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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A series limited liability company, commonly known as a series LLC and sometimes abbreviated as SLLC, is a form of a limited liability company that provides liability protection across multiple "series" each of which is theoretically protected from liabilities arising from the other series. In overall structure, the series LLC has been described as a master LLC that has separate divisions, which is similar to an S corporation with Q-subs.

The utility of a Series LLC may be explained by a comparison to the alternative. Many form an LLC in order to protect personal assets from a legal claim relating to their real estate investment or business liabilities. Additional liability protection may be gained by properly forming and maintaining a separate LLC to hold each property or business entity. By forming a separate LLC to own and hold each legally titled separate property or business entity, theoretically only the assets owned by a specific LLC would be subject to claims or lawsuits arising against that LLC. However, there are costs and administrative burdens associated with properly forming, qualifying and maintaining each separate LLC. Another option may be to form multiple series or "cells" if permitted under applicable laws. Although each cell of a Series LLC can own distinct assets, incur separate liabilities, and have different managers and members, a Series LLC may be able to pay a single set of annual state fees and may be able to file one income tax return each year. In addition to the administrative streamlining, the key value is that liability incurred by one unit does not cross over and jeopardize assets titled in or allocated to other subsidiary units of the same Series LLC.[citation needed]

In several jurisdictions, the procedure for adding and deleting series is uncomplicated. Additional series can be formed or dissolved without any public filing by simply amending the Series' "limited liability company agreement" (equivalent to an operating agreement for other LLCs). Under Delaware law, any particular series may be dissolved by 2/3 approval of the ownership interests, or a simple majority if provided for in the operating agreement. Some jurisdictions, notably Illinois,[1] do have a mechanism for public publication of series. Additionally Illinois states that each series is a separate entity, whereas Delaware is silent on whether each series is a separate entity. Most states with the series LLC have followed the Delaware model, rather than the model in Illinois which requires each series to be designated with the Secretary of State.[citation needed]

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  • How to Use a Series LLC | Mark J Kohler | Tax & Legal Tip
  • Delaware Series LLC by William Bronchick
  • What is a Series LLC?


Mark Kohler here with another tax and legal tip let's talk about the series LLC now every year and other state adopts this series lol stature and twelve or thirteen states that allow for a series continues to grow and it's always a variable moving target but the series also is a powerful way to get protection for my investors that have multiple rental properties now the series LLC only works in states where there's a series a series LLC statute in my new book I give a list of all those series states in the appendix in your Google is defined what states might be a series of get in there and find out if this strategy will work in your state and here's how it works so essentially the normal problem people have is that they can say well all have one LLC and I'll put all my rentals in there well that's kind of scary because all of your eggs in one basket and it's cheap and it's easy but it's scary having all of your reynolds out there again in one little so what do we do then we go out and gets cold and scared into having an LLC for everyone and that's a nightmare right it's expensive and we've got wonderful asset protection but we got multiple checkbooks multiple tax returns in its it's overwhelming and there's those companies out there selling into the structure so watch out this is where the series LLC comes in because it's a balance between this little tip here at the end of what you can do in a non-serious state but if you're in a serious state like Tennessee Utah Oklahoma Nevada again just to name a few you can have in LLC and it can have baby subs that will act like little LLC's holding rental properties where you get extra asset protection in between each one of these but you only have the cost of setting up one LLC and one tax return so it gets to be really cost effective are you still have to have multiple checkbox in the names for these different LLCs and you'll hold the properties in the names of those lol but the beauty again is the filing fee savings in the tax return filing savings that can be really really efficient some states like illinois it's like a $50 filing fee for each LLC but when your pain 604 LLC that's a big deal in Illinois lot of safety texas has a series of all sorts of states provide this option to set up as many babies lol sees you want so look into it and see if it's a good fit for you now for those of you that are in a series LLC state I think you have to other options one buying the balance that works for you with the number of LLCs that you have you might put three to four properties in each LLC and its not an issue of quantity but quality of your Reynolds and how much risk is involved you still want some protection but you don't want to overdo it for those of you that have 10 or 20 or more rental properties i love to create a parent LLC in a charging order protection state another video encoder entities chapter in my book you have this fellow senior Quality state and then set up baby LLC's much like a series of structure we have different Ellis season other states all finally in 2011 tax return but you're getting double layer protection for those of you that have a lot of rental properties this could be a good fit so I guess in the big scheme of things five options with the series LLC option right down here and find what works for you but if you have rental properties get protection and find a structure of the LOC model that fits you best in their american dream thanks for listening and I hope that information was helpful and let me speak from the heart here I've been talking about topics like this for ten fifteen years I'm CPA attorney bestselling author radio show host and I am passionate about helping small business owners say taxes bill wells and protected please check out the link right here download my free ebook on 10 common mistakes small business owners make in the tax and legal arena also I got daily tips a weekly blog radio show every week this information is and I don't love to help you click below find out more about me and thanks for listening



