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Written by : Stephany Crotty
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hi mark Kohler here with another two-minute tax and legal tip I'd like to talk about the LLC and a rental property I have so many phone calls from new clients around the country that say mark do I need an LLC for my rental what should I do do I need one LLC do I need five LLC's what should my structure look like well that's a great question let's talk about it first let's talk about the two groups out there now there's one side of the spectrum that says you should have an LLC for every run well frankly I think that's overkill it can be a lot of cost and maintenance to set up an LLC for every little project now if they're worth 500 grand or a million or you have multiple partners I get it but I'd be cautious of falling trap to that LLC for every rental strategy on the other extreme we've got people that say oh just set up one LLC and you can have 25 rentals in one LLC I don't know if I like that one either you have all your eggs in one basket and if there's a lawsuit with one property they can get it all the other properties in the LLC now before I give my recommendation keep in mind one important factor to an LLC is not just one sheet of paper click-click-click online and you're done folks you need to have all the pieces and parts an operating agreement minutes a corporate book a bank account tax ID number if you need to the protection of that LLC when you show up in court you better have all that stuff and we have so many clients that come to us going I set up my LLC on LegalZoom or some website what do I do next and folks we love to clean those up get them organized and get you on a maintenance program it to be as little as 150 bucks a year just to maintain the LLC in its proper way so think about that in this equation because an LLC is more than just one click of a button so what's my recommendation balance I think your asset protection structure and your LLC's should grow with you if you get one rental get an LLC now maybe two and three rentals can go into one LLC I'm okay with that let's look at the equity involved let's make sure the LLC's set up properly in this state where the rental property is located not in Wyoming or Nevada or Delaware set up the LLC where the property is and start by putting your first rental property in there maybe your second or third and you start to get four five six or seven or ten or fifteen rentals then maybe we add a second or a third LLC maybe even a holding company LLC to hold them all there's all sorts of different strategies with single member LLC's multi-member LLC s using IRAs and LLC's and even series LLC there's a little bit more than just again going online and click like click I'll just do it myself bottom line get an attorney involved it understands taxation can set up entities in all 50 states and help support you with company maintenance and even be an address for you and make it affordable it shouldn't be thousands and thousands of dollars but set up LLC's as you grow and as you expand don't overdo it and set up an elaborate structure just because you have to rental we set up entities for 800 bucks in any state within a full attorney support consultation and paralegals help and do the whole thing give us a call if you're interested in and please make sure that you're thinking asset protection and giving the right protection as you grow and not overdoing it thanks so much and keep living that American dream thanks for watching in if you love that video I've got a lot more please subscribe to my channel and I shoot weekly videos that can help you in your business personal life and better live your American dream also check out my newsletter free newsletter every week with glogauer tips strategies tax deadline you'd love it also if you like social media please follow me on social media with some daily tips and it like to connect that way it could be a lot of fun but quietly please check out my pack the legal library I have the test videos on these topics and more where I pull out a whiteboard and breaking down hours and hours of helpful information that can better help you Blair
Thanks for your comment Elijah Stallones, have a nice day.
