Can you have two 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 attorney about the details of your situation and what you’re trying to accomplish.

Running multiple businesses under one LLC



  • 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
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
Forming an LLC shouldn't be so complicated. Our step-by-step guide will make the process a breeze – and no complex legal jargon! LLC University® teaches people how to form an LLC for free in all 50 states. We hope you find our free guides and resources helpful in your business journey.
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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. Greg M. January 1, 2019

    MATT – Thanks so much for all the invaluable information you and your team have put together for small businesses and LLC’s. It really helps to clarify a lot of questions. My brother owns two real estate properties in the Pittsburgh area and one in Ft. Lauderdale. He and I want to put the properties in one basket and start an import business (Amazon) and be able to deduct the expenses/costs of using the properties for inventory etc. Is this a viable idea? If so where can I get more information on how to do it? Thanks so much and here’s hoping you and your team have a great 2019.

    • Matt Horwitz January 6, 2019

      Hi Greg, you’re very welcome. Thanks for the kind words. Something specific like this is best to run by an accountant, an attorney, and/or a tax attorney. Far too many details and variables to get into. Hope that helps and thanks for your understanding.

  2. Dee J June 23, 2019

    Can you have a beauty shop and a small store together under the same roof but different areas of the building? or what is needed?

    • Matt Horwitz June 24, 2019

      Hi Dee, yes, you can have an LLC that operates both a beauty shop and a small store, but they are in different parts of the building. Hope that helps.

      • Dee J June 26, 2019

        Okay, Thank you, But also can you have a LLC that operates both a cleaning business and a small store. But it would be in a different part of the Beauty shop building?

        • Matt Horwitz June 27, 2019

          Yes, that is also allowed. The LLC can do multiple things and they don’t have to take place at the same address.

  3. Ray June 30, 2019

    How many businesses can you operate under one LLC? And do they have to be related? For instance, can a clothing line and graphic design business operate under one LLC?

    • Matt Horwitz July 6, 2019

      Hi Ray, you can operate as many businesses that you’d like under an LLC. And no, the industries don’t have to be related. Hope that helps.

  4. Colby June 30, 2019

    I have an idea for an apparel line, a great logo, and am not sure about the DBA/LLC part of it.
    Lets start with my amazing logo, it’s catchy and what I REALLY want to build my product line around, call it “Become ABC” with an amazing motto and logo incorporating the name… But, I want to name the company ABC Apparel LLC, to allow growth for future products?
    Would I need a separate DBA for each?
    Could I sell the “Become ABC” brand, as a product of “ABC Apparel LLC”?
    Should I Trademark each 2 word phrase separately to protect them, or does an LLC protect the DBA Name(s)?
    “ABC Apparel TM” and “Become ABC TM”
    *The examples used are fictitious, but it’s identical to my situation.

    • Matt Horwitz July 6, 2019

      Hi Colby, if reading this correctly, it sounds like there’s an LLC that owns everything: “ABC Apparel LLC”. That LLC will own 2 DBAs: “ABC Apparel” and “Become ABC”. DBAs have very little rights to their name (in most states), so if things really take off, you could file two federal trademarks as well: “ABC Apparel” and “Become ABC”. Note: the 2 DBAs and the 2 federal trademarks would be owned by “ABC Apparel LLC”. That allows for proper ownership (everything is owned by the LLC), the LLC has the right to do business under 2 names besides its true and legal and name (the 2 DBAs), and the LLC has protection on it’s 2 “brand names” (the 2 federal trademarks). Hope that helps.

      • Colby July 7, 2019

        Thanks Matt. After tons of research, (and insights like yours), I think my best course is to create an LLC, a brand, and a slogan…
        ABC LLC, DBA – ABC Apparel, Slogan – “Become ABC.”

        The generality of ABC LLC, keeps the door open for other products (not just apparel). The Brand “ABC APPAREL” Has a great logo that I want on the clothing (along with the slogan). And the slogan would work on future products as well.
        The expensive part seems to be Trademarking. Separately registering the BRAND NAME, the LOGO, and the SLOGAN (plus the LLC name if I really wanted to go all out.) Could add up to quite a bit invested in a tough industry with a high rate of failure.
        But, if I’m gonna be the next Nike, I gotta start somewhere. Thanks again for the reply.

