Freeport, FL asked in Business Formation and Business Law for Florida

Q: LLC or S Corp for Animal Training and Education business.

My start up company involves animal training and education. I registered as an LLC initially, but recently other business owners have been recommending that I switch to an S Corp. I was told that I would be better protected. Could you please define the differences between the two, pros and cons, and tell me why the S Corp might provide better personal protection? Thank you in advance!

1 Lawyer Answer
Jane Kim
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  • Naples, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: For your purposes, LLC is easier and provides the same advantages, if not more, than an S Corp.

Here is what an AI robot says (I do not agree with No.1 under "disadvantages." )

Advantages and disadvantages of LLC over an S Corp.

Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) and S Corporations (S Corps) are two common types of business entities in the United States. Both offer liability protection for their owners and can pass through business income to their owners' personal tax returns. However, there are some key differences between LLCs and S Corps that can affect which one is the best fit for your business. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of LLCs over S Corps:

Advantages of LLCs over S Corps:

1. Flexibility in Taxation: LLCs have more flexibility in their tax treatment than S Corps. LLCs can choose to be taxed as a sole proprietorship, partnership, S corporation or even a C corporation. This flexibility allows the business to choose the most beneficial tax structure for its situation.

2. No Ownership Restrictions: LLCs can have an unlimited number of owners, and there are no restrictions on who can be an owner. S Corps, on the other hand, are limited to 100 shareholders, and all shareholders must be individuals, estates, or certain types of trusts.

3. Simpler Administration: LLCs have less stringent rules and regulations than S Corps, which means they are easier to administer. LLCs don't have to hold annual meetings or follow the same strict record-keeping requirements as S Corps.

4. Fewer Restrictions on Profit Distribution: LLCs have more flexibility in distributing profits to their owners. S Corps must distribute profits according to the percentage of ownership, while LLCs can distribute profits in any way they choose.

Disadvantages of LLCs over S Corps:

1. Self-Employment Taxes: LLC owners are subject to self-employment taxes, which can be higher than the taxes paid by S Corp shareholders. S Corp shareholders only pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on their salary, not on their share of the business's profits.

2. Limited Life Span: LLCs have a limited life span and can be dissolved when a member leaves or dies. S Corps, on the other hand, can continue to exist regardless of changes in ownership.

3. Lack of Structure: LLCs have less structure than S Corps, which can be a disadvantage for some businesses. For example, LLCs do not have to have a board of directors, issue stock, or hold regular meetings.

4. Tax Treatment for Fringe Benefits: S Corps have more favorable tax treatment for certain fringe benefits, such as health insurance premiums and retirement plan contributions, which can save business owners money on their taxes.

Ultimately, the choice between an LLC and an S Corp will depend on the specific needs and circumstances of the business. It's important to consult with a qualified accountant or attorney to determine which entity is best for your situation.

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