- Stephany Crotty, Staff Member
you know perhaps the most common question I receive from BiggerPockets members is should I set up an LLC for my real estate business it's a good question because I'm sure you've heard the horror stories of landlords and other investors getting sued by tenants and losing everything you didn't spend years learning about real estate growing your portfolio and figuring out how to be an effective landlord only to lose it all to some deadbeat looking to gain the legal system right however LLC's are also highly misunderstood in the real estate space because they're just so darn complicated what works for one person might not work for you and what works for you might not work for me well I could give you like the simple answer of talk to an attorney I wanted to have a little bit deeper so you understand this of course I am neither an attorney nor CPA so please take what I'm saying as my own personal opinion and get a qualified person to help you with legal discussions all right well my name is Brandon Turner author of the book on rental property investing and a host of the BiggerPockets podcast and in this video I want to walk you through the world of real estate in LLC's of course if you like real estate content be sure to subscribe to our Channel and click that little thumbs up button below this video letting the world know that this here is a good one all right now this video can be divided into really like three general chunks first I'm gonna explain what an LLC is and why they're so popular second I'll explain the downsides of an LLC and why you might not want one and third I'll walk through some other options you have for protecting your assets okay first let's talk about what an LLC is and what it isn't an LLC is not a get out of jail free card you can be sued with an LLC and you can lose everything an LLC is not designed to prevent you from ever being sued an LLC is designed to help you manage and contain the fallout from that lawsuit so according to the United States Small Business Administration SBA a limited liability company is a hybrid type of legal structure that provides the limited liability features of a corporation and attacks efficiencies and operational flexibilities up a partnership according to the definition and LLC's benefits are threefold first limited liability if you were to get sued your liability then nor the damage to your wallet may be contained to the assets within the LLC not everything else you own in other words if an LLC is set up right and you get sued and lose the creditors problem won't be able to come and take your personal house to your car or garnish your w-2 job wages of course there are way as a judge might pierce the protection of an LLC and go after those things if every Iowa's not dotted and every T was not crossed all right the second part of the definition tax efficiency the LLC is fairly easy to handle during tax time especially if it's a single member LLC which basically means you own it or you and your spouse LLC's are known as pass-through entities which means the income and expenses flow magically through the LLC and are instead reported and paid by each individual member on their personal income statement there is no like corporate tax like a corporation may pay this can definitely make taxes easier and less expensive then let's say a big you know C Corp that's said while a single-member LLC does not require its own business tax return a multi-member LLC with partners does don't make that mistake now third operational flexibility an LLC is fairly flexible in terms of running it you don't need a thousand documents you don't need a bunch of stock issued it's fairly easy to set up fairly inexpensive depending on where you're at so it's easy to see why an LLC might be advantageous to a real estate investor I mean let's just say a tenant slips on the stairs BAM and broke their hip right the tenet decides to sue that landlord for neglect and the court sides with the tenant for whatever reason let's say your insurance doesn't cover all the legal penalties and you as the owner are required to pay five hundred thousand dollars out of pocket to the tenant ouch well if you own the property without an LLC the tenant could have your wages garnished and force you to sell all your properties and drive you to bankruptcy you probably end up eating cold beans out of a can under a bridge while pigeons sit on your shoulder it's not a fun place to be on the other hand if the owner of that property was Mainstreet Investments LLC then the LLC is the owner getting sued the courts could make you sell that property but they likely won't going to make you sell the other properties owned by other LLC's they won't take your primary residence you will be eating cold beans of course this example is a bit overdramatize and unlikely to happen and I actually don't mind eating cold beans but it does illustrate the fear that drives most investors to want an LLC however even though it sounds like it might be I might be encouraging you to go get an LLC right now hold your horses there are some other important factors to consider so LLC's can be awesome but let's talk about the problems with an LLC and real estate all right so LLC's are great I'm not gonna deny that however it might not be great for you there are some fairly important considerations to make before you jump into the LLC bandwagon that could affect your decision for example and maybe most importantly lending on an LLC is almost impossible for residential properties that's right if you plan on using a loan to acquire an investment property like a single or duplex triplex four-plex it's unlikely you can have an LLC on the property most residential lenders simply will not lend on a property inside of an LLC that makes you have to go to a commercial lender has higher fees higher rates shorter terms something you probably don't want to do now many investors simply transfer the ownership of the property into an LLC after purchasing the property in their own name but that does present some risks as well if the bank finds out and they probably will due to insurance reasons they get updated to that they might call your notdo because of the due on sale clause of course you didn't actually sell the property but you did transfer the title from one entity to your name to another your LLC now in the past this has never really been a problem as banks generally turn a blind eye to this but it seems it could change in the future and it's really only expected to get worse as interest rates go up so if you plan to go that route just I recommend speak with your bank get permission in writing to transfer the property into an LLC this is really the only way you'll be truly protected from that dreaded due on sale clause transferring from you to an LLC all right one other issue with an LLC will ask yourself what are you really protecting and spending all this time and energy doing new investors automatically think they need an LLC to protect themselves but when you're first starting out how much wealth do you really need to protect right then I mean think about it you've got a proper
Thanks Weston your participation is very much appreciated
- Stephany Crotty
About the author
I've studied space food at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio and I am an expert in continental philosophy. I usually feel restless. My previous job was industrial air pollution analyst I held this position for 14 years, I love talking about entertaining and quilting. Huge fan of Jamie Foxx I practice baseball and collect records.
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