FLP Vs. LLC

By William Pirraglia

FLPs, or family limited partnerships, are similar to LLCs, or limited liability companies. However, there are some differences that may make one option better than the other. If your organization is not a family business, you may prefer the LLC structure. However, even if your entity is a classic family enterprise, with its potentially important restrictions, you may or may not prefer the FLP structure.

FLPs, or family limited partnerships, are similar to LLCs, or limited liability companies. However, there are some differences that may make one option better than the other. If your organization is not a family business, you may prefer the LLC structure. However, even if your entity is a classic family enterprise, with its potentially important restrictions, you may or may not prefer the FLP structure.

FLPs

An FLP is controlled and managed by one family member. Like all limited partnerships, two types of partners are identified: general partners manage all business affairs and have direct liability; limited partners cannot be active in management, but enjoy limited liability that protects personal assets. In most states, FLPs are simple to set up and easy to maintain on an annual basis.

Ready to start your LLC? Start an LLC Online Now

LLCs

LLCs are also uncomplicated to create and provide limited liability for all owners, called members. Without necessity for family connections, LLCs offer similar advantages to FLPs. LLCs also have similar components to partnerships and some features of corporations, though without the same level of reporting and maintenance requirements. In perpetual LLCs, changing members is easier than with an FLP -- or any partnership.

FLP Benefits

Managing family money and minimizing inheritance tax consequences can be challenging and costly. An FLP eliminates many of these concerns, as FLPs can minimize many gift and estate tax consequences. Should the family own significant real estate assets, the effects of estate tax avoidance can involve major savings. Partners with significant assets or cash can contribute funds, or even have "partial" general partner interests and a percentage of limited partner interest to enjoy more profits while also having limited liability for losses or creditor threats.

LLC Advantages

LLCs have no family restrictions. You can have members from the United States or around the world without fear of legal challenge. LLCs can choose to be taxed as a partnership, with profits and losses distributed to owners as personal income or loss. Since FLPs require unanimous agreement to dissolve the company instead of a 51 percent majority with an LLC, an LLC offers important advantages should circumstances indicate a dissolution of the company. Additionally, an LLC is the better option should you desire to change your company to a corporation so that you can attract new shareholders or go "public" and have your stock available for purchase globally.

Ready to start your LLC? Start an LLC Online Now
Family LLC Operating Agreements

References

Resources

Related articles

Which Is Better: an LLC or an LLP?

Many businesses that want the benefits of corporations without the complex tax rules and expensive startup costs involved with that type of entity choose to form as a limited liability company, or LLC, or a limited liability partnership, or LLP. Potential business owners must weigh the pros and cons of each structure when deciding which is better for their company. While LLC legislation is widespread, not all states have LLP laws.

Family Trusts Vs. Co-Ownership

A family trust is a legal entity created as a means of passing family property to family members upon the death of the person or persons who created the trust. In some situations, co-owners of property may structure their ownership interests in a way that provides for the transfer of a deceased co-owner’s property interest. Although there are similarities between a family trust and co-owning property, there are important differences as well.

Pros & Cons of an LLC

A limited liability company, or LLC, is a type of business organization where the owners -- called members -- have a very limited personal liability for any debts owed by the business. There are several advantages to setting up your business as an LLC, including tax advantages and liability protection, but there can also be disadvantages to this business structure, including difficulty setting up a multi-state LLC and a lack of case law governing liability of LLC members.

LLCs, Corporations, Patents, Attorney Help

Related articles

What Are the Benefits of an S Corporation Vs. a Family Trust?

Many families consider placing some of their personal assets into a separate legal entity as part of their estate ...

The Drawbacks of a Sole Proprietorship

The decision as to how to structure your business is one of the first and most important decisions you must make. ...

Comparison: LP and LLP

When forming a new business, it is important to select an appropriate business structure. You may consider a number of ...

Can I Convert an LLC to an S-Corp?

Converting an LLC to an S corp is possible, but should be done carefully. The advantages of each business structure are ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED