This page will explain what LLC Capital Contributions are and how they’re used.
Capital Contribution Definition:
An LLC Capital Contribution is an investment in the LLC made by its owners (aka Members).
Note: The opposite of an LLC Capital Contribution is an LLC Distribution.
What are LLC Capital Contributions?
LLC Capital Contributions are when LLC Members put money into the LLC.
Capital Contributions are how an LLC Member obtains a Membership Interest in the LLC.
Capital Contributions also “capitalize” (fund) your LLC. Meaning, they give your LLC the money it needs to operate, pay expenses, and ideally, become a profitable business.
Capital Contributions and Membership Interest
Membership Interest is the amount of the LLC someone owns. This is usually expressed as a percentage (like 25%, 50%, 100%, etc.).
Each Member’s Membership Interest is listed in the LLC Operating Agreement.
Your Capital Contribution should be equal (proportionate) to your Membership Interest.
For example, if Bob and Jose each own 50% of their LLC, they will each contribute the same amount of money. For example, they can both contribute $500, $1,000, or $25,000. The amount doesn’t matter, as long as it’s the same.
See the table below for examples showing how LLC Capital Contributions are propionate to LLC Membership Interest.
How to make an LLC Capital Contribution
You can deposit cash, write a check, or transfer money from your personal bank account to your LLC bank account.
This money then becomes the available funds for the LLC operating expenses.
Keeping track of LLC Capital Contributions
Make sure you keep a copy (of the check or a printout of the wire transfer) of each Capital Contribution. You can keep this record digitally or on paper.
If you forgot to keep a copy or receipt, you can also review your bank statements and identify the Capital Contribution(s) for your accountant. Your accountant will need this information at tax time.
If you have a Multi-Member LLC, there should be a separate record for each individual Member’s Contributions.
Initial LLC Capital Contributions and Asset Protection
Shortly after the LLC is formed, each of the LLC Members (or the sole Member in a Single-Member LLC) should make an initial Capital Contribution to the LLC.
Making a Capital Contribution is important for the personal asset protection of an LLC.
Most people form an LLC for liability protection (to protect their personal assets).
In order to make sure you get that personal asset protection, you need to properly capitalize your LLC. That means making sure there is enough money in the LLC bank account to make business purchases and pay for operating expenses.
Single-Member LLC Capital Contributions
In a Single-Member LLC, the sole Member can make Capital Contributions of any amount.
No matter how much the Member contributes, they will still have 100% Membership Interest in their Single-Member LLC.
Multi-Member LLC Capital Contributions
In a Multi-Member LLC, the Members should make Initial Capital Contributions proportionate to their Membership Interests.
It’s also a good idea for the Members to make their Capital Contributions within the same time frame. For example, all Members make their contributions on the same day or within the same week.
Example 1: Dave and Wendy own Dandy’s Restaurant LLC. Dave owns 60% of the LLC and Wendy owns 40%. So Dave contributes $60,000 as his Initial Capital Contribution and Wendy contributes $40,000.
Example 2: Sven and Astrid own Loki Stationery LLC. Sven and Astrid each own 50% of Loki Stationery. Sven contributes $47 (his lucky number) as his Initial Capital Contribution, so Astrid also contributes $47.
LLC Capital Contribution examples:
|Number of LLC Members (owners)||LLC Membership Interest||Total LLC Capital Contribution||LLC Members' Capital Contribution|
|1||100%||$1,000||Sole Member - $1,000|
|2||Member 1 - 50%|
Member 2 - 50%
|$1,000||Member 1 - $500|
Member 2 - $500
|2||Member 1 - 70%|
Member 2 - 30%
|$1,000||Member 1 - $700|
Member 2 - $300
|3||Member 1 - 30%|
Member 2 - 30%
Member 3 - 40%
|$1,000||Member 1 - $300|
Member 2 - $300
Member 3 - $400
|7||Member 1 - 10%|
Member 2 - 10%
Member 3 - 10%
Member 4 - 10%
Member 5 - 10%
Member 6 - 25%
Member 7 - 25%
|$10,000||Member 1 - $1,000|
Member 2 - $1,000
Member 3 - $1,000
Member 4 - $1,000
Member 5 - $1,000
Member 6 - $2,500
Member 7 - $2,500
Note: The contribution amounts above are just examples. The amount of your LLC contributions will vary based on each person’s Membership Interest.
Additional LLC Capital Contributions
The total amount of the Members’ Initial Capital Contributions should be enough to get your business started. But Members can make additional Capital Contributions when the LLC needs more money.
For example: Sven and Astrid only contributed $47 each to open Loki Stationery LLC. In order to purchase products and supplies, they need to make Additional Capital Contributions. Sven and Astrid each contribute an additional $500 so the LLC can make start up purchases.
Members can make additional Capital Contributions at any time. You just need to keep a record of the Contribution. Here is a Capital Contribution form you can use.
What else can I contribute besides money?
Most people contribute cash for their Capital Contribution because it’s simplest.
However, you can also contribute personal property or services to your LLC. For more information, please see:
Note: If you want to make a contribution of property or services, you should consult a business attorney for help with your Operating Agreement.