We Offer Legal Advice to Businesses in all 67 Florida Counties and Form LLCs & INCs for Clients Worldwide. Start With a Consult.

What Are the Differences Between an LLP and an LLC?

Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP) and Limited Liability Companies (LLC) are popular business entities offering distinct features and advantages tailored to different business needs. Understanding the differences between an LLP and an LLC is crucial for entrepreneurs and business owners to determine which structure best suits their goals. Here are the key distinctions:

  1. Ownership and Management Structure:

    • LLP: Primarily designed for professional services firms like law practices, accounting firms, and consultancies. In an LLP, all partners have the right to manage the business directly and are equally responsible for the business operations. However, each partner's liability for the company's debts is limited.

    • LLC: Can be owned and managed by one or more individuals (members). LLCs offer flexibility in management structure, allowing members to either manage the business themselves (member-managed) or appoint managers to handle the business operations (manager-managed).

  2. Liability:

    • LLP: Offers limited personal liability protection to each partner for the actions of the other partners. However, partners may still be liable for their own actions and the actions of those directly under their supervision.

    • LLC: Provides its members with comprehensive personal liability protection, shielding personal assets from the debts and obligations of the business, including actions taken by other members or employees of the LLC.

  3. Taxation:

    • LLPs and LLCs typically benefit from pass-through taxation, meaning the business is not taxed at the corporate level. Instead, profits and losses are passed through to the individual partners' or members' tax returns, which are taxed at personal income tax rates.

    • However, LLCs offer more flexibility in taxation. An LLC can be taxed as a partnership, a sole proprietorship (if it has one owner), or a corporation (S-Corp or C-Corp), providing potential tax advantages in certain circumstances.

  4. Formation and Documentation:

    • LLP: Formation generally requires filing a registration with the relevant state authority, and the requirements can vary significantly from one jurisdiction to another. Often, there is a requirement that at least some of the partners must be licensed professionals in the field of the LLP's business.

    • LLC: Formation involves filing "Articles of Organization" with the state and creating an "Operating Agreement" that outlines the management structure and operational procedures of the LLC. LLCs are subject to fewer regulations regarding the professional status of their members.

  5. Regulatory Requirements and Flexibility:

    • LLP: Might be subject to specific regulatory requirements depending on the professional field and state laws, particularly regarding the licensing of the professionals involved.

    • LLC: Generally offers more flexibility in terms of operation, management, and the distribution of profits. LLCs can include members with different contributions (e.g., work, capital). They can distribute profits almost any manner, as outlined in the Operating Agreement, regardless of each member's investment proportion.

Choosing between an LLP and an LLC depends on various factors, including the type of business, the number and types of owners involved, tax considerations, and the level of liability protection needed. It's often advisable to consult with a legal or financial advisor to make the best decision for your specific circumstances.

  • Published: Mar 9, 2024
  • Updated: Mar 9, 2024

This FAQ serves as a general information resource and does not provide legal advice. We cannot guarantee the completeness, accuracy, reliability, or suitability of the information for your specific circumstances. As legal situations can vary greatly, it is always recommended to consult with a qualified attorney for personalized advice and guidance.

Read more FAQ...

What is a Member-Managed LLC?

View More

What is a Manager-Managed LLC?

View More

What is an LLC in the USA?

View More

What is a Registered Agent?

View More