Limited Liability Companies
Limited liability structures have been used for hundreds of years to let people invest in an enterprise without worry about unlimited liability. The ability to invest in a risky business without the fear of losing everything you own is one of the reasons our economy has been so strong and our technology so advanced.
Corporations were the first entities used, but today limited liability companies are more popular because they offer the same protections with less formality and less paperwork.
Limited Liability Companies were invented about 40 years ago to allow people to limit their liability while operating like a partnership. Florida was the second state to allow LLCs, but they were not very beneficial at first because they had to pay Florida income tax and could not be set up by a single member. Then a few years ago a wise legislator wrote a law which eliminated the income tax on LLCs, allowed single member LLCs and gave them double asset protection from creditors. Today they are one of the best and easiest asset protection devices available.
When setting up an LLC, you can choose how you want to be taxed. You can have the income pass through to the individual owner(s), or you can opt to be taxed like a corporation. If you opt to be taxed as a corporation, you can choose s-corporation taxation (passed through on K-1) or c-corporation taxation (paying corporate taxes) There are advantages to each depending on your type of business and situation.
If you are not familiar with business taxes, you should check with your tax advisor which setup would be best for you.
We started Land Trust Service Corporation wanting to only do land trusts and initially told clients to go to someone else for an LLC, but when one client when to an attorney who charged him $800, and did the papers wrong, we decided to also offer LLCs
Recently we have found a way to set up LLCs without listing either the members of the managers online. The members of the LLC are the owners of the company, and they never need to be listed, all that’s needed is the manager(s). But we can set up a trust as the manager so your personal name does not need to be obvious.
For more information, download our LLC setup forms from the SETUP FORMS link above.