Should You Set Up An Llc For Your Freelance Business?

17.12.2021 15:32:08

should a freelancer form an llc

There’s so much to do when it comes to forming and maintaining your business, it can get overwhelming fast. There are a few things to consider before opting to form a corporation. You can form an LLC and elect to have it taxed as a C Corp or S Corp. As an S Corp, corporate income or losses are passed through directly to the shareholders . You can start off as a C Corp and switch to an S Corp, or vice versa, so you have the flexibility to choose what’s right for you.

The total cost of this would be a couple hundred a year to an accountant and/or tax attorney, which are write offs, and to the state for fees. In most states, the setup cost will be a few hundred dollars (California is particularly nasty and it’s around $800 to set up and the same annually going forward; most states are $ ). Level of government requirements – Easier than sole proprietorship and more complex than corporation – an LLC must file additional paperwork, including the articles of organization. It can also be advised to create a comprehensive operating agreement because of the high degree of variability/flexibility. Unlike sole proprietorships and general partnerships that do not provide legal protections against business liabilities, the law treats an LLC as a separate legal entity from the business owner. Once the state approves your LLC’s articles of organization, you’re legally separated from your business.

  • Filing as an LLC gives you more freedom in how you want to be taxed.
  • Most banks will require you to set up entirely new bank accounts for your LLC.
  • However, there are legal services that can help you form an LLC and guide you through the process.
  • The state in which you reside and their regulations might actually make a significant difference in whether or not an LLC is right for your freelance business.

Especially if any of you are an LLC that elected to be an S Corp. LLCs are surprisingly easy and inexpensive to form — so don’t be afraid to consider creating one. For less than $100 and an hour of my time, I had my LLC formed and an Employer Identification Number . Additionally, with an LLC, you will find that you have a professional business appearance for your clients, increasing your credibility in the field.

It doesn’t matter if you’re coding websites or delivering sandwiches—if you’re getting paid by customers or clients for a product or service, you’re considered a business by the IRS. That means even if you’ve never filed any paperwork or picked a company name, you’re technically the sole proprietor of your own business. Generally, you will create an LLC operating agreement setting forth the rights and duties of the members and managers , file certain forms with the appropriate state agency , and pay a filing fee. Technically speaking, you do not need an LLC if you are a sole proprietor. Sole proprietorships represent a basic type of business structure, and allow you to conduct your business without necessarily registering a license as a business owner. In other words, the tax load for both business entities might be the same in some of the states, but in other states, the tax rate might be slightly higher. Sometimes, if you are a multi-member LLC, you might have to pay business income taxes for every shareholder.

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This entity is a good choice if you want to attract outside investors since investors usually prefer to invest in corporations so they can receive stock ownership. All you have to do is file a document called an election with the IRS, which asks that they tax you like a corporation. In some cases, this strategy might even help you save money on taxes. Whether you’re an SMLLC or multi-member LLC, you have the option of being taxed like a corporation, which means you can be an employee of your business. If your LLC has two or more members, it’s usually treated like a partnership for tax purposes. Your multi-member LLC will prepare and file the same tax form used by a partnership (IRS Form 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income).

should a freelancer form an llc

But in most circumstances, your home state is going to be your most effective option. If you were to form your business in another state, you will still likely meet the criteria for doing business in your home state. So, even if you were to form your business in Delaware, Nevada, or Wyoming, you would have to file paperwork in your home state, eliminating any tax or cost savings. LLCs have become increasingly popular because they combine the informality, flexibility, and tax characteristics of a sole proprietorship or partnership with the limited liability of a corporation.

What Is An Llc?

You can create a multi-member freelance LLC if your business has more than one member. Forming an LLC requires minimal compliance and paperwork when compared to more complex structures like a Corporation. As a freelancer, setting up an LLC is one of the most important things you can do. Learn how to set your freelance graphic design rates and how to increase them… As always, we recommend you consult with a CPA and/or business attorney before incorporating as an LLC to discuss your specific situation. They can also help you maximize deductions as well as explain how to navigate yourQuarterly Taxes.

  • It can help to limit your personal liability by in effect setting up a “wall” in between your business and you.
  • If you borrow money for your business, you owe that money back regardless of what happens with the business.
  • An LLC is a company that’s legally separated from its members.
  • From financial incentive to professional prosperity, an LLC might be just what you need to take your freelancing business to the next level.
  • Within 90 days of filing your LLC for Articles of Organization, you must also file a Statement of Information, which costs a $20 fee.
  • But if you need to borrow money or enter into payment obligations (e.g., an office lease) to get started, you may want to try to avoid being personally liable for that debt.

If you want to find venture capital or are going into business with others, then Delaware has the most benefits. If it’s just a small company with a few customers, with no growth plans, then your home state is usually fine. Heard about the benefits of incorporating in tax-friendly states, but based on my research it appears safest to incorporate in my state of residence. You will need a registering agent and all that, so a service like will make the process easier/cheaper for you. But hypothetically, let’s say you’re a one-person shop and are making good money—an LLC electing to be taxed as an S-corp is may be the best fit for you. That protects them from liability and opens up more doors for you, by making sure you can clear compliance at some of the top businesses offering jobs in your industry. Finally, consider that you will need to know and understand what it takes to remain compliant within your business.

What Are The Differences Between A Freelancer, Sole Proprietor, And An Llc?

