There are a number of common mistakes many founders make that can destroy everything they worked so hard to achieve. Most occur when there is some business success. Some mistakes are made out of ignorance during the initial filing process with the Secretary of State and others are the result of failing to finish the process.
In some cases, all the members of an LLC may be investors only and not managers. The business may hire an outside general manager (employee) to make the day-to-day decisions, and therefore, acts as the manager. In this case, the general manager is an employee of the business, but since they are not a member (aka owner), their income is just like that of an employee in any business.
When you have an investor in your LLC, who works less than 500 hours in a given tax year for the LLC, and they do not participate in its management, they are considered limited in their liability and their income is usually considered passive income subjecting the income to only federal and state income taxes based on their marginal tax rate.
A member in an LLC that is a decision-maker (manager) is considered an employee of the business by the IRS and is treated differently than non-manager members. Income for managers is considered earned income and is subject to additional taxes but also to additional potential tax deductions. Moreover, as a manager, you are exposed to additional liabilities.
As a sole proprietor or as a single-member LLC you are the only owner, and as a result, you do not take a salary or a wage from a business. Instead, you can simply take out excess cash from the business, which is known as an owner draw, to pay yourself.
How you pay yourself as an owner depends on the type of entity you are and how many owners there are. This post lays the groundwork and defines a few terms that should help demystify how entities pay the owners of the business.
Many people, and many businesses for that matter, really do not understand the difference between an asset and a liability. When asked what is your biggest asset most people will say their house. An asset is essentially something that helps put money in your pocket and a liability is something that takes the money out. […]