        • Matt Horwitz July 7, 2019

          Hi Colby, you’re welcome :) And yes, the trademark is the more expensive component. If you want a simpler approach to the trademark, you can always start with the standard character trademark. For new businesses, it’s common that the logo design and slogan may evolve, so you could address those in the near future to save on upfront costs. Hope that helps.

  5. Amy July 5, 2019

    Can I use one LLC for different business models? example, professional consulting and real-estate management?

    • Matt Horwitz July 7, 2019

      Hi Amy, yes, you can. An LLC can own/run multiple businesses, regardless of the industry or business model. Having said that, some regulated industries do place restrictions upon which type of entity can be used. For example, LLCs being used by doctors, accountant, attorneys, and other licensed professionals (most often called a Professional LLC). Hope that helps.

  6. Tod Sutherland January 3, 2020

    Thank you for the valuable site. We have a LLC in Texas, a small trucking business established 3 years ago. That particular business is not profitable, though it is sustaining, so we have been cutting the size and preparing to eventually close and move into a second industry. We have started the process of opening the second business under the existing LLC and requested a tax certificate as the new business involves retail. We chose to use the existing LLC as it provided the ability for us to obtain some accounts needed for the new business, and as the LLC is already established and in good standing it saved some start up cost. My question and concern is how the two are bound in liability terms. Our goal is to close the initial business this year and hopefully with no debt but what if that is not possible? Is the new business liable for the debt owed by the initial business operated under that same LLC?

    • Matt Horwitz January 3, 2020

      Hi Tod, an easier way to think of this is not that you have multiple businesses, but rather you have one entity (the LLC) and that entity has multiple business activities. So yes, it’s all still one entity and is therefore liable for any events/actions it has partaken in or will partake in. To separate any potential liability exposure would require a new entity being formed. Hope that helps.

  7. Hales January 8, 2020

    This site is money! So much info. Thanks! We have one business running under our LLC and are wanting to add another. The second business will have a partner where the first business is soley ours. For tax purposes and to add a partner would you suggest opening a second LLC? Thank you!!!

    • Matt Horwitz January 9, 2020

      Thanks Hales! It’s much better to form a new LLC if you are bringing on a new owner who is not a part of the first business. It’s actually difficult to create a clear division of “business ownership” within one LLC. If you added the new person as a Member of the existing LLC then they would own whatever that LLC owns. Hope that helps.

  8. Robert January 10, 2020

    If I have multiple DBA’s under one LLC, can more than one DBA be assigned to the business bank account or only one? Meaning can I deposit checks into the LLC account from multiple different DBAs?

    • Matt Horwitz January 10, 2020

      Hi Robert, yes, this is most often allowed. You just need to register those DBA names with your bank. Hope that helps.

  9. Bilal Ahsan January 10, 2020

    Hi sir my question is this I have two businesses one is transportation and other one is medical billing management so I need two LLC’s for both or I can run multiple businesses under one LLC ? Please clear me thanks in advance and happy 2020….

    • Matt Horwitz January 10, 2020

      Hi Bilal, an LLC can have two businesses under itself, however, if you want to keep the liability in each business separate from the other, then forming two LLCs would be the route to go. Hope that helps.

  10. Sue January 20, 2020

    Thank you, Matt! This is the clearest description and explanation I’ve ever read on LLC over the years. Appreciate it! All the best in YR2020 :)

    • Matt Horwitz January 20, 2020

      You’re very welcome Sue! Thanks so much for your awesome comment! Same to you :)

  11. Tera Young January 22, 2020

    So I have two business I’m going to put under one L.L.C., but how do I do that? Would you have your first business name L.L.C. & say the next business name on that same line?

