Separate EIN/Checking Account Per Property?

3 Replies

I live in Nevada, and am investing in properties in Missouri. I'm considering (really planning) on setting up a series LLC. In my research, I had someone recommend having a separate EIN and checking account per property. I'm not a lawyer, but his point was if you had a series LLC and only one EIN/checking account, a judge could read between the lines and take more than more property.

This doesn't sound impossible, but at some point when is enough enough?  It sounds like a PITA to have a unique checking account and file taxes separatly per property.

Each LLC should have its own EIN and checking account. I would do some research into series LLC's. They are a popular topic online but used very rarely in practice. Some large banks like Chase will not open up bank accounts for a series LLC.

I am not a lawyer and not giving legal advice but you have to seriously consider the cost of an LLC/EIN number for every property. That means annual dues to keep the LLC in good standing with the state and the cost (or inconvenience if you file you own) of filing a separate tax return for each LLC. Not to mention having to keep checks and separate records for each property.

If you're talking about a large property, either commercial or residential, that has multiple tenants and that is worth a substantial amount of money (a million dollars or more), then maybe your lawyer has a point. But if you're talking about a couple of single families or smaller multi-families, I would say that having an LLC for each one is excessive and probably unnecessary.

I don't know if your properties are free and clear or not but that is also something to consider.  When they are free and clear, you have more to lose.  Make sure and carry adequate insurance with high liability limits no matter what your situation.

A final thought.....and I don't have first hand experience in getting sued but knowing others who have (in Florida), it is very unlikely that a judge will force you to liquidate a property, especially one encumbered by a mortgage, to settle a lawsuit.  A lien is more likely an outcome, unless something absolutely terrible happens.   

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