LLC, S-Corporation or C-Corporation

I am at the point where I have to set up an entity for my real estate business which was unplanned. I understand that LLC and S corporations are basically the same but with some tax advantages from the S corp. My plan, at this point, is to have an entity that can act as an umbrella for the real estate investing and any other types of business I might get into. For example, I may have an import venture coming to fruition down the line.

Does anyone have any advice on this?

I prefer partnerships for umbrella companies and disregarded LLCs for the individual business ventures.

I’m not sure I understand what you mean. Can you explain a little more about “partnerships for umbrella companies and disregarded LLCs for the individual business ventures”?

You said you wanted an entity to act as an umbrella for real estate investing and any other businesses you start. I prefer a partnership to be the umbrella entity.

Each of these individual businesses will need its own entity. I prefer a disregarded LLC for each business.

I see what you mean now. Ok…so, why not an S-corp? I hear there are tax benefits.

What tax benefits? The partnership has pass through taxation without the nastiness associated with the reasonable salary versus dividends discussion. Partnership interests are not restricted in the way s-corps are, which will give you more flexibility for estate planning. Partnerships have charging order protection where corporate shares can be seized to pay a judgment in case you have a personal judgment. A partnership is just my personal preference in these matters. You can use an s-corp, a trust, or any other type of entity you want.

I see your point. You have to excuse me…I’m sort of getting thrown into this head first and, between the reading I’ve done here and in books, I just want to get my ducks in a row.

I suggest some more research and then sit with a qualified attorney to discuss your options before you take any action. I would avoid all the DIY stuff on the Internet or in conventions. It is mostly junk and focuses on real estate. You need something that can be flexible.

Thanks for the advice. I have a couple of meetings set up with CPAs but it looks like I have to get a good lawyer as well. I am not a believer in the DIY stuff and rely on professionals. Thanks for the advice; you are very helpful.