Can you have multiple businesses under one LLC?

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A person is confused about running multiple businesses under one LLCYes, you can have multiple businesses under one LLC. You can run two or more businesses under one LLC by either:

  • running all the business activities under one LLC name, or
  • registering DBAs (“doing business as”), also known as Fictitious Names.

Whether that LLC has any DBAs (Fictitious Names) is up to you. Meaning, you don’t have to file a DBA to run multiple businesses under one LLC, but you certainly can file a DBA (or multiple DBAs) if you’d like.

You’ll want to look at the pros and cons of one LLC versus multiple LLCs. It would also be advisable to speak with an LLC business attorney about the details of your situation and what you’re trying to accomplish.

Running multiple businesses under one LLC

Pros:

Cons:

  • liability risk could be larger (all liability under one “roof”)
  • non-separate finances and books could be confusing

Among our readers, we usually see people fall into two groups.

• The first is those who have little money, perceive their risk to be high, and are testing out business models and how to make money. They’ll often have multiple business activities under one LLC.

• The second is a more experienced business person. They’ve established profitability or are confident in what they’re doing. They decided to “do it right” from the start, form two LLCs, and keep the liability separate.

While there are more pros listed above than cons, we often see more experienced business owners choose to separate their liability exposure and set up a different LLC for each business.

Am I required to register a DBA for my LLC?

No, you don’t have to register a DBA/Doing Business As for your LLC.

Note: Depending on your state, a DBA may be called a Fictitious Name, Trade Name, or Assumed Name. They all mean the same thing though; think of it as a “nickname” for your LLC.

(related article: do I need a DBA for my LLC?)

If you want to have one LLC that has multiple businesses under it, sometimes people prefer to register a DBA for each type of business activity. Alternatively, the LLC could just do business under its true LLC name.

Again, the choice is up to you though. You’re not required to register a DBA for your LLC’s business activities, but you can if you’d like to.

Is it better to have 2 LLCs instead?

Many people prefer to limit the liability, and therefore would choose two LLCs instead of one.

If you have one LLC doing multiple different activities, the liability exposure could be increased.

For example, if your LLC sells products online and also has a small shop in town, if you’re sued because of an issue that happens with an online customer, that could jeopardize your physical store location.

Example of one LLC with multiple DBAs

Under this setup, there is only one LLC that runs several businesses (each under a different name).

Example: John’s Fresh Produce LLC runs a meat deli shop called “John’s Deli Shop” and a vegetable store called “John’s Fresh Veggies”. Note that there is only one LLC that does business under two different names.

Example of multiple LLCs running separate businesses

Under this setup, multiple LLCs run separate businesses.

Example: Dan’s Bike Shop LLC runs a bike shop while”Mike’s Motorcycle Store LLC runs a motorcycle store. Note that the two LLCs are entirely separate and unrelated entities that run their own respective businesses.

How does this affect my taxes?

For most people, whether you have one LLC or two LLCs, the amount you pay in taxes should be relatively the same. How you file your taxes may vary though.

One LLC:

One LLC with one line of activity or multiple lines of activity will be reporting all income and losses together.

• For a Single-Member LLC (taxed as a Sole Proprietorship) that means income/losses are usually reported on a Schedule C, as a part of your personal 1040 tax return.

• For a Multi-Member LLC (taxed as a Partnership) that means income/losses are reported on a 1065 Partnership Return and then each LLC Member will get a K-1 for their share of income/loss.

(related article: how is my LLC taxed?)

Multiple LLCs:

If you have multiple LLCs, the amount you pay in taxes will be more or less the same, but how those taxes are filed will vary from the above example.

• Multiple Single-Member LLCs (taxed as Sole Proprietorships) will report their income/loss on multiple Schedule Cs, however, the combined amount of Schedule C income/loss just “flows” to your personal 1040 tax return.

• Multiple Multi-Member LLCs (taxed as Partnerships) will report their income/loss on multiple 1065 Partnership Returns and the LLC Members will be issued K-1s (one from each LLC). However, all the K-1 income/loss will “flow” to the Member’s personal 1040 tax return.

