Sunday, March 23, 2014

10 LLC Secrets To Protect Your Assets And Financial Future

Most are unaware that a Limited Liability Company may be taxed in four different ways: disregarded, partnership and S or C corporation.

Let me share with you 10 LLC secrets that will not only keep you out of tax trouble but help you better avoid pitfalls down the road.

1. Can an IRA invest in a Limited Liability Company? There are a couple of major issues with this strategy that could create problems with the IRS. First, if you are the manager of the LLC and you are on the LLC checking account that has IRA funds, that means you have "check book control". There are prohibited transactions in where you can not use that money, but more importantly if the signer on the account uses the LLC money for personal use that is a big problem and could create serious IRS issues. The second issue centers around who can be the manager of the Limited Liability Company. Can it be you? Is that self-dealing? That means you are running the same entity that is owned by the IRA and that is an issue with the IRS. It appears that having a separate self directed IRA only to own the real estate may be a better approach. You do want to isolate the safe and risk investments.

2. What are the advantages of a Limited Liability Company over an S corporation? When you capitalize an S corporation, code section 351 allows shareholders to transfer appreciated assets to the corporation taxfree. But, the shareholder who is transferring the asset MUST own 80% of the S corporation.

3. When should an entity convert to an LLC? Many times if you formed a corporation it may be less steps and cheaper to form a new LLC. Many statutes authorize the merger of an LLC with another entity like a partnership or corporation. Some state LLC acts provide that an LLC may NOT merge with another entity unless there is unanimous consent of the members for such merger.

4. What are the consequences if an LLC is "doing business" in a state but is not registered as a foreign LLC? Typically, the entity will need to foreign register where nexus (or a business presence) is located. Even an internet business can make the argument you can be based from anywhere, but if you are working in your home office in California with a Nevada LLC, you have nexus in California. Besides how do you claim a home office deduction when the LLC is not in your state doing business?

5. When do LLC members have limited liability? No member of the Limited Liability Company is personally liable for the LLC's debts and obligations (as opposed to by individual action, such as by personal guarantee or commission of a tort). A member of the LLC has personal liability if a creditor of the LLC has the right to require a member to satisfy a debt of the LLC to the extent that the Limited Liability Company assets are insufficient to satisfy the LLC's debt to the creditor.

6. How will a single member LLC, taxed as a disregarded entity for federal income tax purposes be treated for state tax purposes? Where state laws follow federal laws, a single member LLC would be disregarded for state income tax purposes when disregarded for federal income tax purposes. At least two states have indicated that a single member Limited Liability Company would be taxed as a partnership for state tax purposes, New York and Wisconsin.

7. How much capital must be contributed to an LLC? Except when required by state law, there is no minimum amount that must be contributed to an LLC in exchange for an interest in the LLC.

8. What type of reporting is required if real estate is contributed to an LLC in exchange for a membership interest? According to the Treasury Regulations Section 1.6045-4(b)(1), a transfer of real estate to a partnership must be reported, even though it is tax-free under Code Section 721 (a).

9. When can a Limited Liability Company make distributions to members? LLCs generally can distribute cash or property, whether income or capital, to the members as provided in the Operating Agreement, or otherwise agreed by the members.

10. What is a series Limited Liability Company and what issues does it bring? The series LLC is similar to a corporate controlled group with several operating corporations, but there is only one legal entity. The benefit is that you could put 10 rental properties into one series LLC and provide protection of each property from the other because each is owned by one cell.

Scott Letourneau is the founder and CEO of Nevada Corporate Planners, Inc. Since 1997 NCP has helped thousands of entrepreneurs in all 50 states establish the correct foundation & keep the IRS off their back as they incorporate with confidence and get their business off to a fast start to profits. Go to for free training on what entity and state is best for your business.
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