Entity Choice Generally

What are Articles of Organization?

Like Articles of Incorporation, this is the document used for bringing your LLC into existence. It’s filed with the state’s authority for, well, filing such documents. In California, this is the Secretary of State. In Delaware, it’s the Division of Corporations.

By | June 15th, 2015|0 Comments

Will a corporation or LLC protect me from liability?

That’s supposed to be the point of them, so I’m going to say . . . yes! However, you can become personally liable for your own negligence (or intentional bad acts). You may also become personally liable of the person suing you can prove that you didn’t follow corporate formalities, like holding meetings, maintaining minutes, or keeping enough working capital in the business’s accounts.

By | June 15th, 2015|0 Comments

Is the liability protection for LLCs and corporations the same?

Yes. There are some very case-specific nuances, especially when you get down to single-member LLCs, but unlikely anything that is going to effect you generally. Don’t obsess over this one unless you have plans to not pay taxes, for example.

By | June 15th, 2015|0 Comments

I’m a professional. What’s right for me?

First things first: the question really is whether an entity is going to do you any good at all. From a liability perspective, keep in mind that anything you do is your personal problem; putting your medical practice into a corporation won’t shield you from your own malpractice. But it could, for example, shield you from your employee’s malpractice, or your file clerk’s sexual harassment claim against a fellow doctor. And it may also shield you from your partner’s malpractice. So there are upsides. Some states, like California (where I practice), restrict the use of certain entities by professionals. The term “professional” itself has some grey area. Typically, professionals required to have a certain education, training, and experience aren’t permitted to use an LLC for their business (in California). So lawyers, doctors, etc. will generally use a corporation, though certain professions, like lawyers, have other specific partnership entities available to them. Others, like real estate appraisers, are still permitted to use an LLC. There may also be tax reasons, as a professional, to put your business into an entity. There’s much to consider.

By | June 15th, 2015|0 Comments

Should I form as a Professional Corporation?

Should you? Probably not. Are you required to? Maybe. It depends on the type of profession you’re in. Lawyers, for example, are required to be in professional corporations (“PC”). Forming as a PC may require additional restrictions in your bylaws, for example concerning ownership. So if you don’t need to, generally you shouldn’t. But you may not have a choice.

By | July 12th, 2015|0 Comments

What/who is an incorporator?

This is the person who signs and causes the filing of the Articles of Incorporation (or, in the case of an LLC the Articles of Organization) with the designated state authority. In a small business, this is usually the owner/shareholder/member. Some folks have their attorney sign the documents to help expedite the process, and that’s ok (but not necessary).

By | June 15th, 2015|0 Comments

Can anyone own an S Corporation?

You probably didn’t think to ask this until you saw it was a question. Answer: No. S Corporations are restricted with respect to their ownership, one of the key factors why they can’t always be used. For example, no more than 100 shareholders can own shares in an S Corp, no shareholder can be a non-resident alien, and unless certain filings and compliance rules are met, they generally can’t be owned by other entities, only individuals.

By | July 7th, 2015|0 Comments

Can anyone own an interest in an LLC?

And therein lies a major difference between LLCs and S Corporations – because LLCs can be owned by practically anyone or anything, making them very useful for pass-through taxation, while being owned by other entities.

By | July 7th, 2015|0 Comments

If I’m the only member of my LLC, do I really have liability protection?

Yes. Well, you have the same liability protection as a multi-member LLC. There will be some specific exceptions. For example, if you are personally negligent or you are responsible for your company's payroll tax obligations, then you'll be exposed to personal liability. But being a single-member LLC won't change that. There may be instances where being in a partnership may change an outcome in an insolvency situation and certain specific other circumstances.

By | July 10th, 2016|0 Comments

When I form my corporation or LLC, is that a license?

No, but thanks for asking a weird question. You’re likely getting confused with some industries, like talent management, that may require you to obtain a license from a particular state agency. The formation of the entity doesn’t trigger automatic licensure, nor does it automatically require you to get a license for your business. Licensure for your business is separate and apart from forming an entity. And, in some instances, if you are required to obtain a license, that may dictate the kind of entity your form.

By | June 15th, 2015|0 Comments