LLCs vs. S Corps in California

In my practice, I see a lot of S Corporations, but very few LLCs (I can count the number on one hand). Yet, according to Christopher Hoyt of the University of Missouri at Kansas City (writing in the TaxProf Blog), this is the opposite of what’s being recommended in law school. So why the difference?

Hoyt notes the statistics, and presents a graph showing that S Corps remain twice as popular as LLCs (based on new S’s vs. new LLCs). Joe Kristan of Roth Tax Updates then speculates on the reasons behind this. His points on salaries, and the uncertainty of how LLCs are to be treated for self-employment taxes are on point.

Kristan also notes that state issues have a material impact. He notes that in Iowa (his home state), LLCs are tax-disfavored (versus S Corps) for multi-state operations.

In California, there are two major factors working against LLCs. First, all S Corps and LLCs in California must pay a minimum state franchise (income) tax of $800 per year (or 1.5% of net income, whichever is greater). But LLCs also face a gross receipts tax, so LLCs in California are triple-taxed! The current minimum gross receipts tax (called an LLC fee) is $865 per year. Second, some businesses are prohibited from being in an LLC. These include professionals, such as architects and accountants. (They can form LLPs, though).

If you’re at all interested in forming an LLC read the articles. They’ll enlighten you about some of the tax issues facing LLCs.

Hat Tip: TaxProf Blog & Roth Tax Updates

4 Responses to “LLCs vs. S Corps in California”

  1. WHY MORE S CORPORATIONS THAN LLCs?

    The TaxProf Blog has a fine post this morning noting that S corporations remain more popular than LLCs. UM-KC prof…

  2. WHY MORE S CORPORATIONS THAN LLCs?

    The TaxProf Blog has a fine post this morning noting that S corporations remain more popular than LLCs. UM-KC prof…

  3. WHY MORE S CORPORATIONS THAN LLCs?

    The TaxProf Blog has a fine post this morning noting that S corporations remain more popular than LLCs. UM-KC prof…

  4. WHY MORE S CORPORATIONS THAN LLCs?

    The TaxProf Blog has a fine post this morning noting that S corporations remain more popular than LLCs. UM-KC prof…

Leave a Reply