I'm purchasing a duplex on a 30 year traditional mortgage. I'm planning to transfer to a LLC after the purchase, understanding the "due on sale" clause is unlikely to be enforced. Got me thinking, even if I had to maintain personal ownership of the property... are there other reasons I should conduct the property transactions through an LLC entity without the property being owned by the LLC?
Business checking accounts? More professional business? Others?
Interested to hear your thoughts.
@Kal A. - protection from personal assets is the number 1 reason.
@David Wright Absolutely.
Basically, you're saying if you can't use it for asset protection just forget about using an LLC?
@Kal A. Hi Kal - I would actually think about placing the property into a land trust vs straight into an LLC, this actually avoids the due on sale clause as well as additional benefits.
When I sit down with clients I will always discuss (1) their personal assets, (2) what their current investments portfolio and other business ventures before discussing (3) their future goals. Each of these variables will dramatically change the advice I give the individual asking me this question. I often break it down into the "five pillars" of protecting your assets.
The first pillar is avoiding unnecessary and risky activities (don't drink and drive, insurance generally won’t cover your poor decisions) and take good care of your investments - these simple steps will help you prevent lawsuits before they even occur.
The second pillar is a good insurance policy as that cover the majority of your exposure. However, insurance is limited because it only protects you from one type of liability: accidents/negligence. Insurance doesn’t protect you from any part of the sale or acquisition of a property (e.x. Somebody wanting to sue for you backing out of a bad deal or accusing you of selling them a property with defects like unknown termite damage). Insurance also doesn’t protect you from misunderstandings, especially those made in writing and email. What happens in these misunderstandings is that something goes wrong either in the sale or after, and then they sue you for some statement you made that they “misunderstood”. That lawsuit is a claim for fraud, and that’s what fraud typically is...a misunderstanding and someone being “injured” and wanting to hold the other responsible for it. Insurance never protects you from these kinds of claims and they happen all the time.
The third pillar applies after you have good insurance You need to protect yourself from what insurance doesn't cover by compartmentalizing your assets. Compartmentalization means that if something happens to one property they can't touch you or the other properties. You should use either LLC's (the old and expensive way) or a Series LLC (the new and more cost/time effective way). No matter where you live or where you own assets, I personally recommend the Series LLC to be a great tool for the individual investor who is planning to expand their operation, as it allows for you to scale infinitely for FREE- check out this article to learn more.
The fourth pillar is somewhat similar - you want to separate your operations from your assets. One company owns everything and does nothing (this is your SLLC a/k/a "asset holding company") and a completely separate company handles all of your operations (this is a traditional LLC a/k/a "operating company") For the operating company which serves as your face to the world and through which you do all your business, you establish a Traditional LLC to carry out the operations of your investments. The operating company takes on all of the liability that would otherwise blow back on you including: paying property management, paying contractors, collecting rent, marketing, etc.
The fifth pillar is owning everything anonymously. If people don't know what you own, then they are less likely to sue. People don't sue people that qualify for food stamps. This anonymity can be accomplished for free by using Trusts to own your companies as well as the assets. Trusts create this anonymity by removing your name from public record. Even if they can see you used to own a property, when properly transferred it will look like it was sold to investors. If they somehow guess you are the owner still, it doesn't matter because you are not the owner. The trust and the LLC are the owner of the asset/real estate, so even in the scenario that they guess, they guess wrong.
@Scott Smith Thanks for the thorough reply!
@Kal A. Of course! Happy to help. If you have more questions leave a reply or dm me.
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