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I am REALTOR® and a sole proprietor who is looking into forming an s corp or llc. Not sure which is best. Pros and cons?

Minneapolis, MN |

I do not currently hold any properties other than my personal residence, but may purchase properties in the future to fix and resell. I am not a landlord at this time, but would like the flexibility of purchasing rental properties in the future. I am mainly concerned about separating personal assets from business assets. Also would like to be able to have some verifyable W2 income.

Attorney Answers 4


The answers depend on how you want to conduct your business, on a daily basis. Do you expect to have partners or joint ventures? Either a corp. or LLC, if organized and observed, will protect personal assets (although many deals for a small entity will still require your personal guarantees and pledge of personal assets).

The S corp election is a tax matter, and not an organizational issue.

It is worth two hours of a MN lawyer's time to sit with you and figure out a game plan, before you start off in direction you don't intend.

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There are a few options that would work for you. I think that the best format for someone in your situation an LLC. It provides you with liability protection while it remains easy to set up. If you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact my office.

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An S-Corp is not an actual corporate formation, it is an IRS designation. Corporations (and LLC's) are formed by the laws of a state, not by the federal government (including the IRS). As an LLC, you can choose to be taxed as an S-Corp... the S-Corp isn't the actual business formation.

An LLC is usually cheaper and easier to form. In addition, it allows for pass-through taxation when it's a single member LLC, so you don't get double taxed (business income tax + personal income tax).

When you have no employees, you do not generally get a separate EIN (though you can, technically)... the income is all yours. I bring this up because it isn't necessarily a help when it comes to a W2. You should talk to a local attorney to see your state-specific options.

This is not legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The post is only an opinion. You should speak to an attorney for further information. The poster is licensed only in CT & NY. Please visit for more information about our services. If this post is useful to you, please remember to upvote it.

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LLCs tend to be the most flexible, but both a corporation and a LLC would give you some measure of protection from personal liability. A LLC is a "disregarded" entity, so you might like a Corporation better for W2 income. You'll want to sit down with a Minnesota Lawyer and check in with your accountant.

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