Best Business Entity For Real Estate Investment
- Choosing a business entity is key to protecting your personal and business assets
- Different entities will have different tax pros and cons for real estate
If youre a part-time real estate investor looking to make your investments a full-time business, itll be important to consider setting up a business entity. A business entity or legal structure is an essential part of protecting your real estate assets from potential risks. Real estate may be one of the worlds safest investment classes, but that doesnt mean that there is no risk involved at all. The investor that has a business entity protecting their assets stands a much greater chance of mitigating these risks or avoiding them altogether.
There are multiple structures available that are suited to real estate businesses: S corporations, C corporations, Limited Liability Partnerships. These are all structures that are suitable for having multiple partners, while a single-owned business might choose a Limited Liability Company or sole proprietorship. So, at which stage is it important to start looking deeper into business entities for your real estate investments?
Taking on a partner investor or two can be a great way to scale your business, and its crucial to think about a business entity as forming part of those partnerships. Having a registered business entity in place will offer your partners the same protection that it will offer to you.
Pros Of Real Estate Investing
- Lower risk than the stock market: The housing market isn’t subject to as much of the same volatility as the stock market. You don’t have the same earning potential, but you can count on a steady incline most of the time.
- Steady cash flow: When you have enough rental properties going, you can count on a stable revenue stream for your business.
- Good tax breaks: You can deduct all sorts of expenses from your taxes. These include mortgage interest, depreciation, property tax, and more.
- Long-term returns will often be positive: Over time, most properties will increase in value.
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The Best Structure For Foreign Investors Of Us Real Estate
Determining the proper entity structure can be complex. Any discussions surrounding entity structure should involve your accountant as well as an attorney. We will provide an overall discussion on some of the pros and cons of the various structures provided to investors.
A foreign investor may acquire real estate individually. This requires minimal set up and allows for reduced tax and compliance issues. However, even though owning real estate individually is easy to maintain, it does not offer the legal protection that other structures offer, such as a limited liability company. We will discuss this structure in greater detail shortly.
S corporations are corporations that elect to pass corporate income, losses, deductions and credits through to their shareholders for federal tax purposes. Shareholders of S corporations report the flow-through of income and losses on their personal tax returns and are assessed tax at their individual income tax rates. This allows S corporations to avoid double taxation on the corporate income.
However, nonresident aliens are not allowed to be shareholders in S Corporations. In addition, S Corporations typically do not offer any special tax advantages to real estate investors.
Partnerships are very flexible entities and are often used for real estate activities. If you are pooling your funds together with other partners then this would be the filing option for you.
Set Up The Llc For Your Real Estate Holdings
While there are multiple ways to structure a real estate holding company, such as an S corporation, a C corporation, sole proprietorship, or a partnership, an LLC is the most popular entity to use for setting up a real estate holding company. This is because its simple to administer but still gives you all the liability protection and personal separation a corporation can give you.
Part of this setup process includes choosing a name for your holding company. You also need to register it with your state, register it with the IRS, and receive an employee identification number .
Keep in mind that the name of your business cant be the same as any other LLC on file in your state. The business name must end in LLC, Limited Liability Company, Ltd, or some variation that shows the type of entity it is. Each state has its own LLC office, and its generally associated with the Secretary of States Office. You can call them, or it may be possible for your lawyer to check online to see if a name is already being used.
You will then need the following documentation to form an LLC:
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What Is A Real Estate Investment Group
A real estate investment group refers to a business that focuses the majority of its efforts and capital on real estate. In search of profits, real estate investment groups may choose to buy, renovate, sell, or finance properties. Real estate investment groups commonly buy out multi-unit properties, selling units to investors while taking responsibility for administration and maintenance of the property.
Typically, real estate investment groups either do not elect or do not qualify to be a real estate investment trust .
An Example Of The Importance Of Asset Protection: Corporate Veil
Imagine that you have purchased an apartment building that you are currently renting to 10 tenants. One tenant hurts himself in the parking lot and claims that you are at fault because you did not provide proper lighting in that area. He may initiate a lawsuit and obtain a judgment in his favor. The judge will then award him damages related to any injuries or losses that he may have suffered. These damages could be in the thousands of dollars, depending on the type of harm.
