Updated October 28, 2020:

LLC officers titles are ownership titles for members operating an LLC. An LLC can operate as either a single-member (one person) or multi-member (two or more) LLC. There are many titles that LLC officers can have, some of which are interchangeable. Usually, a single-member LLC is managed by the single-member whereas the multi-member LLC is managed by an outside manager, particularly if the multi-member LLC is very large. However, for small businesses that operate multi-member LLCs, all members usually participate in the daily oversight and management of the LLC. While a single-member LLC usually manages the LLC him or herself, the single-member can in fact hire another manager if the member simply doesn’t have the time to oversee the daily operations of the business.

Titles for Top Management in an LLC

If you are the owner of an LLC, then there are many different titles that you can give yourself. You can call yourself a CEO, President, Treasurer, Secretary, Vice President, or any other name that is appropriate. There are no laws requiring that you choose a title for yourself. But if you do decide that you want to pick a title, choose one that is not only appropriate but also allows potential clients and business vendors to fully understand what your role is within the LLC. However, you can’t choose a title that would imply you have a license that you have not actually obtained, i.e. “Esq” if you are not a licensed attorney, “MD” if you are not a doctor, etc. While there is flexibility in terms of choosing your title, keep in mind that there are some state requirements for members with particular roles in the LLC.

LLC Management

If you own an LLC, you are referred to as a member (as opposed to an owner, which is the title given to those owning a corporation). When you form your LLC, you will need to choose whether you are going to operate as a manager-managed or member-managed LLC. If you also manage the operations of the LLC, then you are a managing member. Therefore, this means that you have full oversight over the LLC, along with the voting power on important items; you will also have the authority to legally bind the business in contracts.

Generally, most multi-member LLCs have members who all play an active role in the management responsibilities of the LLC. However, some multi-member LLCs choose one or two members to act as managers. Therefore, in this case, the non-managing members will not have any management rights in the company, but will only have voting rights over important business items.

It is important to think about the titles of the LLC officers, which can include:

  • Owners/members
  • Managers (internal manager and external manager)
  • Investors
  • Lenders
  • Shareholders

Each title provides a different set of responsibilities. However, all the above-mentioned titles could also be members of the LLC. For example, the members (owners) could also be lenders in the LLC. Therefore, if one or more members have additional funds to lend to the LLC, then those members could also be called lenders. Similarly, all members could be managers in the LLC. Moreover, all members could invest in the LLC, and therefore, members could also be titled as managers, investors, and lenders.

When it comes to the manager’s role, a manager could be identified as an internal manager, which is someone who runs the LLC and also owns a portion of the LLC. An external manager, however, is someone who runs the LLC but does not have any ownership in the LLC.

The term ‘shareholder’ could also be used in the LLC. While this term is generally used in a corporation, shareholders in an LLC are typically members and are also often investors in the business. Shareholders could also be managers in the LLC.

With regard to very large LLCs, most are generally operated as manager-managed LLCs that hire outside managers who are non-members. The outside manager will usually be an experienced person or business that has experience in overseeing a business.

If you need help learning more about the various titles for LLC officers, or if you help determining if you should operate as a manager-managed or member-managed LLC, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s 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.