It is not always easy to run multiple businesses under one LLC. To make it work, you need to put in a lot of time for administrative tasks and understand the positives and negatives of each situation. But sometimes, this way of handling things can help keep your personal assets safe while you’re doing business, help you get some tax benefits, or set up an LLC in a smart way to reach your goals.
It’s important to realize that operating within the existing legislative framework when you manage multiple companies under one LLC requires you to deeply understand business laws. What’s okay in one jurisdiction might be considered a gray or even illegal scheme somewhere else.
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Taking the time to carefully consider whether it’s possible to run multiple businesses under one LLC is a must-do. The information we’re sharing is specifically about the United States and might not exactly match what’s going on in other parts of the world.
Doing Business As (DBA) is like a special name that a company can use for its work. It’s similar to having a nickname for your business. DBA legally replaces the company’s name or brand. Registering a DBA is not mandatory. Company bosses decide if they want to use it, and this doesn’t result in the setup of a new legal entity.
Here are the benefits DBAs boast:
- Flexible business structure.
- Versatility (you will find almost no situations where running multiple businesses under one LLC using DBA is impossible or hard).
- No requirement to register another LLC or more, which lowers organizational costs.
And these are the limitations of DBAs:
- No split of responsibility, with issues that arise while running an LLC with a particular DBA impacting other structures.
- Tax calculations are carried out using the same LLC for each business type, resulting in an additional administrative load.
- Complex financial accounting.
A series LLC is a structure where each of the multiple subsidiaries created under a single parent company operates autonomously from the others. Profits and tax liabilities are calculated separately, and each business is managed independently.
The benefits of series LLCs are obvious:
- legal autonomy
- division of profits from certain business types
- asset protection (issues with one LLC won’t affect the others negatively).
Yet, series LLCs have their limitations as well:
- significant management or administrative expenses
- potential rise in tax payments.
This model involves a parent company and several subsidiary LLCs. The arrangement offers utmost control over each business type with no need for direct engagement in everyday operations.
Take a look at the benefits holding companies may offer you:
- full control over subsidiaries
- cost-efficient management of tangible business operations
- streamlined calculation of your tax liabilities
- efficient monitoring of gains and losses for each business type.
The drawbacks that holding companies come with shouldn’t be disregarded:
- increased registration costs for all LLCs
- competent administration of a holding company necessitates specific expertise.
Why run multiple businesses under one LLC?
In many situations, traditional methods work well for business people. This means registering a company specifically for one area of work. The idea of having multiple businesses under one limited company is not common, but it’s good to know about it. Sometimes, it can be better than registering many companies or trying other ways to expand your interests.
Learn about the typical uses of the above method:
- Starting a new business alongside an existing one (as long as the business areas are not the same).
- Legally dividing a business to safeguard and diversify assets (for example, for inheritance or divorce purposes).
- Splitting an unprofitable business.
- Optimizing taxes.
- Streamlining an LLC as a part of a bigger structure.
The main issue with all strategies for creating various businesses under a single LLC is the added complexity of organizational tasks, both during company registration and its ongoing operation. This inevitably makes costs go up, and you will need a real pro to manage all the related legal aspects.
Consulting Offshore Pro Group experts before you start will help you spend money wisely, make it much less likely that unexpected things will happen, and simplify managing different kinds of businesses under a single LLC.
Below, you will find additional factors to consider:
- To make it easier to manage complex structures under a single LLC, it’s a good idea to make an operating agreement.
- When you decide how to do this, think about not just what you need now, but also any plans you might have to expand later.
- The legal basis for having different kinds of businesses under one LLC shall account for the laws of the specific state or country.
- It’s really important to sort out all your goals for having different businesses under one LLC based on their appropriateness and then pick the best way to do it.
It may appear quite challenging to run different businesses under a single LLC. That’s why we suggest you discuss all the details with an expert from Offshore Pro Group. Our seasoned pros will answer your questions, provide the best advice, and explain the basic services available. With this, making a well-informed decision will be a breeze.
Are there any restrictions for using a DBA scheme?
In most countries or states, there are none. However, you must follow the current corporate rules and duly go through the registration procedures.
Do separate structures for each type of business under one LLC need unique names?
It depends on the laws. Generally, the main name of the LLC shall be part of their names as well.
Does it make sense to manage multiple businesses under one LLC?
It depends on your specific situation. If the goal is to centralize management or legally optimize taxes, it might be worth it.
Which approach is better for managing a business: DBA, holding company, or series LLC?
Each of them comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. It’s a good idea to decide after you talk to a seasoned expert from International Wealth.
Are multiple companies within one LLC considered a conglomerate?
No, a conglomerate is where a single company owns controlling stakes in other independently operating companies.
Does running different businesses under one LLC reduce risks for the founders?
It depends on the particular structure that you will choose to do it.
Should each business have its own corporate bank account?
Yes, otherwise it may not be independent in legal terms.
For more information on the subject, please refer to the articles below:
- How do Owners of US LLCs Optimize Taxes in 2023?
- How Can a Limited Liability Company (LLC) Legally Minimize Tax Payments?
- Can I Have an LLC and Do Nothing with It?
- How Much Does It Cost to Start an LLC Abroad?
Don’t hesitate to contact the Offshore Pro Group team using the below email: firstname.lastname@example.org.