Self-Directed Solo 401k Eligibility Checklist

While a solo 401k is not a new type of 401k plan but rater a 401k for the self-employed, confusion often arises regrading qualifying to open a solo 401k plan. A solo 401k is for owner-only businesses with not full-time W-2 employees. For a example, a business where both spouses work for the business that does not employ full-time W-2 employees can adopt a solo 401k plan and both spouses can participate in the plan. Please see the following checklist for more on the solo 401k eligibility requirements.

Does Son Impact Eligibility QUESTION

I own a business and my son is a non-owner full time employee. Can I still open a solo 401k for both of us? Or just me?

Unless your son is under age 21you won’t be able to open a solo 401k plan because he is a full-time employee (i.e., he works over 1,000 or more hours per year) in your business. 
The solo 401k rules allow for the exclusion of W-2 employees under age 21 regardless if they work 1,000 or more hours per year in the business. You also have to consider if you own any other businesses that may employ full-time W-2 employees as it may impact the controlled group rules. Lastly, he would need to be BOTH an owner and an employee in the business in order to also be eligible to participate in the solo 401k plan.

EIN for Solo 401k QUESTION

Your process for setup indicates that the plan has its own EIN. Is this correct? Is it a separate business?

The solo 401k is a retirement trust so the IRS requires its own EIN.

Part-Time Employee Solo 401k QUESTION

I still have one part time employee that works about 4-6 hours per week, does this disqualify me from opening a solo 401k plan? If so I can easily convert him to 1099 subcontractor since he uses his own vehicle and sets his own schedules?

One may set up a Solo 401k notwithstanding that their business has w-2 employees provided that no w-2 employees are full-time (i.e. work 1000 hours per year with 1 year of service or 500 hours per year for 3 consecutive years). Also, note that contractors in your business may be excluded from the solo 401k plan regardless of the number of hours worked. 

Transfer IRA and 401k QUESTION

I have an SEP-IRA with Interactive Brokers and a 401 K with Fidelity. Can they be directly rolled over into Solo 401K?

Funds can be rolled over from former employer plans and SEP IRA to the Solo 401k and we will guide you through the transfer process as part of our service for no additional charge.

A Business With Full-Time Non-Owner W-2 Employees &  Another Business for Just Me QUESTION

I have two businesses: one with a w2 employee and one with no employees. Both generate business income. The business with a w2 employee does not offer any retirement plans. Can I still run a solo401k plan in my business without w2 employees?

No – under the controlled group rules one who has one business with full-time w-2 employees can’t open a solo 401k for another business with no employees.

Full-Time Job 401k & Solo 401k for My Self-Employed Business QUESTION

I have two jobs. A full-time job with its own 401k account and another self-employed consultation job. Am I eligible to open an SD solo 401K account?

The fact that you have a w-2 job won’t prevent you from setting up a Solo 401k based on separate self-employment activity.

Impact of contributions to a Full-Time Job 401k on Solo 401k Contributions QUESTION

Would having another 401k account from my full-time job affect the contribution limit to the solo 401k account?

Contributions to a day job 401k reduce the amount of employee contributions that can be contributed to the solo 401k.

Spouse Wants to Participate in the Solo 401k QUESTION

My consultation job does not have an employee at all; however, my wife (full-time housewife) sometimes helps my consultation works intermittently. Can she join the solo 401k account?

A spouse who works in the self-employed business and reports his/her own self-employment income may participate in the plan.

Transfer Vanguard IRA to the Solo 401k QUESTION

My wife and I have IRA accounts at Vanguard. After opening a solo 401k account, can we roll-over the money from Vanguard to the solo 401k account?

Funds may be rolled over from a non-Roth IRA to the solo 401k and we will prepare the transfer forms as part of our establishment process.


Solo 401k Account opening Considerations

SOLO 401(K)