Whenever we decide to start our own business, one of the first questions we should ask ourselves which business structure we’ll choose, LLC or S Corp? Each will come with different benefits regarding structure, organization, and taxation, depending on which we choose. Every business will differ, and there is no fool-proof method to know which option better suits our situation. Therefore, we must always consult with a professional before making a decision.
One of the first aspects to consider is trying to fully understand what an LLC is, and what an S Corp is. This way, we’ll be able to make a more informed decision, one that will benefit our business. Learning the differences in structure and taxations will make the decision easier to take. Again, we should hire a professional tax advisor to help us make the best choice.
A Limited Liability Company, also known as LLC is a type of business structure that legally separates it from its business owners. This means that the members of your company would receive protection from personal liability. In other words, if members of an LLC were subject to legal action, only their business assets would be on the line, not personal ones.
When it comes to taxes, the IRS doesn’t recognize LLCs for taxes purposes; LLCs are not taxing entities. Therefore, an LLC might be taxed as either a corporation, a partnership, or as part of the owner’s tax return. If we have a partnership or multi-member LLC, the IRS would not tax the business, but each member instead. If we want to file taxes as an S Corp, though, we must request the tax form 2243.
There is the common misconception that the term S Corp refers to “small corporations”. However, the name comes from the Subchapter S of the IRS code. In order for our business to choose this structure, it must meet several IRS requirements. First of all, it must be a domestic corporation, with no foreign owners. It must also have no more than 100 approved members, unlike an LLC, which can have as many members as they consider.
One of the benefits S Corps have is that they include lower taxes, from both income tax and self-employment tax. Also, shareholders of an S Corp report its flow-through of income and losses on their personal taxes. This way, S Corps are able to avoid being subject to double taxation on their corporate incomes. To see the full filing requirements to become an S Corporation, you can go to the IRS website.
Like we mentioned above, every company is different. Choosing between an LLC or S Corp structure will require a thorough analysis. That’s why every business owner or entrepreneur should consider getting the assistance of a professional tax advisor. This way, they will be able to balance the pros and cons of each structure, LLC or S Corp, and make a decision that will benefit them the most.
Even when it might sound like a long and daunting process, sitting down with your accountant or advisor is a must. Don’t be afraid to express what your goals and objectives are. Also, think about the total income you are expecting to make. All this will help you make an informed decision, and your company will see the results.