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Opening a new business can be an exciting adventure, especially if you are thinking about doing so with other people. Although there are a lot of details to work out, you will need to ensure that you have all the legalities worked out before you go too far.
Knowing how many owners an LLC can have is an important first step in forming a business with others. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about just how many owners can be a part of a single LLC.
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What is an LLC Owner, or Member?
Any business that is formed as an LLC is done so with either one or more owners, or members that have an equal say in the company. In most cases, each member has put in the capital of some kind to make the business legitimate.
While some members may enter the business by providing monetary capital, there are others that may join the business by providing office space or even land. Either way, all members are considered to be a part of the business no matter how much they brought with them.
As an LLC member, no matter how they enter the business, you have the right to vote on things that affect the business, to receive a portion of the profits, and many other factors as they are outlined in the articles of organization.
The bottom line is that if you enter into a business with other people that have contributed to the startup, they have as many rights as you do. This means that each member of the LLC has not only a responsibility to contribute to the business but also the right to do so.
What Types of LLCs Are There?
When it comes to forming an LLC, there are many considerations that you should be aware of before you begin. You and your partners should understand what it means to be an LLC and the legal and other implications of such a decision.
As you begin to delve into the details of your business and decide which type of business structure you want to form, you will discover there are many choices. Even if you know you want to form an LLC, you should research what that entails.
Two types of LLCs exist and a mountain of details that you have to consider once you have decided on which one fits your situation best. Before you start your paperwork, you should be aware of all of the tax and legal implications of the different entities.
A single-member LLC exists when there is only going to be one member of the company who will be responsible for everything. This means that this one member will be responsible for any legal issues that come up as well as filing for taxes each year.
The single-member LLC also means that when it comes to profits, voting rights, and other details, it will fall on the one and only member of the LLC. This is usually the best option for those who are creating a company that is going to be only theirs.
A multi-member LLC is somewhat different in that there are typically two or more members who will take equal responsibility for the company. This means that anytime something comes up, all members have a say in what goes on.
In addition, a multi-member LLC typically divides out the income of the company to all members which means that they are all responsible for filing the income on their taxes. The IRS usually sends out a Schedule K-1 form to all members of the LLC which then will need to be claimed on their Form 1040 Schedule C when they file taxes each year.
Overall, whether you form your business with a single member or multi-members, you will need to understand what your responsibilities are. It is recommended that you and your partners seek the advice of legal counsel as well as an accountant as you are going through the process of forming your business.
How Many Owners Can an LLC Have?
When it comes to how many members an LLC can have, the answer is quite simple. There has to be at least one member for an LLC to be formed, but beyond that, there is no limit for most standard situations.
So, whether you are forming the business with only yourself, or if you have several people that will join in the venture with you, rest assured that you can legally have multiple members. Keep in mind that the more members you have, the fewer profits you will end up with.
It is also important to note that if you and your other members decide to be taxed as S-corporations, then you do have a limit to how many members you can have. It should also be noted that this number topped out at 100 members.
Keep in mind that no matter how many LLC members you have for your company, you should make sure that everything is outlined in detail in your operating agreement. This will keep any disagreements from spiraling out of control.
How Do the Ownership Percentages Work in an LLC With More Than One Member?
When you decide to form a business with more than one person, keep in mind that for the most part, you should outline the ownership structure and percentages from the beginning. This is typically done in your operating agreement and should be in writing to avoid confusion.
Ownership percentages for most small businesses are typically divided equally between the various owners. In some cases, however, there may be a reason to give one member a bit more ownership percentage than others depending on the situation.
The amount of ownership is directly proportional to the number of profit shares that person has a right to, and how much sway they have in terms of voting rights. Someone with a higher percentage of ownership will naturally receive more of the profits and maybe the deciding vote in a specific situation.
At the end of the day, the ownership percentages should be specifically outlined in your operating agreement. This should also address what happens if a member chooses to leave the LLC and how the membership percentage will be determined and divided with the remaining members.
How Do You Form an LLC?
If you and your partners have decided to move forward with forming an LLC for your business venture, then there are specific steps you need to take. Keep in mind that the first step in forming a business is to seek the counsel of a legal professional and an accountant to ensure you are doing it correctly.
Keep reading to learn how to form an LLC for your business:
Decide on a Unique Business Name
You and your partners must first decide on what you will call your business and ensure that there is not already a business with that name. There are many websites out there that can help with ideas and with ensuring that the name you choose is not already taken.
Choose a Registered Agent
A registered agent is a person who is designated to receive any documentation, legal or otherwise, for the company. Most states require that a registered agent is appointed and that they have a physical address within the state the business is formed.
Develop an Operating Agreement
Before you and your partners begin the LLC formation process, you will need to develop an operating agreement that will outline all of the details of how the business will operate. This is a step that should be taken early on to ensure that everyone agrees with how the business will operate.
File Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State
The next step in the process is filing your articles of organization with the secretary of state for the state you will be forming your business. This is the part that makes it legal with the state as well as informing the IRS of the formation.
Keep in mind that this is one of the most important steps in forming your LLC since it outlines who the members will be as well as other pieces of information. Some of the information will include a business address and the name and address of your registered agent.
Final Thoughts on How Many Owners Can an LLC Have
The bottom line when it comes to how many owners can an LLC have is that there is no set limit to the amount. If you choose to form a business with more than one other person, the IRS states that you have a right to do that as long as you file the proper paperwork with your Secretary of State.
Reference Legal Explanations
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"How Many Owners Can an LLC Have?". Legal Explanations. Accessed on February 29, 2024. https://legal-explanations.com/blog/how-many-owners-can-an-llc-have/.
"How Many Owners Can an LLC Have?". Legal Explanations, https://legal-explanations.com/blog/how-many-owners-can-an-llc-have/. Accessed 29 February, 2024
How Many Owners Can an LLC Have?. Legal Explanations. Retrieved from https://legal-explanations.com/blog/how-many-owners-can-an-llc-have/.