A limited liability company (LLC) protects personal assets. If the business has issues, your personal assets are safe. LLCs prevent double taxation. However, they can be expensive to form and maintain. They may not offer the liability protection of a corporation. LLCs pass profits and losses to owners, who pay taxes. States have rules about LLCs. The main LLC cost is the state filing fee, ranging from $40-$500. You can form one yourself or use a service.
LLCs are hybrids of corporations and partnerships. Although setting up an LLC shields assets from debts and lawsuits, it can bring disputes between members due to differing ideas on operations or profit distribution. Another downside is taxation complexity; LLCs may face double taxation if profits are taxed at both corporate and personal levels, and members also owe self-employment tax.
Comparing Taxes: LLCs vs. Sole Proprietorship
Do LLC pay more taxes than sole proprietorship?
Sole proprietors and LLCs pay taxes in similar ways. Their tax rates match individual taxpayers’: they pay income and payroll taxes on business earnings. Sole proprietorships file personal tax returns yearly. LLCs may choose pass-through taxation or corporate returns. With pass-through taxation, business income passes to the owner’s personal return, becoming taxable income—often advantageous as individual rates are lower than corporate. LLCs may also file as S or C corporations.
Formation and Liability Differences
Forming a sole proprietorship is simpler than an LLC. It just needs an available name and a registration fee. Forming an LLC involves more steps such as having agreements between partners and appointing a registered agent.
Sole proprietorships and LLCs differ in liability protection. Sole proprietors have no distinction between personal and business assets, expenses, and debts. But LLCs have legal identities separate from owners. Most importantly, LLCs separate business and personal assets.