One of the most important decisions business owners must make is choosing the right organizational structure for their company. Business owners in Los Angeles must decide if they should organize their company as a corporation or a limited liability company (LLC). These business entities have some major differences, and each may be more suitable depending on the unique circumstances of each company. To make the right decision, business owners must consult with experienced legal counsel. This article reviews some of the common questions asked by Los Angeles business owners and entrepreneurs about corporations and LLCs.

What Are the Basics of Corporation vs. LLC?

When considering the basics of a corporation and a limited liability company, liability and taxation are the two major differences. A corporation is a legal entity that is created under state laws. It has certain rights, privileges, and liabilities separate from those of its owners. When forming a corporation, you must create a board of directors and comply with other requirements that vary from state to state. Corporations also require annual filings and may have more paperwork involved.

A limited liability company is also a legally recognized business structure that provides owners with limited liability and flexible management. While corporations also provide limited liability, an LLC is easier to manage and less expensive to start. LLCs do not have a board of directors, and owners are called members. A limited liability company is also simpler to manage, and members are not liable for debts and other losses.

What Are the Taxation Differences between Corporations and LLCs?

The taxation of corporations and LLCs also differs significantly. Corporations are separate legal entities that are taxed as C-corporations by the IRS. C-corporations must file two levels of taxes—one at the corporate level and one at the shareholder level.

On the other hand, LLCs are generally pass-through entities, meaning profits are passed through the company to its members and taxed at their individual tax rates. However, LLCs may also choose to be taxed as a C-corporation.

What Are the Liability Differences between Corporations and LLCs?

The liability protections for corporations and LLCs also vary. Corporations and shareholders are separate entities, so shareholders are not personally liable for the debts and other obligations of the corporation. However, officers and directors of corporations may still be liable for their own actions.

LLCs also provide limited liability, but they are more flexible than corporations. When forming an LLC, members can agree to limit liability for certain transactions or debts. This means LLCs provide greater protection against creditors and claims.

What Is the Ongoing Maintenance for Corporations and LLCs?

Corporations generally require more annual maintenance and paperwork than LLCs. Corporations are required to have board of directors and keep minutes of all board and shareholder meetings. Corporations must also have annual filings and fees to keep the entity in good standing. Corporations also may have more capital requirements.

LLCs require the filing of an Annual Report, which generally does not require lengthy financial statements. In some states, such as California, LLCs are required to pay an annual fee based on the size and structure of the LLC.

When Should You Choose a Corporation or an LLC?

Whether you choose a corporation or an LLC depends on the type of business and the legal and financial goals of the business owners. For example, if you plan to take on investors or go public, a corporation may be the best way to protect your business and provide a return on investment to shareholders. However, if you are forming a small business that does not plan to scale or take on investors in the near future, an LLC may be the best choice for limited liability protection and flexibility.

seeking Professional Advice

Business formation can be complex, and each business structure comes with different responsibilities and liabilities. If you reside in Los Angeles and want to form a corporation or an LLC, it is important to consult with experienced business lawyers in Los Angeles to ensure you comply with state and local laws. The lawyers may also advise on tax implications and other factors involved in forming a corporation or LLC.


Corporation vs. LLC,

Business Law,

Los Angeles Lawyers