Limited liability companies (LLCs) are a popular choice of entity for small businesses and investment activities.
Reason. LLCs have legal and federal income tax advantages that we will explain here.
LLC owners are called members.
Single-member LLCs have one owner, although spouses who jointly own an LLC in a community property state can elect treatment as a single member LLC for federal income tax purposes (see strategy 1 in Husband-Wife Partnerships: Three Tax-Saving Strategies—Part 2).
We will call LLCs with two or more members multimember LLCs.
Key point: LLCs are not corporations. But LLCs can offer similar legal protection to their members (owners).
Here are the most important things to know about LLCs.
LLCs Offer Legal Protection
Using an LLC to conduct a business or investment activity generally protects your personal assets from LLC-related liabilities—similar to the legal protection offered by a corporation.
As you know, liabilities can arise from simple things—like the Federal Express guy slipping on the banana peel someone left on your front steps—or in seemingly endless and complicated ways if you have employees.
Key point. As a general rule, no type of entity (including an LLC) will protect your personal assets from exposure to liabilities related to your own professional malpractice or your own tortious acts.
Tortious acts are wrongful deeds other than by breach of contract—such as negligent operation of a motor vehicle resulting in property damage or injuries. The issue of liability protection offered by an LLC is a matter of state law. Seek advice from a competent business attorney for ... Log in to view full article.