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 WHAT IS AN LLC AND ITS BENEFITS:

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jamesbradley

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Posts : 58
Position Held : Int'l Corporate Transactional Attorney

20110326
PostWHAT IS AN LLC AND ITS BENEFITS:


The limited liability company (LLC) is a relatively new form of doing business in the United States (in 1988 all 50 states enacted LLC laws). The best way to describe an LLC is to explain what it is not. An LLC is not a corporation, a partnership nor is it a sole proprietorship. The LLC is a new hybrid that combines the characteristics of a corporate structure and a partnership structure. It is a separate legal entity like a corporation but it has entitlement to be treated as either a partnership, or as an S-Corp; for tax reporting purposes and therefore carries with it certain tax benefits for the investors.
The owners and investors are called members and can be virtually any entity including individuals (domestic or foreign), corporations, other LLCs, trusts, pension plans etc. Unlike corporate stocks and shares, members purchase Class B Preferred Membership Units. Members who hold the majority of the Class B Preferred Membership Units maintain controlling management of the LLC as specified in the LLC operating agreement.
The primary advantage of an LLC is limiting the liability of its members. Unless personally guaranteed, members are not personally liable for the debts and obligations of the LLC. Additionally, “pass-through” or “flow-through” taxation is available, meaning that (generally speaking) the earnings of an LLC are not subject to double taxation unlike that of a “standard” corporation. However, they are treated like the earnings from partnerships, sole proprietorships and S corporations with an added benefit for all of its members. There is greater flexibility in structuring the LLC than is ordinarily the case with a corporation, including the ability to divide ownership and voting rights in unconventional ways while still enjoying the benefits of “pass-through” taxation. The limited liability company is becoming the entity of choice for business in every realm. Due to its flexibility and tax advantages for all of its members, it will continue to gain momentum as more and more people learn of its existence
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