LLC vs S Corp
LLC vs S CorpLLC vs S Corp - An LLC is not a separate tax entity like a corporation; it is what the IRS calls a pass through entity, like a partnership or sole proprietorship. All of the profits and losses of the LLC pass through the business to the LLC owners , who report this information on their personal tax returns. The LLC itself does not pay federal income taxes, but some states do charge the LLC itself a tax. Use the links on this page and take advantage of the LLCs and S Corporations that will be most beneficial to your business.
LLC vs S Corp - LLC - New Type of HybridThe LLC is a relatively new type of hybrid business structure that is now permissible in most states. It is designed to provide the limited liability features of a corporation and the tax efficiencies and operational flexibility of a partnership. Formation is more complex and formal than that of a general partnership.
LLC vs S Corp - MembersThe owners are members, and the duration of the LLC is usually determined when the organization papers are filed. The time limit can be continued if desired by a vote of the members at the time of expiration. LLC's must not have more than two of the four characteristics that define corporations: Limited liability to the extent of assets; continuity of life; centralization of management; and free transferability of ownership interests.
LLC vs S Corp:Advantages and DisadvantagesS Corporation: To qualify, generally, the corporation must have a maximum of 75 shareholders who are individuals. Once a corporation makes the Subchapter S election to be an S-Corporation, profits and losses are passed through the corporation and are reported on the individual tax returns of the respective shareholders of the S-Corporation.
This is the same basic "pass-through" treatment afforded partnerships and LLCs. The key distinction of the S-Corporation is that profits and losses are not taxed at the corporate/business level like they would be if the corporation remained as a C Corporation.
LLC vs S Corp - separate tax entity:An LLC is not a separate tax entity like a corporation; it is what the IRS calls a pass through entity, like a partnership or sole proprietorship. All of the profits and losses of the LLC pass through the business to the LLC owners , who report this information on their personal tax returns. The LLC itself does not pay federal income taxes, but some states do charge the LLC itself a tax.
LLC vs S Corp - owner of an LLC is considered to be self-employed:A major factor that differentiates an S corporation from an LLC is the employment tax that is paid on earnings. The owner of an LLC is considered to be self-employed and, as such, must pay a “self-employment tax” of 15.3% which goes toward social security and Medicare. The entire net income of the business is subject to self-employment tax.*
In an S corporation, only the salary paid to the employee-owner is subject to employment tax. The remaining income that is paid as a distribution is not subject to employment tax under IRS rules. Therefore, there is the potential to realize substantial employment tax savings.
LLC vs S Corp
Advantages and Disadvantages of LLC
Advantages of LLCLimited Liability: Owners of a LLC have the limited liability protection of a corporation.
Flexible Profit Distribution: Limited liability companies can select varying forms of distribution of profits. Unlike a common partnership where the split is 50-50, LLC have much more flexibility.
No Minutes: Corporations are required to keep formal minutes, have meetings, and record resolutions. The LLC business structure requires no corporate minutes or resolutions and is easier to operate.
Flow Through Taxation: All your business losses, profits, and expenses flow through the company to the individual members. You avoid the double taxation of paying corporate tax and individual tax. Usually, this will be a tax advantage, but circumstances can favor a corporate tax structure.
Disadvantages of LLCLimited Life: Corporations can live forever, whereas a LLC is dissolved when a member dies or undergoes bankruptcy.
Going Public: Business owners with plans to take their company public, or issuing employee shares in the future, may be best served by choosing a corporate business structure.
Added Complexity: Running a sole-proprietorship or partnership will have less paperwork and complexity. A LLC may federally be classified as a sole-proprietorship, partnership, or corporation for tax purposes. Classification can be selected or a default may apply.
LLC vs S Corp
Advantages and Disadvantagesof a S Corp
Advantages of the S Corporation:The independent life of the corporation makes possible its continuation, and the relatively undisturbed continued operation of the business regardless of incapacity or death of one or more stockholders.
Fractional ownership shares are easily accommodated in the initial offering of stock.
The purchase, sale, and gifting of stock make it possible to have changes in ownership without disturbing the corporation's ability to conduct business.
The requirement that the corporation's finances and records be separate from the finances and records of stockholders reduces the risk of unrecognized equity liquidations.
With only a few exceptions, under the Subchapter S election for taxation as a partnership the S corporation pays no income taxes and corporation income or loss is passed through direct to the stockholders.
To the extent the corporate shield is maintained and other investments and savings of the stockholders are not at risk, the personal life of stockholders is simplified.
The annual meetings of stockholders and consultations with legal counsel can provide stimulus for improved communication within the stockholder group (often a family group) and can provide more comprehensive guidance for management.
Depending on the corporation's business record and the policies and practices of prospective lenders, access to credit and the ability to secure needed resources may be improved.
Earnings representing "return on investment" (interest, rental payments, etc.) are not subject to self-employment tax as long as stockholder-employees receive adequate compensation for labor and management of the business.
Disadvantages of the S Corporation:Lenders may require personal guarantees from corporate officers as a condition of supplying credit, thus negating the limitation of liability.
Conflicts or disagreements among the stockholders may immobilize decision making.
Restrictions on the sale of stock and/or buy-back agreements included in the bylaws may prevent minority stockholders from being able to recover the value of their investment in the corporation.
Through the processes of gifting and inheritance, stock ownership can become divided among many persons who are not active in the business and they may become a voting block that does not support needs and decisions believed desirable by managing stockholders.
Over time, corporation paid benefits for stockholder-employees may become costly and exceed the ability of the business to pay.
Employment benefits such as life insurance, health insurance, and housing costs are taxable income to stockholder employees with 2 percent or more stock ownership and to employees who are directly related to persons owning 2 percent or more of the corporation stock.
If appreciated assets are owned by the corporation and the corporation is dissolved, significant income taxes on the appreciation amount will be generated.
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