A limited liability company or a company with limited liability (abbreviated L.L.C. or LLC or W.L.L) in the law of the vast majority of United States jurisdictions is a legal form of business company that provides limited liability to its owners. Often incorrectly called a “limited liability corporation” (instead of company), it is a hybrid business entity having certain characteristics of both a corporation and a partnership or sole proprietorship (depending on how many owners there are). An LLC, although a business entity, is a type of unincorporated association and is not a corporation. The primary characteristic an LLC shares with a corporation is limited liability and the primary characteristic it shares with a partnership is the availability of pass-through income taxation. It is often more flexible than a corporation and it is well-suited for companies with a single owner.
It is important to understand that limited liability does not imply owners are always fully protected from personal liabilities. Courts can and do pierce the corporate veil of LLCs when some type of fraud or misrepresentation is involved, or under certain situations where the owner uses the company as an “alter ego.
Like a corporation, a limited liability company or “LLC,” is a separate and distinct legal entity. This means that an LLC can get a tax identification number, open a bank account and do business, all under its own name.
How Does an LLC Protect You?
One of the primary advantages of an LLC is that its owners, called members, have “limited liability,” meaning that, under most circumstances, they are not personally liable for the debts and liabilities of the LLC.
For example, if an LLC is forced into bankruptcy, then the members will not be usually be required to pay the LLC’s debts with their own money. If the assets of the LLC are not enough to the debts and liabilities, the creditors generally cannot look to the owners for payment. Their debt was with the LLC, not the people that owned the LLC.
Benefits of an LLC: Flexible, Scalable, and Simple
LLCs aren’t bound by the same rigid rules of corporations, but this doesn’t stop them from being just as useful. It doesn’t matter if you’re a solo business or if you have hundreds of employees, an LLC keeps protecting you while allowing for expansion and growth. With an LLC, there’s no requirement for special meetings, extensive corporate records, or any other formalities. Limited liability companies are even flexible when it comes to taxes, offering lots of options so you can create a tax plan that works for you.
This simplicity, protection, and ease of use have made forming an LLC a popular choice for small businesses in America.
In an LLC Right for You?
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