Separate bank accounts

If you decide to form multiple LLCs, you’ll not only want to keep all business activity separated, you’ll also want to open separate LLC bank accounts.

Additionally, you’ll want to keep a separate set of books. That can be done via a spreadsheet or online software, such as QuickBooks Online.

We hope this article has been helpful in painting an overview of whether multiple business should be ran under one LLC or multiple LLCs.

Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz is the leading expert on LLC education, and has been teaching for 15 years. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC. He's cited by Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and was featured by CNBC and InventRight.
 
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.

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249 comments on “Can you have two businesses under one LLC?”

Disclaimer: Nothing on this page shall be interpreted as legal or tax advice. Rules and regulations vary by location. They also change over time and are specific to your situation. Furthermore, this comment section is provided so people can share their thoughts and experience. Please consult a licensed professional if you have legal or tax questions.

  1. If I have a retail business with multiple locations/stores, what is the more common setup for the LLC(s)? Is it more appropriate to have each store under it’s own LLC to limit liability between the stores? Or is it more common to have a single LLC simply own ea h storefront? How do large corporations usually do this?

    • Hey Rich, it’s a mixed bag… for both small business owners and even large corporations. There isn’t a common “best” setup. Some questions for you… Do you own the real estate of any locations? What type of business activities are taking place at the locations? What are customers doing on site?

      • If these were rental properties, I absolutely would put each one in their own LLC. That’s typically recommended. This is not real estate. This is for retail stores I lease/rent space for where you buy things, anything. If I had multiple stores, is keeping 3 or 4 stores under a single Corp ok or do people generally keep each store under it’s own Corp? I can see benefits/drawbacks each way but wondering what the more common practice is.

        • Hi Rich, yes, I agree regarding real estate. However, if the value of the properties are ~$100k – $400k each (and depending on one’s net worth), some can make the argument for multiple properties under one – or a few – LLCs… as opposed to say 50+ LLCs. Having that many bank accounts and set of books can often be a massive administrative burden (assuming this isn’t someone’s full time business and they don’t have full-time staff managing everything).

          And in terms of “common practice”, we don’t see one common thing lol. We see large companies with 10+ locations under one business entity (say for payroll reasons). They like the simplicity and get adequate insurance. And then there’s the hyper-conservative with an LLC for every individual store, regardless of whether or not the real estate is owned. So I’m not trying to beat around the bush… there just isn’t a common “go-to” strategy or set up.

          In essence, it’s a balancing act between asset protection and administrative burden and logistics. To answer your question directly – and with only knowing a little bit – if it were me, I may be leaning towards one entity here for 3 to 4 leased locations. However, if I chatted with a few asset protection attorneys (who aren’t biased towards selling dozens of LLCs), I could be open to other set ups, depending on my risk profile and potential liability exposure within my industry.

  2. If there was a check/income in general that is made to the owner of the llc and not the business itself can it be considered still business income as long as it’s deposited to the business account?

    • Hi Cris, you won’t be able to deposit the check into the LLC bank account (if it’s made payable to you). You can get the payment re-made out to the LLC, or you can sign the check over to the LLC and count it as business income.

  3. Hello Matt.
    I am paid as an independent contractor. I do business for only two companies and they are completely different lines of work. I was wondering if I set up an LLC for tax purposes if this is possible? I really don’t need to separate the two because essentially its all my income and if something happened with one company its not going to affect the other one because I would be responsible either way. I guess what I am trying to say is that customers aren’t coming to me to build my business so I am not really worried that an incident at one would hurt the other if that makes sense. I work for both companies but hired of the independent contractor status which hurts at tax time. Would this be considered trying to cheat the system by setting up an llc to collect my payroll checks from them? Honestly, I should be considered an employ for both companies but that is not going to happen. It is good money and regular monthly pay both places, simply without the benefits and terrible tax situation. Am I out of luck?

    • Hey Scott, I follow everything you said. First, in their default status, LLCs offer no tax advantages compared to a Sole Proprietorship or a General Partnership. Meaning, in your case, you’d have a Single-Member LLC taxed as a Sole Proprietorship. Again, by default. And for an LLC in its default status, you technically can’t be an “employee” of your LLC. And you can’t collect a w-2 paycheck.

