A limited Liability Company (LLC) is a new type of legal business. The members aren’t entirely responsible for the debts or liabilities of an LLC. It allows the owners to create a tax-friendly company where they can maintain and safeguard their assets. Each state allows the opportunity to choose the structure of an LLC, and each state may have different regulations to operate an LLC.
Each LLC needs to be registered in the state where it is conducting business. This means each state has a record of the owners of the LLCs. If you want to know the LLC ownership details, you may follow the points that we will discuss later in this article. An LLC provides several ownership options ranging from single-member to foreign commodities. Let’s discuss LLC Ownership, the various types, and ways to find LLC owners in detail.
What is LLC Ownership?
An LLC can be owned by a single member as well as multiple members. An LLC can also be owned by another LLC or corporation. There is no restriction on the number of owners for an LLC. When an LLC is owned by a single member, they are taxed as a sole proprietor. However, if the LLC is owned by multiple members, then they are taxed according to the partnership.
The owners of an LLC are also known as members. When you want to find LLC owners, look for someone who is addressed as a ‘member’ or has been given the title ‘member’. LLCs are not required to have human beings as their owners. Instead, they can have a corporation, a trust, or any business entity as their owner.
What are the types of LLC ownership structures?
The ownership structure of an LLC varies from company to company. There are several types of LLCs, but the two significant types are Single Member LLCs and Multi-member LLCs. We will discuss these two types further in detail.
Single-member LLCs are very popular among solo entrepreneurs. Single-member LLCs are owned mainly by solo entrepreneurs as it requires low set-up costs and a limited amount of paperwork. However, in the case of taxes and debts, you will be exclusively accountable.
Although, if you fall into debt or get sued, as a single-member LLC owner, you and the LLC could be regarded as a single entity, at which point you may lose your limited liability protection, and could be held liable in court. To avoid a situation like this, you can write an operating agreement that declares that you and your LLC are independent entities.
Advantages of Single-Member LLCs
- It’s up to you to approve, appoint or add a new member
- You can easily hand over the ownership to others.
- Reduces tax complexity.
Disadvantages of Single-Member LLCs
- The paperwork is increased by comparison to a sole proprietorship
- In the case of single-member ownership, it is essential to keep personal and business finances separate to maintain a commercial screen.
- You are required to submit a compliance form that states that you are following the state rules and regulations.
Although a multi-member LLC operates with more than one member, it is the same as single-member ownership. The only thing that distinguishes them is that all the members have to agree and sign an operating agreement. It can be categorized in the following manner.
1. Member-managed LLC
When the members of the LLC manage it by themselves, it’s known as a member-managed LLC. The owners have the full authority to perform actions as long as they comply with the operating agreement.
2. Manager-member LLC
When the owners act placidly, such as a calm investor or require an experienced managing staff, a manager-managed LLC could be the best choice. Still, you must check that the manager-member structure is evident in the operating agreement.
Advantages of Multi-member LLCs
- There is no limitation on the number of members.
- Any US or non-US citizen can be a member of a multi-member LLC.
- Members can constitute an individual, a corporation, an LLC, or a trust.
- It is up to you whether you want to be taxed as an S corp or a C corp.
Disadvantages of Multi-member LLCs
- As the number of members increases, the complexity of taxation also increases.
- As the number of members increases, the paperwork for each needs to be done, which can be a hectic task.
- It is mandatory to register with your state.
Finding LLC Owners
If you are looking for owners for an LLC, there are specific methods to finding the proper LLC ownership, which include the following:
Searching the Secretary of State’s Website
All LLCs need to register themselves in the state’s database. You can find all the information regarding an LLC on the Secretary of State’s website. However, make sure that you are searching for the LLC on that state’s website for which it is conducting the business, as each state has a separate database.
If an LLC operates in more than one state, it needs to register itself in each one of them. If you are searching for the owner of an LLC, a great way to begin your quest is to search on the Secretary of State’s website.
- Open the Secretary of State’s website for the state in which the LLC is operating its business.
- Navigate the Business section on the website. You may search other names too, such as for a corporation, a business search or a business finder.
- Type the name of the LLC that you want to find the owner of. You need to be careful when typing the word because if your search contains a minor misspelling, you may not get the desired result.
- If you still aren’t able to find the LLC and its owner, you can search for the business’s filing history, which may also provide information about the owner or the agent.
Submit a Public Information Request
A public information request is a legal document through which a citizen can request general information from the state. Keeping the owner’s privacy in mind, several states provide a limited amount of information, but it could be accessed through a legal information request.
Several states accept an online form, while some require you to get a printout of the document, fill it out, then mail it to the state’s office. The processing time varies from state to state, but it generally takes around 30 days to process your request. If you aren’t able to file a public information request, you can try contacting the state’s office. They will provide all the necessary information to file a general information request.
If you’ve already searched for the owner on the Secretary of State’s website and received a negative result, then you must not worry. You may get the desired information about the owner through the LLC’s website. You can visit the website and look for the About Us section on the web page.
It may provide you with information about the owner of the company, or if it does not contain information about the owner, then it may have information about a manager, agent, or a member of the company. If you find information about the company, you may get to know about the owner. If you don’t find any information at all, then you can contact the company directly and request information about the owner.
Alternative Public Records
If all of the previous methods fail, then you can try thoroughly investigating. Some alternative public records may have the information you are looking for, which in this case, is information about the owner. If that LLC had done some physical transaction or dealt with properties, it would have been recorded in the county recorder’s office.
If the county has yet to publish the records on the web page publicly, then you can personally visit the office and request to look at a copy of the documents. While looking at the records, you may stumble upon the owner’s signature, and the printed name will be located below that. If it’s not signed by the owner then you could find the name of the manager or some representative of the company. If you can find them, then you may find the owner too.
Ready to form your LLC?
If you want to form an LLC in your state or you want to find the owner of an LLC, then IncParadise is here to help you. IncParadise will provide expert assistance with forming an LLC in your state. Moreover, IncParadise is a fast and safe platform for creating an LLC and searching for the owner of an LLC. Finally, if you want to find the owner of an LLC, then you can follow the above instructions. IncParadise also follows these methods to find LLC owners, which can help you to find the owner in the shortest amount of time.