Does anyone have suggestions on a good local (San Antonio ) law firm to set up my LLC? I've had two consultations thus far and looking for recommendations from the community. One quoted me $1000, but I just didn't get a good feeling about him during the meeting. The other was $1,500 but I have no way of really researching their work.
Save your money. Go to Legal Zoom dot com It really is a simple process.
Get some deals under your belt before you start spending on an LLC. If you are doing a bunch of marketing and ramping things up, then I would say yes do it. Otherwise, if you plan on doing a deal or two, dont.
Setting up your own LLC is a very easy process. Do some research on what structure you need to have for your specific goals and you can do the filing on the Texas Secretary of State "SOS Direct" webpage. It costs $300 for the filing fee. I think doing that research yourself and understanding the different structures, etc is very beneficial knowledge for a business owner. As @Rick Pozos mentioned, make sure you actually need an LLC first!
I did my own, and generally set them up as series LLCs. It's not too hard.
If I were to hire someone, I'd probably go with these guys:
They're not local, but they seem to prefer handling things via email and phone anyway.
I suggest you see an attorney, here is a post several months ago.
None of these DIYer's have prepared for contingencies of the real world, much less planned to mesh the gears of their LLC with estate planning, tax planning, growing a business or management concerns. Some of which you'll find in that thread. :)
PS. Understand doing real estate operations or investing as a business entity means you're not acting individually on your own accord, that plays on many exemptions individuals may have, acting individually or as a business concern, like licensing requirements, financing some deal or buying a mortgage. Most small investors should act individually if you're going to be bumping against the far edges of investor strategies. :)
I agree with @Rick Pozos . It's really easy to setup an LLC yourself if you want to save the money. I would recommend buying your fist couple of deals in a trust to have autonomy and have the attorney who sets up the land trust in a separate state. Less likely to get a law suit if they can't find out who owns the land, and even more difficult when it's out of state.
Owning numerous LLC's myself, I will tell you that I always use an attorney. All of my rental homes are under an LLC. The comments above about Legal Zoom are correct and it's fairly straight forward to file for an LLC.
HOWEVER - You have to nurse the LLC yearly. There has to be a record of corporate minutes and documentation to go with the LLC on an annual basis. Without that, an attorney can attack right through it saying you have not maintained the LLC and it's no longer valid.
1) Do an annual update. Pay someone to do it, or set it on your calendar as big as an event as your spouse's birthday!
2) Do not forget to file a Tax Return. Goes without saying, but even a new LLC filed now (December 2016) is obligated. The fine alone could be several thousand. The IRS does not miss anything!
Good luck out there!
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