      Instead, you’d just take “owner’s draws”, aka profit distributions whenever you like. And you simply pay income taxes – on behalf of the LLC (on your personal 1040 tax return) – based on the LLC’s net income (and regardless of whether or not you took owner’s draws; and regardless of how much they were).

      Having said that, once a business has consistent, and substantial net income (aka profit), only then would we recommend exploring having your LLC taxed as an S-Corporation (see LLC taxed as S-Corporation for more details). Meaning, yes, an LLC taxed as an S-Corp can save money on self-employment taxes (but not income taxes)… however, there are extra costs and administrative logistics that must be put in place, and then maintained. So in summary, if you have enough profit in the business, you could chat with an accountant (or a few) about the pros and cons of having your LLC taxed as an S-Corp. Hope that helps!

  4. Hi John – Thanks for sharing the great info here
    One questions about the example you shared “John’s Fresh Produce LLC runs a meat deli shop called “John’s Deli Shop” and a vegetable store called “John’s Fresh Veggies”. Note that there is only one LLC that does business under two different names.” – Legally how can you prove the 2 DBAs are under the mentioned LLC? for example for the Deli shop , John should register DBA and it will look like “John’s Fresh Produce LLC” DBA “John’s Deli Shop”? I’m trying to understand how the owner should prove that the 2 DBAs are legally under that LLC? thank you so much

    • Hi Maryann, when the DBA paperwork is filed, it shows who the owner of the DBA is. So in this case, each DBA filing would show the LLC as the owner.

  5. hi Matt,

    Thank you for all this information, I’m not sure if I’m asking a simple question since I’m new to business so I apologize if it seems like a stupid question. My wife and I are going into a franchise with my best friend and his wife (so the 4 of us). I have created an LLC holding company which I think will be the primary entity for the franchise or maybe we have to create a DBA, like LLC Holding company DBA ABC Franchise or something. My wife also plans to open a separate business, let’s call it Wife’s Beauty that I was thinking she should just add that as LLC Holding Company DBA Wife’s Beauty. My first question is she’d have to be a member/owner under the LLC to have the DBA under it yes? Is there a certain percentage of ownership that a member must have to be able to have a DBA under the holding company? The reason why this also gets complicated is my best friend and I will be doing an SBA loan for the franchise and we do not plan to include our wives in the loan process. We found out that any person over 20% membership would have to be included in the loan so could my wife open the DBA for Wife’s beauty with 15% ownership? Apologies if this was long winded.

    • actually nvm just going to do two separate LLCs

      • Hey Richard, you’re very welcome. That sounds wise to separate the business activities with multiple LLCs. And usually how it works with franchises is you get a license to use the brand name. And then you’d file a DBA (owned by your LLC) for the brand name.

        • I have multiple DBA under my LLC ; a wholesale bread facility and a retail bread shop are 2 – my question is can one employee work at each location 40 hours or is it 40 hours total for the LLC? I have a young wholesale employee that wants to work both places but it would be over 40 hours if he did. Thanks for your time.

          • Hi Jamie, this gets more into employment law and less about the LLC, so I’m not sure. Might be best to chat with an employment lawyer. Thanks for your understanding.

  6. I have two questions. First, I am a partner in an LLC that currently has employees. I am opening another business that will be owned by the LLC and will be a DBA. This business will also have employees. Do I file and report payroll taxes as combined totals? So, just one quarterly 941 with wages combined from both? Second question, should wage statements to employees of the dba say both business names?

    Thank You

  7. Thank you for all this great information!

    I have a question,

    Lets say I have 1 Llc with 2 DBA’s and they grow, can I in the future open a second LLC with 1 of those already existing DBA’s and “sell/transfer” to the new LLC the website, names, etc?
    Like basically separate the 2 DBA’s

    I hope it makes sense.