    • Matt Horwitz January 27, 2020

      Hi Tera, it’s better to think about it like this: you’ll have two types of business activities operating under one legal entity (your LLC). Your LLC just has one legal name; the LLC name. However, your LLC can also operate using one DBA Name or multiple DBA Names (aka Fictitious Name, Assumed Name, or Tradename). The purpose of the DBA(s) is to make the name of your business(es) easier for customers/clients to identify with. Here are some options:
      1. ABC Company LLC does business under the name ABC Company LLC and both Business 1 and Business 2 are operated under the name ABC Company LLC.
      2. Business 1 is run under the name ABC Company LLC and Business 2 is run under the name My Business Two, which is a DBA owned by ABC Company LLC.
      3. Business 1 is run under the name My Business One, which is a DBA owned by ABC Company LLC and Business 2 is run under the name My Business Two, which is a DBA owned by ABC Company LLC.

  12. Hillary January 24, 2020

    Is it possible to make two separate LLCs for one business or company, but have different owners of the two different LLCs. For example, starting up a food company in which there are 4 members total and two want to start an LLC for themselves and two for the other LLC, but ultimately work together under the same business name or branch of the same business name. Both would want to file their own taxes separately if possible and keep finances ultimately separate, but operate under the same business name and company.

    • Matt Horwitz January 30, 2020

      Hi Hillary, I see. It’s like two teams of 2 coming together as a team of 4. In this case, you might want to consider that Team A forms their own LLC (“Team A LLC”) and Team B forms their own LLC (“Team B LLC”) and after those LLCs are approved, you all form a new LLC called “The Best Food Co LLC”. The Best Food Co LLC is not owned by individual people, but rather it is owned by Team A LLC and Team B LLC. As an alternative to that, Team A LLC and Team B LLC could also operate under a Joint Venture Agreement, but something like that would be best drafted by an attorney and you’d need to consider which name you’ll use to operate and how the rights to the name are handled. Hope that helps.

  13. Tracy January 28, 2020

    Hi Matt,

    My husband opened an LLC Auto Connection a fews years ago for a used car lot we were going to open and didnt. We do however have a booming DJ entertainment business and my husband says we are proctected through his orginal LLC (Auto Connection) Can the businesses be different under one LLC. Also I have been filing self employment taxes under Wolff Productions…should I be filing under the Auto Connection name? Thank you

    • Matt Horwitz January 30, 2020

      Hi Tracy, just forming an LLC doesn’t protect any and all activities. The business needs to be run through the LLC. For example, any contracts are in the LLC name, the bank account is owned by the LLC, any insurance is in the LLC name, etc. At quick glance, it sounds like that’s not the case in your situation. It sounds like Wolff Productions is just a DBA Name (aka Trade Name or Fictitious Name) for a Sole Proprietorship or General Partnership. Hope that helps.

  14. Jackie January 31, 2020

    Hi, I am a real estate agent and have an LLC established for my business in a state that has state income tax (Utah). I am soon moving to Florida (no state income tax) and will be maintaining my license in both states, operating under 2 different real estate companies. Should I establish a new LLC in Florida or can both my Utah and Florida businesses be under the same LLC?

    • Matt Horwitz February 3, 2020

      Hi Jackie, in Florida, as per Section 475.161, if you form an LLC, its name has to be your licensed name followed by the designator “LLC” or “L.L.C.”. I’m going to assume your Utah LLC doesn’t have that name. Please let me know if otherwise. Typically, you can’t operate a Florida business through an out-of-state LLC unless that LLC is registered to do business in Florida as a foreign LLC. The form to register a foreign LLC is the “Application by Foreign Limited Liability Company for Authorization to Transact Business in Florida“. However, if you look at #1 and the line beneath it, it looks like you can only override your Utah LLC name if it’s not available in Florida. However, that would make the name fail to meet the requirements of 475.161. We tried to call the FL Division of Corporations (850-245-6051) and check on this, but because they are implementing new systems and are very busy (January is busy), we’ve been unable to get through. Meaning, you may be able to register your Utah LLC in Florida as a foreign LLC and override the Utah LLC name to make it “Licensed Name LLC”, however, you’ll need to call and confirm. We recommend waiting a few weeks until their activity slows down and/or try calling right when they open at 8am Eastern. On the other hand, you can form an LLC in Florida and name it “Licensed Name LLC”. Then apply for your real estate in your own name. Then you’ll need to file Form RE-16 with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (the parent organization of the Florida Real Estate Commission). You can find the RE-16 on this page: FL Department of Business and Professional Regulation: Sales Associate or Broker Sales Associate Add/Remove PA, LLC, PL, or PLLC. Click “Apply Using a Printable Application” to access the form. If you have any questions for the Real Estate Commission, their number is 850-487-1395. Regarding state taxes, you’ll need to speak with an accountant. You’ll likely need to file two state returns and apportion your income. Hope that helps!

