Understanding the Difference Between Forming a S Corp vs. an LLC in the U.S.

should i start an llc or s corp

When establishing a business in the United States, entrepreneurs are frequently required to choose between a S Corporation (S Corp) and a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Both business structures offer distinct benefits and considerations, making it essential to comprehend their distinctions. If you’ve ever wondered should i start an LLC or S Corp today is your lucky day, since we will examine the differences between forming a S Corp and an LLC, as well as how the Corporation Center’s secure portal can assist entrepreneurs in obtaining the required documentation and online forms for forming a business in a variety of U.S. states.

Understanding S Corporation and LLC Fundamentals

S Corporation (S Corporation):

An S Corporation, named after Subchapter S of the Internal Revenue Code, combines the advantages of a corporation with pass-through taxation. The business is not taxed at the corporate level in a S Corporation. Profits and losses are instead “passed through” to shareholders, who report them on their own tax returns.


Limited Liability Company (LLC): An LLC is a flexible business structure that incorporates corporate and partnership characteristics. It affords its proprietors, known as members, limited liability protection and pass-through taxation. This means that the LLC does not pay taxes; rather, members report their share of profits or losses on their individual tax returns.

Process of Determination: Choosing between a S Corporation and an LLC

Choosing between a S Corporation and an LLC requires deliberate consideration of multiple factors. Let’s examine a few key factors that will help you determine which business structure may be best for your organization.

1. Fiscal Considerations

In a S Corporation, the company itself does not pay federal income taxes. Profits and losses are instead passed through to shareholders, who report them on their individual tax returns. This may provide tax benefits, as the income is subject to individual tax rates rather than corporate tax rates.

Similar to S Corporations, LLCs offer pass-through taxation. Profits and losses are declared by the members on their individual tax returns, as the LLC itself does not pay federal income taxes. This simplifies tax obligations, as no distinct business tax return is required.

2. Ownership and Investors

An S Corporation is limited to 100 shareholders who must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. This can be advantageous for businesses that wish to maintain a more controlled ownership structure or restrict ownership to a limited number of individuals.

LLCs offer more ownership flexibility than corporations. Members may be individuals, corporations, partnerships, and even other limited liability companies. This adaptability permits a wider variety of ownership structures and potential future growth.

3. Formalities and Compliance

S Corporations are subject to additional formalities and regulations. They must comply with corporate governance regulations, keep detailed records, hold regular shareholder meetings, and adhere to specific bylaws. Failure to comply with these requirements may imperil the status and limited liability protection of the corporation.

Compared to S Corps, LLCs have fewer formalities and compliance requirements. While it is still essential to maintain proper documentation and comply with state regulations, record-keeping and governance requirements are typically less stringent. This can provide LLC proprietors with increased operational flexibility and reduced administrative burdens.

4. Taxes on Self-Employment

In a S Corporation, active shareholders may receive a portion of their income as salary and the remainder as distributions. Only the salary portion is subject to self-employment taxes, which could result in shareholder savings.

On the other hand, in an LLC, each member’s entire share of profits is subject to self-employment taxes. This means that all income generated by the LLC is subject to self-employment taxes, which can affect the members’ aggregate tax liability.

5. Trustworthiness and Perceived Structure

S Corporation: Choosing a S Corporation structure can lend credibility and structure to a business. Potential clients, partners, and investors may view positively the formalities associated with a S Corp, including holding regular shareholder meetings and adhering to corporate governance.

LLCs are legitimate business entities, but they may be perceived as having a less formal structure than corporations. However, the operational flexibility and simplicity of LLCs can be advantageous for smaller businesses or those that do not require a rigid hierarchy.

How the Corporation Center Work With You

Now that you have a better understanding of the differences between forming a S Corp and an LLC, you must ensure that you have the required paperwork and online forms to establish your chosen business structure. The secure portal of the Corporation Center provides an extensive collection of SSL-secured online forms that are customized to meet the requirements of various U.S. states. Listed below are the methods in which the Corporation Center can assist you:

Form Availability and Selection

The Corporation Center’s secure portal guides you through the form selection procedure for forming a S Corp or an LLC in the state of your choice. Our portal ensures that you have the correct documentation based on the state’s regulations by providing state-specific forms.

Also, our online platform is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, allowing you to obtain the necessary forms at your discretion. The Corporation Center’s secure portal is available whenever you need it, whether you’re establishing a business during regular business hours or late at night.

The Corporation Center provides comprehensive support and direction throughout the process of acquiring the necessary documentation. Our knowledgeable team is available to assist you with any inquiries or concerns you may have, ensuring that you accurately complete the necessary steps. All of our forms employ SSL encryption and stringent security measures to safeguard your sensitive data. You can ensure the privacy and security of your personal and business information by using their online forms.

should i start an llc or s corp

Making the Correct Business Decision

Choosing between forming a S Corporation and an LLC is a significant decision that can affect the taxation, governance, and overall structure of your business. Understanding the distinctions between these two business structures is essential for making an informed decision that meets your objectives and requirements. The Corporation Center’s secure portal provides the necessary documentation and SSL-secured online forms to help you establish your business as a S Corp or an LLC, based on your preference, if your thinking about “should i start an LLC or S corp” and the requirements of the state in which you wish to do business. Be sure to give us a call or visit our website if you have any questions.