Knowing how to file a W9 LLC tax classification will help a company stay in good legal standing. No legal entity is better than the other, but it's important to know the difference between them and which one is best for the company.

An Introduction to Tax Classifications

Each business and person must consider the different factors when it comes to tax classifications and see which one fits their personal situation best. There's a difference between the tax classifications that are offered for each entity and the type of legal entity. The best option for a limited liability company that is just starting out is to consult a financial or legal advisor. They have much more expertise in this area than members of the LLC and can help them make an educated decision. The pros and cons of each business type will be discussed with the company so an informed decision can be made.

Common Principles

LLCs and corporations are considered legal entities, while C corporations and S corporations are not. When someone talks about an S corporation, this is referring to a corporation that chose to be taxed under that tax classification. When a corporation is formed, it's automatically given a C corporation tax classification. LLCs that consist of a single member are disregarded entities, so the company does not file a separate tax return. Instead, they report any profits and losses on each member's tax return similar to a sole proprietor

LLCs with multiple members are classified as partnerships according to the Internal Revenue Code. An LLC and a corporation can be taxed under the S corporation or C corporation tax classification. S corporation and C corporation tax provisions will apply for tax-related purposes.

Protection for Personal Assets

Many people think that LLCs provide better protection when it comes to personal assets than a corporation does, but this is not necessarily true. Just because the word corporation is used doesn't mean there's any limited liability protection. Members of an LLC will have the same personal liability protection as shareholders in a corporation do. LLC members are protected from any lawsuits or debts brought against the company. However, there are times personal liability protection doesn't apply, such as a court deciding a member used the company to cause fraud, or if they signed a personal guarantee.

Management Structures

Limited liability companies and management structures of corporations are the most essential factors when deciding between an LLC and a corporation. There is a big difference in what the management structure is for these two entities. The following are the components of the corporate structure:

  • Directors
  • Shareholders (owners)
  • Officers (secretary, president, and treasurer)

There is a defined and rigid set of rules for corporations. The responsibilities, duties, and limitations on the powers are defined in corporate statutes. There is not much modification that can be done to the provisions to have them tailored to a certain type of business. The management structure for an LLC is much more flexible. Owners of the company are also known as members. One or more managers can be selected to run the daily activities of the business. In this case, it's known as a manager-managed LLC. There are no shareholders, officers, or board of directors.

An operating agreement is the governing document in an LLC. This is similar to the terms of a partnership agreement. The statutes give the members more latitude when it comes to customizing the operating agreement to however they would like. It's smart to have this document prepared in case a future client wants to see it. The management of a company is normally done by officers in a corporation. When a member-managed LLC is formed, each member can have certain assigned responsibilities and duties.

By forming a member-managed LLC, you are able to create an operating agreement that gives you the ability to assign specific duties and responsibilities to one or more members, to specify the limits on the authority of any member acting alone in carrying out his or her responsibilities, and to describe the procedure for obtaining additional authority from the other members when necessary.

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