Can I Invest My IRA in an LLC?

Self-directed IRAs often seek to invest in alternative assets, including private businesses and real estate, using LLC structures as asset protection mechanisms that don’t permit their owner to mix personal funds with those belonging to the IRA investment.

Owners of IRAs can also serve as managers of LLCs and enjoy “checkbook control”. An EIN number is mandatory for LLCs; be sure to apply for one before starting investing.

Self-directed IRAs

An IRA LLC is one way real estate investors use to gain what’s known as “checkbook control”. An IRA owner serves as manager for their IRA LLC and invests tangible alternative assets within it. Such accounts provide numerous tax advantages as well as asset protection.

IRA LLCs are ideal for investments such as real estate rentals and rehabbing projects that often involve multiple transactions. Furthermore, their less bureaucratic nature compared to traditional IRAs allows investors to save money on transaction fees as the custodian of the LLC doesn’t need to review each transaction separately.

Notably, the IRS prohibits certain transactions involving IRA funds and private companies as “prohibited transactions”, usually including mixing your IRA with non-arm’s length investments or dealing with disqualified persons like yourself and immediate family. If in doubt regarding an investment’s status it would be prudent to consult a qualified professional or tax advisor.

Real estate

Real estate can be an attractive investment option due to its diversification, cash flow and appreciation. But real estate does involve risks such as value depreciation and litigation from tenants; an LLC can reduce your personal exposure by keeping business finances and personal assets separate.

An LLC also provides its members with flexible tax treatment, making investments and professional purchases much simpler to deduct from taxes. But be mindful that just by holding these in an LLC they do not automatically qualify as deductions!

Real estate LLCs can also be structured to sidestep mortgage lending restrictions by arranging outside financing through third parties, although this can be challenging as many lenders are unwilling to lend money directly. Therefore, it’s advisable to conduct some research into lenders who finance LLCs in order to find one with attractive interest rates for your specific situation – though you may incur a small setup fee; but asset protection makes this cost well worthwhile.

Online brokers

Online brokers provide self-directed IRA investors the chance to invest in alternative investments like real estate, private company shares and VC/PE funds. While diversifying your retirement portfolio with these investments may be advantageous, investors should always understand both risks and benefits before making their decision.

A Limited Liability Company IRA is an ideal way to diversify their investments beyond traditional or alternative assets, with reduced paperwork and transaction fees, as well as being able to make your own decisions regarding investments. It also gives owners more control when managing their own IRA investments.

IRA LLCs can be used to purchase various types of real estate, such as residential, commercial, raw land and contracts for sale and lease options. Multiple IRAs or just one can own them; however STRATA does not recommend checkbook control IRAs or LLCs owned by 50% or more family members due to prohibited transactions.


An IRA LLC can be an excellent way to take control of your retirement investments on your own. With checkbook control, making quick investments without approval from custodians, and diversification by investing in real estate and other assets – an LLC is an invaluable way of building wealth through self-directed investing. Before investing in one though, it’s crucial that you consult a qualified expert to make sure the transaction does not violate IRS rules on disqualified persons and prohibited transactions.

IRA LLCs can also make for great tools in fix-and-flip strategies, since profits from such deals may be tax-deferred or tax-free. However, certain activities might still require paying taxes, including Unrelated Business Taxable Income (UBTI) and Unrelated Debt-Financial Interest Income (UDFI). Furthermore, an LLC must register with their state which may incur setup or annual registration fees; generally the average cost to form such an IRA LLC in the US ranges between $600-1K.

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