  15. Judy February 1, 2020

    Hello, I’m a business owner with an already established LLC. I recently became licensed as a real estate agent in FL, where by law my LLC’s name needs to be my licensed name ie. Judy, LLC. My question is: can I merge the two businesses via DBA or would I require an independent LLC for real estate? Thank you so much for your help.

    • Matt Horwitz February 5, 2020

      Hi Judy, what is your current LLC being used for? Likely, you can either merge the LLCs and amend the surviving LLC’s name or just form a new LLC using the required “LICENSED NAME, LLC” requirement, as set forth by the Florida Real Estate Commission. It may be easier to form a new LLC as we recommend hiring an attorney to merge two Florida LLCs. Hope that helps.

  16. Manny February 1, 2020

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for explaining the different options we can take when it comes to a LLC. Super simple and easy to grasp!

    I do have one question. What if I first start off using the LLC as itself and later in the future I decide to create a DBA under the same LLC? Is that a normal business practice?

    I feel like creating another LLC would be a better approach, but I would like to hear your opinion.


    • Matt Horwitz February 5, 2020

      Hi Manny, you’re very welcome! We’re glad it was so helpful. Yes, you can certainly form an LLC now and have that LLC operate using its true and legal name. Then, down the road, if needed, you can create a DBA owned by your LLC. At that point, your LLC can do business under its true and legal name in addition to the DBA name or just do business under the DBA name. When it comes to whether or not one should form a new LLC, it’s up to you and how much liability risk you think there may be. For example, two business activities run under one LLC (whether or not there is a DBA in place) means all liability falls upon that one LLC. If you create two LLCs, then the activities that take place under each LLC and separate and protected from one another. Hope that helps.

  17. Tana J February 4, 2020

    You made it make so much sense. But to make sure, if I’m doing a small business selling hair and hair supplies for one business and doing custom furniture for another small business, that could be under one LLC? But they have to be registered separately? Or do they both need to be separate llc?

    • Matt Horwitz February 5, 2020

      Hi Tana, thank you! Yes, selling hair/hair supplies and doing custom furniture could be run under one LLC. If you were to do that, then it would just be 1 LLC formation. You may want to consider using a generic LLC name like “Tana Enterprises LLC” or forming an LLC (with any name you like) and having 1 or 2 DBA names for the different activities… so things make more sense to customers. For example, you could form an LLC called “TJ Ventures LLC” and your LLC can do business under “Beauty Hair Supply” in addition to “TJ’s Custom Furniture”. So to the customers, it feels like two businesses, but behind the scenes, it’s just 1 LLC. If your business needed to sign a contract, your company would be listed as TJ Ventures LLC d/b/a Beauty Hair Supply. That’s the correct way to do it. And if you decide to create a DBA name (or names) make sure the DBAs are owned by your LLC and not by you. For more info on DBAs, please see does my LLC need a DBA. Hope that helps!

  18. Joe S February 8, 2020

    I am starting a rental business and forming a LLC in Florida and it will be called ABC Rental LLC. I will be renting generators, pressure washers, fans, dehumidifiers, large wet and dry vacuums ect. While the business gets off the ground I want to do pressure washing, cleaning and other maintenance work. Can I do both under ABC RENTAL LLC?

    Thank you,

    Joe S.

    • Matt Horwitz February 8, 2020

      Hi Joe, if you’d like, you can have the rental activities and the services all operate through ABC Rental LLC. Hope that helps.

