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  • Matthew McCabe

What is a Single-member LLC?

A single-member limited liability company (LLC) is an LLC that has only one member, or a husband and wife who's membership interest is held in community property. Sometimes a single-member LLC is referred to a sole-member LLC.

People often create a single member LLC for asset protection reasons. The common alternative structure is a sole proprietorship. A sole proprietorship and a single-member LLC are both businesses that are owned by one person. However, the law treats them differently. Generally, a sole proprietorship is not legally separated from the individual owner. Therefore, the individual owner of a sole proprietorship is still liable for the business debts, losses, and legal obligations of the business.

Unlike a sole proprietorship, a single-member LLC may be treated as a separate legal entity. This may provide considerable personal asset protection for the individual owner because unlike a sole proprietorship, a single-member LLC may be liable for its own business debts, losses, and legal obligations. Therefore, the individual owner may be protected by the corporate veil of the LLC from personal liability.

A simple example of this could be if you started a new business, say a restaurant, and someone slipped and fell due to a spill that was not cleaned up timely. If they sue and win, they could get a monetary judgment. If the business was setup as a sole proprietorship then they could potentially come after your personal assets to collect of the judgment (think your home). Alternatively, if the business was setup as a single-member LLC then they may be limited to coming after the business assets only (think business property). This could limit collection against your personal property and prevent someone from attaching a judgment against your personal family home.

Thunderbird Law offers flat fee pricing to set up a single member LLC. A licensed attorney will work with you to ensure the desired name for your LLC is available, file the articles of organization with the state, serve as your statutory agent, and provide you copies of all your LLC documents. This can all be accomplished for a reasonable flat fee by clicking here.

Here are other articles about single-member LLC's you may find interesting:


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