Updated July 13, 2020:

An investment LLC allows a group of people to invest together. It is not necessarily an investment in a business; it can be used for other things like real estate. An LLC is a flexible entity with some of the same characteristics of a corporation, and also of a partnership.

How to Set Up an LLC

The formation process is similar no matter what state it is created in, although states have different requirements for LLCs. It's permissible in most states to set up an LLC for any purpose that is legitimate, including holding and trading investments.

Before anything else, you'll need to choose a name for the LLC that is unique. Most states have databases available that let you search the names of existing business entities. In this way, you can make sure your desired name is not being used by another LLC.

LLC formation also requires several documents to be prepared and filed. Formation documents in any state will ask for the same information, such as the LLC's name, its address, and the contact information for a registered agent who is willing to serve the LLC. These forms are customarily available online, though different states may call them by different names such as “certificate of formation” or “articles of organization.”

Once the forms are filled out, the next step is to pay the fee that the state requires and file the documents. Usually it's the secretary of state's office that handles filing and payments; they will tell you how to file, whether it is in person, by mail, or by fax.

Benefits of an LLC for Investing

An LLC should have an operating agreement that lays out procedures, outlining what may or may not be done. This is beneficial for multiple people who want to set up an investment plan. They can invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, and other opportunities.

Thanks to the operating agreement, there will be no ambiguity or confusion about how it works. Some of the issues covered in an operating agreement include:

  • The procedure for LLC members selling their shares of the company.
  • How the LLC's funds will be invested.
  • Whether or not members must contribute regularly to the LLC.
  • Restrictions for investments to certain types of assets.

How Investment LLCs Pay Taxes

LLCs pass profits and losses on to their members. For this reason, they should not be used by someone looking for a way to reduce income taxes. However, LLCs can also elect to be taxed as corporations, which will impact the way taxes are calculated among each owner.

Who Can Set Up an LLC?

Setting up an LLC for the purpose of investment isn't difficult. However, most people prefer to hire a professional company that does all the hard work of LLC formation instead of doing it themselves. Choosing a service company for your LLC formation is just like shopping for anything else; it pays to compare prices, support levels, and reviews. With a service company, setting your LLC up will take you about an hour and they will do the rest, such as filing paperwork with the state.

Getting Started With Investing

After the LLC paperwork is filed, the next step is to open a brokerage account. You'll need to send in the LLC operating agreement, and within about a week you should be ready to start your new venture.

Real estate investments are one of the most common uses for an investment LLC. By using an LLC, you will be protected from liabilities associated with real estate ownership, and if there are multiple owners, it will lay out how the ownership of the property will be divided among them. This is particularly useful if multiple properties will be purchased.

LLC Guide for New Investors

It's not uncommon for new investors to be unfamiliar with stocks and bonds, or to have most of their personal assets invested in a startup or family business. It's beneficial for you to take the time to learn about how LLCs work and how they can help you invest wisely.

Benefits of an LLC for investing include:

  • Pass-through taxation.
  • Protection of personal assets.
  • Few rules for compliance.
  • Management structures that are not rigid.

If you're not a financial expert, it's easy to get lost in the sea of information regarding the laws of different states, changing regulations, advantages, and disadvantages. There's even a new entity known as the Limited Liability Limited Partnership (LLLP) you may want to consider as well.

If you need more information on an investment LLC, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.