Should a writer be an LLC: Yes or No?

March 13th, 2019 → 10:40 am @


You may have heard about a type of business structure called a Limited Liability Company or LLC. LLCs are a very popular and relatively new business structure, only becoming legal in all 50 states in the 1980s.

LLC status offers limited liability protection. Limited liability means that the owners are not personally liable for the debts and liabilities of the business. In this way, they are similar to corporations.

For example, if an LLC files bankruptcy, the owner will not be required to cover the debts with his or her own money.

Alternatively, a sole proprietor is fully responsible for all business debts. Of course, there are situations where an LLC owner can be held liable, such as personally guaranteeing a loan, intermingling funds and violating the law. The advantage of limited liability is the main reason why authors and other small business owners choose LLC status for their business.

Example: A ghost writer was sued for breech of contract. Fortunately, he had limited liability status for his writing business. This protected his personal assets from liability while he fought the lawsuit. Only his business assets were in potential danger. (By the way, he won the lawsuit).

When to Consider Limited Liability Status

  • You wish limited liability to protect your personal assets.
  • You understand the fees, annual reporting and taxes your state may levy on LLCs.
  • You can afford to consult with a business attorney to fully understand the legal implications of LLC status.
  • You can afford to hire an attorney to prepare the legal documents, especially if you are forming a multi-member LLC.

Carol Topp, CPA is the author of Business Tips and Taxes for Writers Updated for the new tax laws in 2018.


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One Comment → “Should a writer be an LLC: Yes or No?”

  1. […] that offer a more in-depth explanation. Here are a few other LLC related posts on her blog: “LLC: Yes or No?,” ”Should You Incorporate Your Business,” and “Business Tip #16 for Writers: Sole […]