I run an international social network app. We have users in over 140 countries including the USA. In fact, I registered it as a USA company 3 years ago. Next Spring, I'm moving to study in the USA on an F1 visa. Is this legal? Also, if I'm finding investors or getting more clients or media interviews will this be a problem for my investors or my school?
Ugh... If you register as a US company + you're actually in the US, you may be liable for US taxes.
Personally, if I lived outside the US, I'd organize/domicile my business jurisdiction elsewhere.
If you keep your US company registration, then first item on your list when you arrive in the US is to work with a tax professional, to determine your tax liability.
Then, if you have any, you'll require paying US quarterly taxes.
In fact, depending on where your banking is now... country where account lives where money settles, you may be liable for US taxes.
Likely best to get all this straightened out before you enter the country.
Mucking about with having a US company when you're not a US citizen may cost your a truckload of money.
Talk with a US tax preparer.
A good place to start is H&R Block Executive services, which is very different then H&R Block Consumer services.
Many countries have an H&R Block Executive services branch.
I am an immigration attorney and the answer to this question is complicated. You can own a US business but the questions about what you can do for that business while on your visa are not as easy to assess in generalities. I recommend a phone call to discuss your business in more detail.
Hearty Congratulations on the Global Success of Your Worldwide (Social Networking) App.
However : You Do Urgently Need to Get Yourself an American Immigration Attorney ; so that your F1 Visa Status in the USA will not Adversely Affect your Apparently (Rather) Successful Social Media Venture.
Owning an American Company may not necessarily (or automatically) translate into getting a (Full-Fledged) American Investors Visa ; most especially if the USA Visa Officer did not see anything about a Profitable American Company on your F1 Visa Application Form.
Find an Experienced USA Immigration Attorney (Quite Quickly).
If you are able to get American (or International) Investors to Loan You about One Million Dollars (US$1,000,000), then perhaps the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Programme may (actually) be a Far Much Better Option for You ; most especially if you can employ at least Ten American Citizens in (certain) Economically Deprived Areas.
(In Fact) As At Today : US$500,000 could possibly get you an EB-5 Investors Visa ; provided that you Employ about 10 (Ten) American Citizens from Targeted Employment Area (TEA) Zones.