  19. Devin February 10, 2020

    Hey I have a lawn care business established and want to make that a LLC, I’m also getting into real estate, flipping houses. I understand I can run both under one LLC with a DBA. Is it best to keep them separate being that real estate can bring in 3x the money as a small lawn care business, or do you think it’s less complicated to keep both under one LLC for tax purposes etc. Basically what would you do in this business situation??

    • Matt Horwitz February 17, 2020

      Hi Devin, in a situation like this, I think it’s more important to consider liability exposure. Since both businesses do have the potential for liability, I think most would prefer to operate each under its own LLC to keep the activities isolated. Meaning, an issue in your lawn care business wouldn’t affect your real estate assets (and vice versa). The amount of taxes paid will be the same in 1 LLC or 2 LLCs. Hope that helps.

  20. Ruth February 11, 2020

    Hi Matt! This article has been very Helpful! I have a question, My mom formed an for a LLC for a business with another person, however, things just didnt work out between them. Now the LLC is just sitting there not being used. My mom said that she is thinking of dismantling it.
    I want to start my own business, Instead of creating an LLC from scratch, can I just take the LLC from my mom, change the names, remove names and information, and use it? It would really save me money. Please let me know! Thanks!

    • Matt Horwitz February 17, 2020

      Hi Ruth! That is wonderful to hear :)

      We recommend forming a new LLC. Selling/transferring LLC Membership interest is a complicated process and we recommend hiring an attorney (so it would cost a lot more if done correctly).

      Here’s the overview… First, the Operating Agreement would need to be carefully reviewed for any rules regarding transfers of LLC membership interest. If there were no issues, the existing two Members would need to transfer their LLC membership interest to you. This can be done via an Assignment of LLC Membership Interest form. Then the Operating Agreement would need to be amended. The state filing (Articles of Organization, Certificate of Organization, or Certificate of Formation) may need to be amended. Form 8832 would need to be filed with the IRS to change the tax classification from LLC taxed as a Partnership to LLC taxed as a Sole Proprietorship. Form 8822-B would need to be filed with the IRS to change the EIN Responsible Party. You’ll then need to update the account with the state Department of Revenue/Taxation (or equivalent agency). You’ll then all need to visit the bank together, bring all the proper paperwork (call the branch manager ahead of time), have the old singers removed, and have yourself added to the account as the only signer… or close that bank account and open a new LLC bank account. You’d have to speak with your accountant to make the sure taxes are properly accounted for and that a final 1065 return is filed. Bookkeeping/records will need be handed over and accounted for.

      Also, by becoming the sole Member of the LLC, you inherit all the LLC’s assets and all the LLL’s liabilities (some you may not know about). For example, there could be outstanding credit card debt. There could also be outstanding contracts that need to be accounted for. There could be direct deposits or auto-debits that need to be accounted for. There could be online registrations, accounts that were set up, utilities, bills, etc. that need to be transitioned over to your control. All in all, this is prone to errors, issues, headaches, and costs.

      It’s definitely safer and more affordable to form a new LLC. We have LLC filling instructions for every state. Hope that helps!

  21. Lisa Akin February 17, 2020

    Hello, thank you for your time. My husband has set up an LLC with a partner. The partner started operating another business within the business. The profits are all going to our the partner. We did not know of the second business, until we discovered the checks going thru are accounts. What can I do to recoup the losses I have suffered due to his mismanagement of our funds. Can he do this legally? I’m hoping I started this clearly enough. Thank you for any suggestions you can get us.

    • Matt Horwitz February 17, 2020

      Hi Lisa, whoa… that’s not a good situation. There could certainly be breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duties, and a number of other issues. We definitely recommend getting an attorney involved in a matter like this. We’re unable to say “you should do this” or “you should do that”. An attorney will help assess the situation, look at the paperwork, review the agreements (actual agreements, emails, and oral agreements, if applicable in your state), and provide a recommended course of action. There may a very particular way to exit this partnership if things come to that. We hope you get to the bottom of things.


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