Can an IRA Be Owned by an LLC?

An LLC-owned IRA can be ideal for investments such as real estate and private placements that require more hands-on management, providing more freedom than custodial accounts can.

An LLC does not change the tax treatment of IRA earnings or reduce the chances of engaging in Prohibitive Transactions; furthermore, it does not eliminate state taxes in some states.

Limited liability

An LLC may be the ideal way to establish limited liability structures; however, its complexity requires adhering to IRS rules regarding disqualified parties and prohibited transactions as well as filing an annual federal tax return and complying with any state requirements.

Self directed IRAs have become a popular investment choice among clients as it gives them more control of their investments without depending on a custodian for approval, particularly when investing in non-traditional assets such as real estate.

An IRA LLC can be utilized for both passive and active investments such as private equity and REITs; it’s best suited for active investments like real estate. An LLC operating agreement should stipulate that there should be no salaries paid to its owner or any disqualified persons such as spouses, ascendants, descendants or children of that owner; any compensation to them should also be disallowed.


Self-Directed IRA investors frequently utilize LLCs when purchasing real estate due to the tax advantages this structure can provide, including protection from personal lawsuits or other legal liabilities that may arise during ownership.

Use of an LLC also allows IRA investors to circumvent custodial control and execute deals faster and more cost effectively, known as “checkbook control.”

LLCs typically establish their own business checking accounts into which IRA funds can be deposited directly by investors, giving them signing authority on contracts and financing expenses related to investments through direct access with LLC.

SmartAsset’s free tool connects you with experienced legal advisors in your area who specialize in self-directed IRA LLC creation. Interview these advisor matches free of charge before selecting the one best suited for you based on a few quick questions answered during registration. To begin using this resource now simply answer a few simple queries!


An LLC is an excellent way to protect assets such as real estate because it allows for easy investment without custodian oversight and tax liability concerns. Furthermore, states don’t tax LLC profits like they would individuals’ earnings – however as an owner you still must file an income tax return annually.

Your IRA is considered by the IRS to be a pass-through entity and any profits or losses will flow directly back into your IRA account, which then reports them to the IRS on Schedule K-1 forms. In certain circumstances, however, an LLC treated as a partnership may also be subject to current taxable income known as Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT) or Unrelated Debt-Financed Income (UDFI).

UDFI typically arises when your SDIRA invests with debt-financed investments such as purchasing real estate with non-recourse loans and incurs UDFI for any percentage of financing which falls within their investment strategy.


For investors wishing to invest in alternative assets like real estate, tax liens, private businesses and precious metals, an LLC provides significant flexibility. Furthermore, its structure provides protection from lawsuits and creditors by keeping its assets separate from personal assets held within an IRA account.

SDIRA holders can take advantage of an LLC structure to diversify their investments, reduce transaction fees, and gain greater “checkbook control”. However, it’s essential that you familiarize yourself with all IRS regulations related to this investment strategy before undertaking it.

An important rule to keep in mind when investing with an IRA is that only LLCs where neither its owner or any disqualified parties own 50% or more do qualify as investments for investment by an IRA. This rule includes members, spouses of members and descendants. An LLC may also bypass unrelated debt-financed income rules by purchasing properties with non-recourse loans.

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