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Why are limited liabilty companies (LLC’s) so popular?

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Need an Attorney to help your Maryland or DC business? Contact Raymond McKenzie at 301-330-6790 or

Limited Liability

Limited Liability

Limited liability companies (“LLCs”) have become increasingly popular over the past several years as alternatives to corporations because they legally enjoy the same limited liability advantages as corporations, while also providing certain tax benefits that not all corporations do. LLCs, corporations, and most partnerships shield their owners from liability for the actions of the entity. So regardless of the corporate form, owners of these entities will rarely be held liable for the debts and other actions taken by the corporation.

The reason that LLC’s have increased in popularity is because members of an LLC garner pass-through tax advantages similar to what partners receive in a partnership. While owners of a corporation face “double-taxation,” first at the net income of the corporation and second at the individual shareholder level on the dividends the shareholders receive, LLC members are taxed only once, at the individual level on the profits they receive. With all else being equal, this tax savings is the main reason that a start-up entity will choose to go the LLC route as opposed to the corporation route.

In most other respects, LLCs are similar in nature to corporations. An LLC is suitable for one or several owners, called “members.” As a partnership agreement governs the partners’ relationship and a shareholders’ agreement governs the shareholders in a corporation, a properly drafted LLC operating agreement sets out the rights, duties, obligations and remedies of the LLC’s members.

A managing member, designated in the operating agreement, runs the day to day operations of the LLC, and there can be more than one managing member if desired by the members. LLCs may, but are not required to, appoint officers of the LLC. Members of an LLC may consist of individuals, corporations, other LLCs, or a mixture of each.

Persons desiring to form an LLC in Maryland can search the Maryland SDAT website for name availability at

After determining whether a name is available, forms for an LLC’s Articles of Organization can be found at

Just remember to consult an experienced Maryland business attorney before you get started.

Need an Attorney to help your Maryland or DC business? Contact Raymond McKenzie at 301-330-6790 or

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