​Does an LLC Have Stock & Shareholders? (2024)

An LLC or Limited Liability Company is a special tax classification issued to non-Corporate entities that allows them to assign members, but not designate shareholders. Even an LLC that is taxed as a Corporation cannot have a stock program. So, if you are wondering "does an LLC have stock?", the answer would be "no". Simply put, an LLC does not have stock because the owners are members and not shareholders. There is no value in the entity as an LLC for public or private gain other than distribution of profits to members.

LLCs Can Issue Bonds

There is, however, an alternative to issuing shares in a company. State laws do not prohibit the issuance of bonds to non-members or employees. This is considered a debt instrument to assist LLCs in raising funds to support growth. Bonds are closer to a loan than a share of stock, but incorporate the investment as being able to gain returns from the success of the LLC. These are complex to create and often require the partnership of an investment bank.

How LLCs Are Structured

Let's take a moment to review how LLC members are perceived in terms of their stake in the company. Members, by many state laws, must have equal ownership and profit in a manner equivalent to their investment in the company. This investment can be either money or "sweat equity." Sweat equity is the agreement that a member will provide an investment by working the business in a hands-on manner.

LLCs Can Designate Rights And Benefits

S Corporations and C Corporations can issue preferred stock giving a shareholder the right to choose how they benefit from the dissolution or profits of a company. LLCs, on the other hand, must designate the rights and benefits of its owners in the execution agreement. For example, one member may have the right to veto an action voted upon by other members. Voting rights exist in both Corporations and LLCs.

Certain Benefits Can Be Preferential

One member in an LLC, considering they do not have stock, can still be designated as receiving a greater portion of profits in the case of liquidation of assets. This simulates the preferred stock of Corporations again. Moreover, the income of various members can be indicated as different per member in the operation agreement. This is beneficial for providing clarity over the perceived stake each member holds in the company.

Regardless of which incorporation type you choose, the ability to create certain rights, benefits and agreements exist. If you're interested in learning more about whether an LLC, C Corporation or S Corporation are right for your business, you can research the different types of companies on our site easily. Take time to review the pros and cons of each before solidifying your course of action.

​Does an LLC Have Stock & Shareholders? (2024)


​Does an LLC Have Stock & Shareholders? ›

The short answer: Limited liability companies (LLCs) do not have stock, nor can they issue stock. While corporations that issue stock have corporate shareholders or stockholders, LLCs have membership interests, sometimes referred to as membership units, that confer an ownership stake on members.

Are there shareholders in an LLC? ›

LLCs do not have shareholders. They have members who share in the profits of the business. The members' share of the profits is taxable as income. The company itself has no tax liability.

What are shares in an LLC called? ›

In an LLC, the units of ownership are not known as shares of 'stock'. The majority of the LLC's agreement delegates a particular number of “membership interests” or “membership units”. These LLC shares or units may also be further broken down into two types: the voting units and the non-voting units.

Can you own stocks in an LLC? ›

Just like an individual, an LLC can invest in the stock market. Unlike using an LLC to invest in real estate, opening a brokerage account for investing in stocks, bonds, ETFs (exchange-traded funds) and mutual funds comes with significantly less risk to your personal assets.

Can you do a stock deal with an LLC? ›

If the business in question is a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a limited liability company (LLC), the transaction cannot be structured as a stock sale since none of these entity structures have stock.

Can someone own 100% of an LLC? ›

Any person or company can own an LLC, and that person or company is called an LLC Member. A person/company is still an LLC Member whether they own 100% of the LLC or 1% of the LLC (or less).

How many shareholders can an LLC have? ›

LLCs can have an unlimited number of members; S corps can have no more than 100 shareholders (owners).

How are shares divided in an LLC? ›

For example, if Peter and Mary are members of a two-member LLC, and Peter has a 40 percent ownership interest, and Mary has a 60 percent ownership interest, then, under state rules, Peter would be allocated 40 percent of the LLC profits, and Mary would be allocated 60 percent.

How are shares distributed in an LLC? ›

By default, LLC profits are split according to ownership percentage—if you own 50% of the LLC, you get 50% of the profits. However, you can override your state's default requirements for splitting LLC profits by making another arrangement in your operating agreement.

How is ownership divided in an LLC? ›

Divide ownership of the LLC by calculating total cash investment by the members. Give each member an ownership stake equal to his cash investment. Four members contributing $25,000 apiece would each receive a 25 percent stake in the company.

Do LLCs have equity? ›

No matter what type of business you run—a manufacturing company, a brewery, a software firm—you can offer your employees equity and still take advantage of all the benefits of an LLC. In fact, equity incentive plans for LLCs are becoming more common, and there are several types of equity plans LLCs can choose from.

How do I put money into an LLC? ›

When you contribute capital to your LLC, you're essentially putting your own money into the business. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as writing a check or transferring funds from a personal account to the LLC's account.

Do LLCs have stock certificates? ›

Do LLCs have stock certificates? Limited liability companies (LLCs) do not issue stock, and therefore they do not have stock certificates.

How to determine LLC ownership percentage? ›

A good starting point for establishing ownership percentage for an LLC is to first settle on what amount of capital that is required to start the business. After you have this reference point, you can simply divide from each members' initial contribution to calculate their respective ownership positions.

What does it mean that an LLC can't go public? ›

Limited liability companies can't go public as they do not issue stock or have shareholders. Security exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange or the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASDAQ) have listing standards for all participating companies.

How do LLCs raise capital? ›

An LLC can have multiple owners (called members). Bringing on a new owner and forming a partnership can increase your access to capital through what is called capital accounts. The new member should contribute seed money to your LLC. Plus, they may have network connections to willing investors.

Is a single member LLC a shareholder? ›

A limited liability company (LLC) with a single individual member that is taxed as a disregarded entity can be a shareholder, with the owner treated as the owner of the S corporation stock.

Can an LLC have multiple shareholders? ›

A limited liability company (LLC) is a business entity type that can have more than one owner. These owners are referred to as “members” and can include individuals, corporations, other LLCs, and foreign entities. Most states do not restrict LLC ownership, and there is generally no maximum number of members.

Are shareholders and members the same thing? ›

A member is one of the company's owners whose name has been entered on the register of members. Members delegate certain powers to the company's directors to run the company on their behalf. What is a shareholder? A shareholder is a person who buys and holds shares in a company having a share capital.

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