Can an IRA Be Owned by an LLC?

An LLC may own an IRA as long as they follow IRS rules regarding prohibited transactions and disqualified persons, although an IRA LLC may not offer as many advantages compared to traditional or Roth IRA custodial accounts.

Example: an IRA cannot invest in an existing LLC where its owner and/or disqualified persons already own more than 50% of it, as this would breach prohibited transaction rules.

Limited Liability

An LLC provides its owner with liability protection against claims brought against his/her business or investments, which can be particularly useful when investing in real estate investments, as state laws often have extended statutes of limitation on claims related to construction or purchase of property.

If your LLC is owned by more than one IRA or outside investor, having an operating agreement in place to outline ownership interests, divide income and profits, and oversee investment decisions is absolutely crucial. Custodians and banks require this before opening an LLC bank account.

If an IRA owns an LLC, it is crucial that they abide by IRS rules regarding disqualified persons and prohibited transactions, in addition to including special tax provisions in their operating agreement specific to IRA-owned LLCs.

Tax-Free Investments

As LLCs are pass-through entities for tax purposes, any income or gains are taxed at an individual level – meaning your Self-Directed IRA can invest in real estate and private equity without incurring additional transaction or valuation fees from your custodian.

Self-Directed IRA LLC owners enjoy what is referred to as “checkbook control,” giving them access to funds at will. To take full advantage of this option, a valid operating agreement must exist – almost all custodians require this document as part of transferring funds, while banks typically need one as well before opening an LLC bank account.

Operating agreements should contain language prohibiting compensation to disqualified parties (such as an IRA owner and/or their descendants), so as to prevent prohibited transactions and transactions with restricted assets. It is wise to consult a legal expert who understands both LLC state laws and IRA rules to ensure your documents are correctly drawn up.

Taxes on Distributions

An IRA owned LLC allows you to have more control of your retirement funds and invest in real estate or private equity, without incurring penalties from dealing with disqualified parties.

An IRA that owns an LLC enjoys the distinct advantage that its earnings “flow-through” to them tax-free compared with C corporations where profits are subject to two levels of taxes (income and dividends).

Forming an LLC for investment purposes requires complying with IRS rules. If you need any advice on investing with an LLC, smartAsset’s free tool matches you up with pre-screened advisors in your area who can help reach your retirement goals – get started now!

Investment Options

There are various investment options for your IRA funds, including real estate. One popular approach is creating a Self-Directed IRA LLC; this option gives you full checkbook control so that you can invest in various nontraditional or alternative investment assets without custodial interference.

This method can also be useful when purchasing real estate that requires debt financing, as settlement companies tend to prefer working with an LLC instead of an individual when purchasing similar property.

Once your IRA owns an LLC, investing is easy – simply write checks or transfer money directly into its bank account and invest! No custodian approval is needed and there won’t be any review fees to pay; additionally you will gain limited liability protection and greater privacy!


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