The concept of the series LLC was first introduced to[citation needed] help the mutual fund industry avoid filing multiple SEC filings for different classes of funds. Instead the idea was to use one entity for all funds so that the SEC filing would be under one umbrella, but still permit the individual funds' activities to be conducted separately.[2] The concept is similar to that of the segregated portfolio company or protected cell company, concepts which existed prior to the invention of the series LLC. Segregated portfolio companies exist in countries such as Guernsey, the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Mauritius, and Belize.[citation needed]

This method of liability segregation was first called the "Delaware Series LLC" because the first state to enact this legislation was Delaware (in 1996). Wisconsin passed a stripped-down version of the series LLC legislation in 2001.[3] As of April 2005, Iowa[4] and Oklahoma already had passed similar acts. Later in 2005, Illinois[5] and Nevada[6] followed. Tennessee[7] and Utah[8] passed legislation effective in 2006. Texas enacted non-entity series LLC legislation in 2009.[9] Montana enacted Series LLC legislation in 2011, since becoming a popular organizational structure for captive insurance companies.


Until recently, Delaware did not clearly state that each series could sue, enter into contracts, etc. on its own, without the entire company being named in the lawsuit. Delaware clarified its legislation that a series can now enter into contracts, hold title to assets, grant liens and security interests and sue or be sued. In several other respects, series are not treated by Delaware as separate entities. For example, series are not separately registered and they cannot merge or consolidate with other entities, convert into other entity types or domesticate to another jurisdiction. The Delaware Division of Corporations will not provide a separate certificate of good standing for each series, but it will provide a certificate of good standing saying that the entire company is a series LLC (and not just a traditional LLC).[citation needed]

Illinois has restricted the rights given to the members of a series LLC to create new series because Illinois requires public filing. This has removed some of the cost savings of a series LLC. Illinois law specifically states that a series of an LLC "shall be treated as a separate entity to the extent set forth in the articles of organization," and then also provides that each series may "in its own name, contract, hold title to assets, grant security interests, sue and be sued and otherwise conduct business and exercise the powers of a limited liability company…" The other five states that have enacted series legislation do not treat series as separate entities and do not allow series to enter into contracts or sue or be sued. Delaware further provides that to achieve the liability segregation that the series afford (the "internal shield"), the LLC must keep a separate set of records for each series, and to have a series enabling statement in its Certificate of Formation.[citation needed]

There is uncertainty as to whether the liability shield between LLC series is fully effective in states that do not have series LLC laws. In the 2013 case of Alphonse v. Arch Bay Holdings, LLC, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit interpreted the application of the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act to alleged violations by a Delaware series LLC. The court held that Louisiana law (which does not recognize the series LLC concept) would apply to determine whether a particular series of an LLC or the entire LLC would be the proper party to the litigation.[10]