    Thanks

    • You’re welcome Sel! Generally speaking, yes, you can. The details come down to the state. Meaning, you’ll either:
      a. Assign (transfer) ownership of DBA 2 to new LLC 2.
      b. or you file a new, “duplicate” DBA (owned by LLC 2) and then you cancel the first DBA (owned by LLC 1).

  8. I filed my business as a single LLC. Both businesses are entirely separate. Could I change one to a DBA if I chose to do so in the future? I am a new business.

    • Hi Marianne, I don’t fully understand the question. But I’ll take a guess at what you mean. It sounds like you have two business activities running through 1 LLC (totally okay by the way). Then you asked “could I change one to a DBA”. A DBA can’t “stand on its own legs”. Meaning, a DBA is a “nickname” for either an individual or a company, like an LLC.

      So if you want a DBA for branding and marketing purposes for one of your business activities, you’d just file the DBA name, and the DBA name would be owned by your LLC. So if that’s what you end up doing, you’ll still have just 1 LLC. However, that LLC would be able to do business under it’s true name (“business activity 1”) as well as its DBA name (“business activity 2”). Hope that helps.

      • Thank you for answering my question. Yes you got it right. Another question I have I’ve heard of people putting the LLC under the s-corp?

        • You’re welcome Marianne. This is known as an LLC taxed as an S-Corporation. The reason people explore this option is to save money on self-employment taxes (S-Corps don’t save money on income taxes). However, S-Corporations have extra costs to set up and maintain, and they also have extra administrative work. For those reasons, it’s best to have consistent and substantial profit in the business (we recommend $70k of net income per Member per year) to make the costs of the S-Corporation worth the self-employment tax savings. Hope that helps.

  9. Hello Matt,

    I really appreciate all the information you’ve provided, it has been very helpful. Do you have any information/feedback on Series LLCs- more specifically for Indiana. I own several rental properties and Indiana is one of the states that allows and LLC that I am seriously considering; and trying to determine if it’s best to do that are just multiple LLCs– or a C-corp as the owner of the other entities. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you, Marva

    • Hi Marva, you’re very welcome :) Unfortunately, we haven’t done our “deep dives” into Series LLCs yet, so we don’t cover them at this time.

      • Okay,Thank you! I still appreciate the wealth of information available here

  10. Hey Matt! First off thank you for all of this information. I’ve been lost on videos and feel like I’m always getting different information from different people. I have a few questions:

    Currently i have:
    One rental property that is paid for in VA (Ex. VA Rental LLC)
    One rental property looking to be purchased in AK in the next couple months (will assign a separate LLC)
    Investing in a trucking company partnership out of TX(I’m assuming a new LLC and then use that LLC to partner with the other parties??)
    Joining into a current business using a partnership (would i create a new LLC and then use that LLC to partner with the existing business for asset protection?

    So there’s currently a lot going on. I’ve always had the idea that i would use a single company name for all of my ventures but realized that one wrong lawsuit could strip all i’ve worked for. Is there a legal way to use one business name and still separate the LLCs?

    I know when I open each llc i need to open all individual bank accounts but is it possible to funnel all profits into one parent company bank account? Or do I simply deposit the funds for each business into their own separate accounts and then transfer out to my personal or the parent name account?

    I know i have additional questions but don’t want to overload you especially since I’m hoping that some questions get answered as if figure all of this out.

    Thank you so much in advance.

    • Hey JMJ! There’s no “one size fits all” best answer to this stuff… there’s many ways to slice the pie. However, you may want to consider having a Holding Company LLC (formed wherever you like). And then that LLC owns VA Rental LLC, AK Rental LLC, Trucking Ventures LLC, Partnership/Joint Ventures LLC, etc.

      There isn’t a simple way to use one business name for all ventures. For example, you could use a DBA for your LLCs, however, that adds to the paperwork complexity, banking logistics, and you’ll need to use the LLC names anyway in contracts and agreements. Personally, I’d avoid DBAs, especially with a lot of entities.

      You could also form an LLC in each state under the identical name (assuming they’re available), but if you want to be confused (and confuse others), this is definitely the way to do it. I definitely wouldn’t do this LOL.