If you have insurance, your insurance company will likely help you with this type of claim, but there are limits to every coverage. If your insurance does not apply, you do not have insurance, or you have hit your coverage limit, you will be on the hook for the remaining amount of the judgment.
If you do not have a separate legal entity that provides asset protection, this tenant-turned-judgment-creditor can garnish your wages, repossess your property, and put liens on your real estate, including your home. On the other hand, if you have established a separate legal entity that provides asset protection, the tenant’s recovery will be limited to the apartment building itself or income that is derived from it.
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How To Start A Real Estate Investment Company
Real estate investment is a growing industry, and many people are curious how to start a real estate investment company and get a share of the unlimited possible returns offered. Unfortunately, many people who start such companies fail as quickly as they start due to a lack of attention to the legal factors at play. If you are considering starting a real estate investment company, a real estate lawyer from the Priori network may be able to help you get started on the right legal footing.
Why Should I Use Three Llcs
If youre wondering why one LLC isnt enough, youre not the first investor to ask that question.
Remember the expression, Dont put all your eggs in one basket? Not to mix our poultry metaphors, but with one LLC, youre a sitting duck because all your assets can be found in one place. By separating them, not only will it make a lawsuit less likely in the first place, but you can also rake in more profits from these tax-efficient legal structures.
The name of the game is . Your LLCs will hold everything thats valuable, and nobody except you will know they exist. Your operating company will exist only to sign contracts and negotiate with clients.
So if anything ever went wrong between you and a client business-wise, they wouldnt get anything if from suing you.
But lets say you dont flip homes. If thats the case, then you wont need a Fix & Flip LLC. The same applies to the Buy & Hold LLC if all youre doing is flipping homes. You could have two of each instead in these situations.
And sure, filing an LLC costs money, but unlike a lawsuit, you wont have to worry about bankruptcy. Get maximum asset protection and tax efficiency with the 3 company structure.
Brookfield Global Listed Real Estate Ucits Fund
As one of the worlds largest real estate investors, Brookfield Asset Management owns and manages landmark properties in the worlds most dynamic markets. Its global portfolio includes office, retail, multifamily, logistics, hotel, triple net lease, manufactured housing and student housing assets on five continents.
The objective is to generate stable and growing distributions for our investors, while protecting them against downside risks. Assets are diversified by sector and geography, which reduces exposure to single market movements and minimizes volatility.
The fund seeks to generate superior returns by leveraging existing operating expertise and focusing on core real estate capabilities: leasing, financing, development, design and construction, and property and facilities management.
In addition, the fund seeks to identify mispriced investments within a broad universe of real estate securities. It manages both long-term and opportunistic strategies, investing across all geographies in the United States and around the world, providing investors with exposure to a broad and diversified universe of high-quality real estate assets.
Here you can read more articles about Real Estate investing.
The Ultimate Way To Generate Wealth
Although making your first real estate investment is a challenging step, its also powerfully rewarding. Not only that, just this one move can put you well ahead of the game as you will spend your time building wealth instead of making someone else rich.
Better yet, anyone can participate in property investments, whether young or senior, individual or business entity. This is a tough market to navigate, even for the professionals. Explore all your options, keep saving for your goals and when you need help, get it.
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Which State You Should Place Your Llc In
All right, this right here really encompasses the majority of this whole concept. I conceive another question a lot of beings bring up, is where to make this thing up. Do you prepare it up in your own state? Do you prepare it up in some excellent state halfway across the country? Ill say this : In most cases youre better off putting it in your own state , because thats where youre going to be operating your business. Now, some people like to set up their LLCs in Wyoming. That seems to be the favorite state these days, because of the non-disclosures and some other things that you can do. You can go through all those headaches and hassles, and again, talk to an attorney about that, but in most cases its probably a lot simpler to make it up in your own state.
