What is a Limited Liability Company?
Business is the activity of earning money or creating or earning a living by creating or buying and selling goods (including services and products). Simply put, in business, it’s “the production of a profit.” Simply put, having a business name by itself doesn’t separate the business entity from its owner, so that person is legally responsible and accountable for debts incurred by the business. The name “business” simply tells others that the person or business undertaking is engaging in a venture, in which the person receives income or otherwise receives money. There are many different types of businesses and some are better than others.
An example of a business type is a C corporation, or a limited liability company. In order to qualify for this classification, the C corporation must: have shareholders; have board of directors; meet the minimum requirements outlined in the law; and engage in one or more specified business activities. There are also some state-specific variations on the theme. Business can also include real estate, partnerships, land trust, partnerships in operation, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, corporation, partnership, cooperative organization, owned by a corporation, limited liability company, and numerous other variations of business activities.
A C corporation has limited liability with respect to its shareholders and owners. In other words, if a shareholder or partner takes a loss, they cannot be held personally liable for the corporation’s losses. It is typically the case that only one shareholder will qualify for this designation, and that person will be typically an individual who is a citizen of the United States. However, in some state governments, corporations and partnerships have been found to be classified as C corporations despite the lack of direct control over those companies’ assets. For these reasons, when you are forming a limited liability company, you should ensure that your state laws allow you to do so.
LLCs, or Limited Liability Corporations, are a newer type of corporation that evolved out of the early-morning car lots. Unlike corporations, an LLC does not need to maintain any type of public image or record of accountability. Instead, all of the business conduct that takes place between the day the LLC forms up and the day it ends (or in the case of an LLC, the day that it files its tax returns) is entirely confidential. In short, an LLC is a separate legal entity from its creators.
The main advantage to an LLC is that, like a sole proprietorship, there is no requirement for shareholders to meet any formal corporate requirements. Therefore, there is no requirement for the annual general meeting of a corporation. Also, unlike corporations, there is no requirement for stockholder meetings, which provide members of an LLC with the opportunity to come together and discuss important business issues. Also, unlike a corporation, an LLC is not required to file reports with the IRS, as most businesses are. (The very few exceptions are limited liability partnerships and pass-through corporations, both of which operate under slightly different principles.)
The advantages and disadvantages of an LLC are very much dependent on the business owners themselves. All businesses must have a sound business strategy in order to thrive. Therefore, if you are considering starting an LLC, you should consult with someone who is very familiar with how to set up an LLC and will be able to assist you in all of your decisions. If you are planning to incorporate an LLC, you should ensure that your lawyer is familiar with the limited liability set-up of an LLC and will advise you accordingly. As with all aspects of starting or using a business, it’s always better to consult with a professional than to make a decision on your own.