      If you have the Parent/Child LLC setup (aka Holding/Subsidiary LLC setup), all businesses would deposit money into their respective bank accounts. Then LLC distributions would be sent from the Subsidiary LLCs to the Holding Company LLC. Then from there, the Holding Company LLC would send distributions to you. All the Subsidiary LLCs would be Disregarded Entities. So the Subsidiary LLCs wouldn’t file their own tax returns. Instead, everything would be reported on the Holding Company’s tax return.

  11. Awesome article! Our business grew way faster than expected and we now have 8 business locations under 1 LLC. They are all the same franchise brand. They are also across 4 states. How would we break those in 4 llc (one per state)? Does our current llc become the holding company? And we just apply for a new Ein for each subset of locations we want to have under the new llc? Could all employee paychecks go through the holding llc or would employees to get set up as new hires under the new llc for their specific location? Worried about the complexities since we currently offer medical to certain employees through our llc. What are other best practices to know when splitting a single LLC up to reduce liability?

    • Thanks Hillary! And congrats! Do you own any real estate, or are all locations leased?

      There’s a lot of ways to go about this. However, if you’re worried about complications and want to keep things simple re: employees and payroll, you could just run everything through one LLC, and purchase adequate business insurance. However, the LLC will need to register as a foreign LLC in 3 states. So it would be one LLC (formed in its original state) with 3 registrations (aka foreign qualifications) to do business in 3 other states. Then all payroll and benefits stay the way they are.

      Here’s an alternative variation. You form a new LLC (in whatever state you’d like). This will be the LLC holding company. You keep the original LLC you have, but you assign the LLC Membership Interest from yourself to your LLC holding company. So now LLC#1 is owned by the LLC holding company.

      Then you can form 3 new LLCs, each in its own state. Make all 3 of these LLCs owned by the LLC holding company. So now you have 4 LLCs all owned by your LLC holding company. Each LLC will need its own EIN Number and its own LLC bank account. And if each LLC is going to hire employees, each LLC would need to meet each respective state’s employee compliance requirements. And payroll and benefits would need to be ran through each of the 4 LLCs.

      A slight variation to that is to set up a 5th LLC. Let’s call this your staffing company LLC. Just like the original scenario, you’d still need to foreign qualify this LLC in every state where you have employees, but now you’re isolating your employment liability to its own LLC (which is separate from your 4 operational LLCs). Then you’d have a have an agreement in place between the staffing company LLC and the 4 operational LLCs. Basically, the staffing company provides employees and staff for your operational LLCs for a fee. And you’d have an agreement in place. This will keep all payroll and benefits in one company.

      I know, a lot to think about. Let me know if you have any questions. I’d also recommend speaking with the franchise (you’ll need new franchise agreements for the 3 new LLCs, if you went that route) and it might be helpful to speak to an asset protection attorney in the state where you reside. And an employment attorney. There isn’t a simple “one size fits all” best answer here. There’s many ways to slice the pie. Hope that helps though.

      • Thank you for the quick reply! We currently are doing the insurance route – we have a VERY large umbrella policy & EPLI policy. All our locations are leased and they are all identical brand. It has been much easier because we are able to just classify expenses and assets by location in our books but dont have to worry about if the vendor or state is using the correct EIN/business name. And, has made our growth seamless as we have done just as you said and registered as forgein entities each time we are in a new state. Besides general insurance & EPLI -are there other insurance policy types youd recommend if we stayed the course with just the one LLC for all locations? Does a large enough insurance coverage adequately negate the concerns of liabilty risk from not being separate LLC for each location? I worry about splitting out the locations into new LLC with how many overhead staff we have that technically do work across many of the locations (supervisors etc). I worry we would drown in paperwork & logistical missteps if we tried to run them as 10 LLCs. But, articles implying that one LLC for multiple locations (especially 10 like us) is a terrible decision…this worries me that we made the wrong call having them all under 1 LLC despite our very large umbrella policy.

        • You’re very welcome Hilary. I think you pointed something out that’s super important (that so many articles likely don’t cover). Like you said, you were able to scale your business using just one entity. Having lots of entities – especially for a business that already has a lot of moving parts – can drain massive energy. It takes a lot of bandwidth to set up and continually maintain and use correctly.

