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LLC or S Corp?

Starting a business can be an exciting venture, but deciding on the right business structure can be confusing and overwhelming. Two of the most popular structures are Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) and S Corporations (S Corps). Both of these structures have their own advantages and disadvantages, and the right choice will depend on the specific needs and goals of your business. Let’s explore some of the key differences between LLCs and S Corps.

Overview of LLCs and S-Corporations

LLCs and S-Corporations are both separate entities from their owners. This provides several advantages, such as limited personal liability and potential tax savings. An LLC is a relatively easy type of business to form, usually requiring only minimal paperwork and minimal initial fees. It also offers the most flexibility in terms of governance structure - members have the freedom to choose how the LLC will be managed and governed.

An S-Corporation is more complex to set up than an LLC, requiring additional paperwork and fees. Unlike LLCs, S-Corps are subject to certain tax regulations, such as required distributions and restrictions on types of ownership. However, there are potential tax savings through deductions, and the ability to pass on profits and losses to shareholders.

Advantages & Disadvantages of LLCs

Advantages of LLCs include:

• Limited personal liability for owners

• Flexible governance structure and management

• Pass-through taxation, meaning that profits and losses are passed through to the members without double-taxation at the corporate level

• Fewer record keeping requirements than S-Corps

• Less paperwork and lower setup fees than S-Corps

Disadvantages of LLCs include:

• Profits can be subject to self-employment taxes, which are typically higher than corporate taxes for S-Corps

• Limited life span - if a member leaves the LLC or passes away, the business must be dissolved

• Difficulty raising capital, as investors often prefer corporations

• Limited ability to transfer ownership interests

Advantages & Disadvantages of S-Corps

Advantages of S-Corps include:

• Limited personal liability for owners, similar to LLCs

• Generally lower self-employment taxes than LLCs

• Ability to issue shares and attract investors

• Easier transfer of ownership interests than LLCs

• Potentially greater tax savings due to deductions

• Ability to pass profits and losses through to shareholders

Disadvantages of S-Corps include:

• Complex setup process with more paperwork and higher fees than LLCs

• Strict regulations, including required reasonable salary, restrictions on types of ownership, and limitations on the number of shareholders allowed

• Stricter record keeping requirements than LLCs. For example, an S-Corp must file a separate tax return, have a separate set of books, a separate bank account, and process payroll (which also means filing Forms 940 and 941).

Consult with a professional

When deciding between forming an LLC or S-Corp, it’s important to consider the specific needs of your business along with your long term goals.

Owning a business can feel overwhelming. Business owners deserve to reach their full potential without feeling limited by what they don’t know. Call us today to schedule a complimentary consultation at (404) 668-4713.

800 Mount Vernon Hwy NE
Suite 350 
Sandy Springs, GA 30328
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