What Title Do I Use if I Am the Head of an LLC?

By William Pirraglia

You can use any title you want on your LLC's business cards and stationery, but your legal title, if you are an owner -- called a member in an LLC -- is "managing member." If you hire a professional to run your company, he is legally called a "manager." However, the flexibility offered by an LLC structure permits you to choose a public title for your top manager.

Legal Title Issues

When you file for state recognition of your new LLC, you typically must designate how your company will be managed: either member-managed when you have one or more members manage the company, or manager-managed when you hire a professional who is not a member to make operational decisions for your company. When your top executive signs legal documents, contracts or agreements, she must use her legal title to properly execute these documents.

Business Cards and Communications

If you are the top executive for your LLC, you can call yourself anything you want, from "Big Kahuna" to "President." There are no limits to the title you can give yourself for public purposes. To promote clarity, you may want to use a title that most customers and clients understand, like "president" or "CEO." However, the choice is yours. While not recommended, you could call yourself "Lord High Ruler," but titles like this may not help your LLC reach success.

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Common Managing Member Titles

In addition to "president" and "CEO," common titles used by LLC chief executives are "principal," "founder," "consultant" and "owner." Along with being correct and true, these titles accurately represent your position in the company. However, depending on your personal preference or industry, using public corporate titles may deliver less confusion and more benefit. The choice is yours.

Flexibility Benefits

Original and subsequent LLC regulations, although different from state to state, were designed to help small businesspersons create the company structure they wanted. This flexibility gives you the opportunity to design the operating and ownership structure that works for you. Titles you favor are just one component that you can specify in your LLC operating agreement. The articles of organization, required for initial LLC registration, are simple and state-specific. However, your operating agreement describes all operating procedures, including the titles you want for your managers.

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