One thing to keep in mind is especially when you do a lot of active investing, its not always a good notion to set up your entity in Wyoming if youre doing business in say, Texas. When youre working with dealers and they try to look you up and they hire an attorney maybe to look you up, and they see that youre not even in business in Texas, then all of a sudden youre in a bigger accumulation of hardship and you need to have registered some documents to be able to do business in Texas.
My opinion is simply set up the entity in your own state, and make sure you talk to a local auditor, local attorney to make sure you prepare it up accurately .
Underestimating The Cost And Commitment
Whether they realize it or not, aspiring entrepreneurs will be required to make a lengthy commitment to simply keeping the LLC up and running its not a one-time deal. Following the initial creation of an LLC, business owners will need to spend time and money each year to keep it operational. That said, far too many new entrepreneurs underestimate just how much the commitment is.
According to James Gilmer with Harbor Compliance, entrepreneurs need to know what they are getting into before they register for an LLC.
We encourage entrepreneurs to look into the ongoing requirements for keeping their LLC in good standing. For example, franchise tax obligations can be costly, such as in California where its $800 per year per LLC. Most states also require an annual report filing, which while fairly straightforward, can cause fees and penalties if not filed on time. While these are necessary costs of doing business, entrepreneurs should factor this into their budgets and plan ahead, says Gilmer.
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Reasons To Purchase Property As A Real Estate Llc
An LLC is a business entity that is separate from its owners, like a corporation. But unlike a corporation, which must pay its own corporate taxes, an LLC is a “pass-through” tax entity, which means that business profits and losses pass through to its owners, who report them on their personal tax returns . Because of an LLC’s unique benefits, an LLC is often the best way for some investors to purchase property. Here’s why.
The key drawback to an LLC is financial: States charge an annual fee to file an LLC, anywhere between $75 and $250.
For details on LLCs, including how members are taxed, state rules on LLC protection for members’ personal debt and asset protection, and more, see Nolo’s LLCs section. Nolo also offers a comprehensive online LLC package to form an LLC.
Who A Real Estate Holding Company Is Right For
A real estate holding company is generally right for both long-term and short-term investors. Its generally recommended for all real estate investors because it protects your personal assets from the liability of owning property and it keeps your real estate income separate. Its a fairly inexpensive company to start and doesnt need much management, so the benefits outweigh the costs and commitment.
As a result, a real estate holding company is a great option for:
- First-time investors
Pro tip: A real estate holding company usually isnt right for you if you are just purchasing a home as a primary residence. An LLC can be costly to set up and maintain, so its generally fine to keep your primary residence in your personal name.
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Entity Structures For Real Estate Investing And Other Businesses
This article will discuss several different business structures, including formal entities and non-entities, that real estate investors and other investors may use. This list is not exhaustive, but it does cover many of the most common scenarios available to small businesses.
But first, a quick note on vocabulary: Please pay close attention to the words “partner” and “partnership.” They are very specific legal terms of art that cover centuries worth of law and legal theory. Further, there are numerous different kinds of partnerships out there but, the main distinctions are between General Partnerships versus Limited Partnerships. Not all are created equal. For instance, this office rarely if never recommends a general partnership structure but this office will frequently recommend a limited partnership structure. Further, a General Partner means something distinct from a General Partnership same with a Limited Partner versus a Limited Partnership.
General Partnerships and Joint Ventures
Many times you’ll see an investment club structured as a general partnership in order to get around the many securities regulation issues inherent in other issues. Investment Company Act issues aside, you’re much better off encapsulating such a structure inside of a member-managed LLC to get some liability protection.
Single Traditional TX LLC
Single Series TX LLC
How To Start A Real Estate Holding Company Or Real Estate Llc
It doesnt matter if youre a fix-and-flip investor or a long-term investor, its a good idea to put all of your investment properties in a holding company, like an LLC, for added protection. Starting a real estate holding company is also generally pretty simple and can be done online or with the help of an attorney.
Pro tip: Some investors use one LLC for each property, but that can get costly, so its generally fine to have multiple properties in one LLC. However, if you own properties in multiple states, each state should have its own LLC because laws and taxes vary per state.
Here are the six steps to start a business as a real estate holding company:
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