          Glad to hear you have the foreign qualifications in place and the insurance policies. We’re not as well versed in insurance as LLCs, so don’t have much to comment on there; apologies. And I might be able to elaborate on an idea re: assets and intra-liability (one location affecting another in a worse-case-scenario-lawsuit-event). But first, what assets does each location have that the others don’t?

  12. Hello,
    i have two business.Ones is selling E-commerce products on Shopify and the other one is service based business as a paid advertising agency.Like Facebook advertising service for customers.Can i operate these two business under one LLC and same bank account? Thank you in advance.

    • Hi Oguz, yes, you can. It’s better to think of them not as 2 separate businesses (because they won’t be; it’ll be one LLC… aka, one business entity), but think of them as 2 separate business activities. Hope that helps :)

  13. I have created 3 different one product shopify stores (and still going). Im in the process of getting paperwork done and very confused. Thanks for your information I now understand the risk part of it however still would like advice on what you would do.

    Can I do business under my assumed name (EIN already given) until the stores show profit and then apply for an LLC? Is that recommended? Just trying to save money in case one or more stores are a flop. Also, do I have to get assumed name for each one when im starting out?

    When i see profit and want to create an LLC should I create an LLC for each one product store or create an llc like “blah blah blah commerce” and have each website under that main LLC? (If assumed name is okay in the beginning i dont mind spending the money on seperate LLCs because at that point I’ll know the product site is profitable)

    I was also reading into LLCs being taxed as an S corp. Do you recommend this?

    Sorry for all the questions and if some of them dont make sense I am literally teaching myself everything from scratch and just started 2 weeks ago.

    • Hey Margareta, no worries on the questions. I totally get it. There’s a lot to unpack with LLCs LOL! I’ll give you my honest take based on what you shared. First, don’t worry about an LLC taxed as an S-Corporation right now. They are much more complicated to setup and far more complicated to maintain. They only make sense to begin looking at once there is at least $70,000 of net income per LLC Member (on a consistent basis).

      Also, it sounds like you’re in the testing phase with various different store ideas, products, etc. I’d keep things super simple and just focus on making money. And even if things grow, having multiple LLCs for this sounds like overkill. And could be really stressful with a lot of paperwork to manage, multiple bank accounts, multiple tax filings, etc.

      If I wanted to keep things super simple, I’d just operate all stores as a Sole Proprietorship with an Assumed Name (aka DBA), which is sounds like that’s what you have. Then when I have extra funds, I’d form an LLC and run the stores through one LLC. Does that help?

  14. Thank you for this article, and please forgive me if you already sort of answered this, but I have heard some conflicting information.

    I have an LLC in Georgia for online selling (ebay etc) and I am wanting to do freelance bookkeeping services which is really a totally different line of business. Is it possible/legal for me to get a DBA for the bookkeeping under the same LLC? If so, in your opinion do you think it would be better to have a separate LLC? My online selling is very small time right now but could grow.

    Thank you so much.

    • You’re very welcome Christy. You don’t have to do anything; it’s up to you. Meaning, you can run multiple different business activities through your LLC (with or without a DBA). Or you could form 2 LLCs. Gauging from your tone though, it sounds like simpler might be better. And you focusing on your bookkeeping services might have the biggest ROI for you. So personally, I’d focus my efforts on growing that business. And if I happen to sell a few items through the same LLC, that’s probably a lot easier than having another LLC (with its own bank account, separate EIN Number, etc). And with one LLC (and multiple different business activities), you don’t need a DBA for online selling. For your taxes, you’d just have two Schedule Cs. Hope that helps.

  15. Hi, thank you for your help. I am going to open a truck company with a partner what will be the best legal adult entity to open the truck company three separate LLc one for my partner, one for me and one for the business and how that work. Thank you again for your help.

    • As far as entity structuring (entities owning entities), there isn’t a single answer to the “best” set up. Having said that, you might not need the complexity. You could just form a Multi-Member LLC. Aka, one LLC owned by both of you.

