
  • attending conferences or seminars;
  • conducting independent research;
  • pitching to investors;
  • evaluating investment opportunities, including investments made in anticipation of applying for an E2 visa;
  • forming a company; and
  • opening a company bank account.

Activities that go beyond the scope of those described above, such as performing productive, day-to-day work for the company or actively managing employees, vendors, contractors, etc., are not permitted on a standard B1 visa.