Tax treatment

The series LLC is becoming more widely used as a liability segregation technique as its tax treatment becomes clearer and its use spreads. To date, the inter-jurisdictional efficacy of portfolio segregation has not been widely tested and the lack of precedent in federal bankruptcy court in particular is a significant source of uncertainty. At the same time, tax treatment is becoming clearer. On January 18, 2008, the Internal Revenue Service issued Private Letter Ruling 200803004,[11] which ruled that the Federal tax classification (i.e., disregarded entity or partnership or taxable association) is determined for each series independently. So, for example, if there is only one owner of series A, then series A can be a disregarded entity (assuming it does not elect to be taxed as an association). And if series B has two owners, then it will be treated as a partnership. The proposed Treasury Regulations § 301.7701-1(a)(5) published in September 2010[12] should become effective in 2012. The regulations are expected to provide that each series will be treated, for tax purposes, as a separate entity regardless of whether the series is considered a legally distinct entity under local law. This clarity has been welcomed by the legal and tax community. California has taken the position that it will only tax income from those series conducting business in California but that each such series will owe the annual franchise fee.[13]

Although the structure of LLCs vary in important ways, commentators have advanced opinions on how to minimize the chances of one series being held liable for liabilities of the entity as a whole or of another series. But they are just opinions and have not been held up in court:[citation needed]

  • A separate bank account should be maintained for each series.
  • All contracts, deeds, notes, etc. should be signed in the name of the series. Again, use something like "Abracadabra LLC, Blackacre Series only".
  • Any loans between series should be properly documented.
  • Any transactions between series should be conducted in an arms'-length manner at fair market prices using appraisals.
  • Have each series file a fictitious business name statement in each county where it owns property. Each series should have its own name and the filing should emphasize the ownership of that series, for example, "Abracadabra LLC, Blackacre Series only". This is to put creditors on notice.
  • Keep the assets and operations of each series separate from the other series. Each asset should be owned solely by one series. In other words, two or more series should not be co-owners of the same property.
  • Make sure each series is adequately capitalized.

States and territories where a Series LLC can be formed


  1. ^ Illinois Secretary of State Certificate of Designation Instructions Archived 2012-02-08 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ See, e.g., Thomas E Rutledge, Again, for the Want of a Theory: The Challenge of the "Series" to Business Organization Law, 46 Am. Bus. Law J. 311 at 313-15 (Summer 2009).
  3. ^ Wis. Stat. §183.0504
  4. ^ Iowa Code §490A.305
  5. ^ Illinois General Assembly, Indiana in 2016, House Enrolled Act 1336 Public Act 094-0607
  6. ^ "2005 Statutes of Nevada, Pages 2177-2276". 
  7. ^ Tenn. Code Ann. §48-249-309.
  8. ^ Utah Code §48-2c-606 Archived 2008-07-11 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ "Bus. Org. Code § 101.601 et seq". 
  10. ^ Hebert, Laura E. "Pros and Cons of the Series LLC". Lexology. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  11. ^ Liquerman, Melissa C. (January 18, 2008). "Private Letter Ruling 200803004" (PDF). Internal Revenue Service. 
  12. ^ "Series LLCs and Cell Companies". 14 September 2010. 
  13. ^ "FTB Filing Guidelines for Series LLCs". 
  14. ^ Code of Alabama Section 10A-5A-11
  15. ^ 6 Del. Code Ann. §18-215
  16. ^ DC Code Ann. §29-802.06
  17. ^ 805 ILCS 180/37-40
  18. ^ Iowa Code Ann. §490A.305
  19. ^ K.S.A. 17-76,143 (2012)
  20. ^ Mo.Rev.Stat §347.186.1
  21. ^ Montana Ann. Code §35-8-304 et seq
  22. ^ Nev. Rev. Stat. §86.296
  23. ^ N.D. Cent. Code §§10-32-17.5, 10-32-48, 10-32-56.5.a,10-32-56.7. North Dakota allows series LLCs, but does not specifically provide for a liability shield between the different series.
  24. ^ 18 Okla. St. Ann. §§2005(B), 2054.4
  25. ^ T.C.A. §48-249-309
  26. ^ Texas Business Organizations Code §§101.601 to 101.621, 21.152(A),(C),(D), 21.153(A), 21.361(A)(2)
  27. ^ Utah Revised Limited Liability Company Act § 48-2c-606
  28. ^ Wis. Stat. Ann. §183.0504. Wisconsin allows series LLCs, but does not specifically provide for a liability shield between the different series.
  29. ^ Puerto Rico Laws Ann. Title 14, §3426(p)
This page was last edited on 20 September 2018, at 22:45
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