      • Thank you for your help They told me for Taxes purpose is better that way open 3 LLC

  16. Matt,
    Thank you for providing the article, it was very helpful. If I were to establish a PLLC with a professional license, am I also able to provide services outside of what that license entails. For example sake, let’s say the PLLC is established through an existing Certified Public Accountant license. Could that PLLC also sell clothes under the same PLLC? Or could those services (which do not need an LLC or PLLC) just be considered as being sold under the same name of the company, just not with the PLLC after its name.

    Thank you in advance.

    • Hi Laurel, you’re very welcome. I don’t have all the state’s PLLCs acts on the top of my noggin, since we do less work with PLLCs. You’ll want to check your state’s LLC statute or call the Secretary of State. However, generally, PLLCs are restricted to only engaging in professional services.

  17. I have a registered corporate name in Utah which operates a “Doing Business As” entity, can I rent the use of the entity name (the DBA) without losing ownership? I am entering into a 5 year “lease to own” relationship with an individual and their accountant wants them to have access to the name (this has to do with credit and factoring).

    • Hi Ron, I don’t follow. DBAs aren’t entities. And I’m not sure what you mean by “corporate name”. If you are licensing the rights to a name, it might be best to speak to an attorney to draw up the paperwork and strategize with; one who’s familiar with name rights and licensing agreements. Hope that helps.

  18. Wow, this was incredibly helpful! I have two questions.

    I’m about to form an LLC for a consulting business I’ve been doing as a sole proprietor for a while, and my wife has a graphic design side hustle. Should I have her setup her side hustle as a separate LLC or add it as a DBA under my LLC?

    Finally, if I go with the latter, can I have one bank account and deposit payments under both the LLC’s name and the DBA’s name, so my clients can pay me and her clients pay her?

    Many thanks!

    • I would love to know the answer to this question as well! I have two businesses personally, and my husband is considering starting consulting. None carry a lot of liability and wondering if we can set it up with all of them under one family LLC.

    • Thanks Eric! You’ll want to double-check with your bank of choice, but typically yes; an LLC can open a bank account and deposit payments made payable to the LLC and to its DBA (assuming of course the DBA is registered and given to the bank at the time you open the LLC bank account). About whether or not to use one LLC or two for your and your wife’s business activities, there isn’t a clear-cut answer to this. For simplicity, yes, you could have multiple business activities under one LLC (with or without a DBA or DBAs). However, if you’d rather keep things separate and/or isolate liability, then 2 LLCs may be preferred.

  19. Hi! Thanks for your help by creating this content!
    I’d like to ask couple questions:
    – if сan I have one LLC and receive money from social media (website development), construction, painting and transportation?
    – Is it possible to have different licenses for one LLC? (eg painting, construction, transportation)?
    I know that better way is separate theese jobs by other LLC. Just I’d like know this.
    – how to change the type of LLC activity(at ex. painting to transportation), how much does it cost, how to do it and how long it will take?
    Thanks a lot!

    • You’re welcome Di! Yes, you can have one LLC with multiple different business activities (social media, construction, transportation, etc.). Yes, an LLC can have multiple different business licenses and permits. You don’t have to form a separate LLC for all of these. Typically, an LLC can engage in any lawful activity, so you don’t have to file any “change of activity”. Just use your LLC however you want.

  20. Hi, if you have one llc for managing social media and marketing, can your other llc, that resells products, be a client for the first llc? Is it okay to bill one for services, even if you own both?

    • Hi John, yes, both are okay. One LLC can do business with the other LLC, and they can exchange funds for services… even if you own both LLCs.

  21. If you setup a holding LLC company, then say 2 LLCs underneath it, how much more (on average) will an accountant charge you to file your taxes each year with that kind of structure since you will now have a much more complicated situation and more Schedule C and etc… forms to fill out, vs just having multiple DBAs under one LLC? (For this example I’m talking about a single member disregarded LLC)

    Cheers!

    • Hi Will, it’s not entirely complicated. If I had to guess, maybe $300 to $600 more per year. Hope that helps.