● You can customize how the LLC is run in an operating agreement. This includes decisions like how profits are divided, what happens when a member leaves , and more. As you decide whether you should incorporate as an LLC, here’s a quick list of the pros and cons. Excise taxes are also required, usually required if using gasoline, doing wagering, or for truck highway usage. Your choice of whether to file as an S-Corp might have another reason behind it. Perhaps you’re merely a one-person band while working as a freelancer.

  • The LLC was mainly created to limit personal liability of the owners , but also to allow the business to be taxed like a partnership.
  • This will require you to set up a separate bank account; therefore, your business funds are not mixed with your personal assets.
  • If you get sued for something that happens in relation to your business, you will be sued personally.
  • This needs to be signed by all the shareholders in your business.
  • If creditors or people file lawsuits against your LLC, they won’t be able to get their hands on your personal assets; they can only collect against your business’s assets.

If you’re doing business as a sole proprietorship, on the other hand, you don’t have that corporate shield to protect your personal assets. With no legal protections or separate business finances, your home and car would be on the line if your business is sued, or if its creditors come knocking. It’s a business structure that lets you separate your business assets from your personal assets, protecting them from lawsuits and business debts. This adds very minimal complexity to your taxes (especially compared to an S-corp) and will likely save you a lot of money through avoidance of self-employment tax. For example, if you make $150,000 as a freelance designer and are a sole proprietor, you’d pay a ~15.3% tax on that income. If you had an S-corp or LLC with S-corp election, you could pay yourself, say $70k (or whatever is a reasonable salary for your location/services/experience) and claim the rest as a dividend. You would not pay the self-employment tax on the dividend, which would save you over $12k.

How To Form A Freelance Business Llc

Read on underneath for a more detailed breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of each. While an LLC offers significant protection for business owners, it’s not without at least a few potential drawbacks. Registering your business as an LLC allows you to separate your business and personal assets. If a situation arises where you’re sued for something you’ve done in your business, you won’t have to worry about putting your personal assets on the line. Although the benefits of forming an LLC are clear, many freelancers don’t have the time or patience to set it up themselves. An EIN officially registers your business with the federal government.

Lastly, setting up an LLC does require a minor time commitment. In most states, you will have to file an annual report and keep track of certain deadlines. At a minimum, you’ll need general liability insurance and possibly professional liability insurance. should a freelancer form an llc An Employer Identification Number is a number that is used by the US Internal Revenue Service to identify and tax businesses. When readers purchase services discussed on our site, we often earn affiliate commissions that support our work.

When it comes to simplicity, maintaining legal LLC status is by far the simplest form of business to work with. It has fewer annual requirements that are easier to abide by. This is where it may be useful to have some sort of legal representation, even if it is an online service. Taxes, filings, and annual updates are just some examples of routine legal paperwork. Banking practices are more of an inconvenience than anything else.

If I wanted to bill them, I had to form a limited-liability corporation — commonly known as an LLC. However, there are legal services that can help you form an LLC and guide you through the process. LegalZoom is perhaps one of the most well-known online services for this process. Profits are passed to members and owners and taxed on an individual basis. High-level maintenance requirements, including additional required annual filings and recorded annual meetings. Corporations have a board of directors, shareholders, and officers. This may be challenging for an individual freelancer business.

For example, if you cause a car accident while delivering artwork to a client, you will still be personally liable for the damage (that’s where insurance comes in). While this may seem like a huge task, you’ll likely find that it’s not as intimidating as you initially thought. Taking the time to set things up correctly will give you peace of mind and position you for business growth – and that’s something that’s well worth the effort.

All freelancers have up to 75 days to make a final decision after going into business. What this means for you is you’re taxed strictly on profits from your company and don’t have to pay self-employment tax. This alone likely would appeal to any freelancer who wants to avoid the high self-employment rate. Again, you still can’t technically be an S-Corp if you’re just one person providing services to your customers. As an LLC, you’re still going to have to pay taxes on Social Security and Medicare based on your profits.

Advantages Of An Llc

This means that if your company is sued or goes bankrupt, you are personally responsible. Being a sole proprietorship or partnership may also make it difficult to raise outside funding for your business. Investors typically don’t want to take on personal liability with their investment.

In a lot of states, LLCS come with recurring annual expenses, like franchise taxes and reporting fees. If someone sues your LLC, your personal assets aren’t on the line.

should a freelancer form an llc

That means you as the owner aren’t held personally responsible for debts or legal actions against your business. Unless, of course, you as the owner are negligent in how you operate.

Setting Up And Maintaining Your Llc In Texas

So you’ve consulted with the experts and decided an LLC is right for you. Here’s what you’ll need to get started to ensure both proper formation and ongoing maintenance. We’ll take a look at what an LLC is, why it can be a good idea as a freelance design business, and how to set one up. Freelance writing businesses are not known for their high profits.

Set Up A Business Bank Account

Being a registered business may make it easier to partner with other companies. Ways to earn Learn how to get started as an independent professional.Find work for your skills Explore the kind of work available in your field. Learn how to get started as an independent professional or dive into your field of expertise. But there are two very specific situations when a corporation may make sense. “@bonsaiinc is probably my all time favorite freelance tool. hands down. the team is super responsive and accessible when i have questions.” A contract involving and exceeding a specified amount of money . That being said, there are plenty of situations where enforceable contracts do not need to be written or spoken, they’re simply implied.