  22. Hi Mark,
    How do Gas Stations do it? do they have a separate LLC/S Corp for all their stations in the city? Reason I ask is that my client is going to do tires at different locations…..wants to separate liabilities…

    • I don’t know all the ins and outs of that industry, but here’s how I’d do it. I’d set up an LLC holding company. All this parent LLC does is own other LLCs. And this parent LLC could be taxed as an S-Corp (depends on the owner’s financial situation) if you want. And then the “child LLCs” (aka subsidiary LLCs) own the stations/real estate. This way, there is separation of liability, but one consolidated tax return.

  23. Hi, I have a quick question. I currently have a business as a tax preparer and bookkeeper. I want to add Loan Signing Notary agent as a business but I am not sure can I keep everything under my one LLC. I have error and omission insurance but wasn’t sure if it’ll be necessary to create a new LLC for the Notary with a new business bank account and insurance etc.. It seems to be all in the same type of industry but I am not 100% sure.

    • Hi Lily, you’re not required to form a LLC for each business activity. You can run all those activities under one LLC if you’d like!

  24. Thank you for this article! I have a Texas LLC with one DBA. I would like to add another DBA. Will I be able to open another bank account for the new DBA without any problem? Will I have to pay state sales tax for both DBA’s under my existing tax id or can I get a tax id for the new DBA?

    • Hi Bruce, double-check with your bank, but you shouldn’t have an issue opening another bank account for your LLC/DBA. You won’t have to pay sales tax for a DBA, since the DBA is just a “nickname” for your LLC. The LLC pays sales tax. And no, you don’t get a Federal Tax ID Number (EIN Number) for a DBA. Only for the LLC. No matter how many DBAs you have, they are all just nicknames for your one business entity, your LLC. Hope that helps.

  25. I found very useful content about Business/LLC…
    I have a question let say I registered my LLC in TX and while applying to get EIN, I mentioned Consulting/IT Consulting….
    After getting EIN I have decided not to work on Online Selling…
    Do I need a new EIN?
    Do I need to close my LLC and open a new one and apply to get a new EIN?
    or submit any form to update the inform from Consulting/IT consulting to Online Selling?

    Thanks

    • Hey Smaz, actually, none of that. What you tell the IRS your business will initially do isn’t “set in stone”. You can change this anytime and you shouldn’t get a new EIN or form a new LLC. And you don’t need to notify the IRS.

  26. If you start an LLC with several small businesses, can you later split them into more LLCs if the businesses grow larger than expected?

  27. I have an LLC to cover an Amazon store that I have running.
    Prior to creating my LLC and opening up my Amazon store, I created a Shopify store with a different name. It’s never been active, but I would like to start using it soon. Will I have to register it as a DBA under my LLC, or am I okay to leave it as is and just register the DBA with my bank?

    Thank you so much for this information!

    • You’re welcome Kim. You can run both stores (aka both business activities) under one LLC. If one of the businesses will do business under a different name, you’d register a DBA with the state or county (depends on the state). You can then have one bank account under the LLC name for both business activities, or you could open a 2nd bank account (in the name of the LLC and its DBA) for the Shopify store. Hope that helps.

      • My case is very much similar. I have a wyoming LLC from past 4 years (an online product store) which made no revenue so far. I’m now planning on setting up a software solutions company and want to operate under the same LLC and Wyoming doesn’t require to register DBAs. I haven’t opened a bank account on the LLC name so far but can I now open two bank accounts without my DBA registered with the state (one in the name of LLC and one supposedly unregistered DBA)?
        Please help me with this.
        Thank you

        • Hi Minnu, while DBA Name registrations (called a Trade Name in Wyoming) aren’t required, if you’re going to open a bank account under your LLC – with a DBA name – the bank will most likely want the DBA to be registered (by filing the Application for Registration of Trade Name). I’d call the bank to confirm.

          You can open one LLC bank account (and deposit funds for the LLC and any and all DBAs it has). Or you could open two bank accounts (the first in the name of your LLC, and the second in the name of your DBA and LLC). It’s really up to you how you want to manage your money… aka, how many bank accounts you want.

  28. Thank you! This article was great and answered a ton of questions for me.

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