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Last updated July 29, 2021

What is a Professional LLC (PLLC)?

A Professional LLC (PLLC) is a type of Limited Liability Company formed for the purpose of providing professional services.

Professional services are those where a person is licensed by the state for the service they provide.

In most states, all members of a PLLC are required to be licensed.

California: There is an exception in California, where the state doesn’t permit PLLCs. If you’re a licensed professional in California, please see: why most California professionals can’t form an LLC.

Who needs to form a PLLC?

It does vary by state, but usually the following professionals will need to form a PLLC:

  • Accountants
  • Acupuncturist
  • Architects
  • Chiropractors
  • Clinical Social Workers
  • Dentists
  • Doctors
  • Engineers
  • Lawyers
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Nurses
  • Optometrists
  • Psychologists
  • Physical Therapists
  • Veterinarians

What’s the purpose of a PLLC?

The purpose for states creating PLLCs is for regulation and safety.

The states want to have more control over these professionals because the services they provide carry a higher risk to the public.

What’s the difference between a PLLC and an LLC?

Both a PLLC and an LLC offer the same liability protection to their members.

The only difference is that some states require licensed professionals to form PLLCs and they’re not allowed to form LLCs.

Also, PLLCs have stricter requirements and are governed more closely.

What’s the similarities between a PLLC and an LLC?

Both a PLLC and an LLC protect your personal assets in the event your business gets sued.

Both a PLLC and an LLC create a “wall of protection” between your business assets and your personal assets.

Your personal assets include everything that you own: your home, cars, trucks, bank accounts, investment properties, boats, jewelry, etc.

Similar to an LLC, if your PLLC gets sued, creditors can only go after the assets of your PLLC to settle those business debts and liabilities.

Having said that, if a licensed member is sued for malpractice, neither a PLLC or an LLC will offer asset protection for them personally.

PLLCs are a requirement in some states, but not all

Some states require that licensed professionals form a PLLC.

Some states allow licensed professionals to choose between PLLC and LLC.

And some states don’t even have PLLCs (California).

Ultimately, you will need to check with your local licensing board and/or to speak to an attorney in your state.

Our tip is to call the licensing board twice (to speak to different people) to make sure you receive the correct information. Not everyone that works at these places is the brightest crayon in the box.

We also recommend speaking to 2-3 attorneys to discuss whether you need to form a PLLC, an LLC, or another type of business entity. They’ll all give you 15-minutes since you’re a potential client.

Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
Matt Horwitz has been the leading expert on LLC education for the past decade. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC that other companies weren't offering. 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.

37 comments on “What is a Professional LLC (PLLC)?”

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. The best answer to this question of all !!

    Thank you !!

  2. Hello!
    I’m writing up my PLLC and I would love some clarity on Article 2 of the articles of organization where it asks about the purpose of the PLLC. I am not sure how specific I need to be, I’m opening a physical therapy practice (in patient’s home, studio or Telehealth environment) and also include wellness related sessions.

    • Hi Beth, as long as it’s not vague, it doesn’t have to be super specific. For example, “Physical therapy practice” will work fine if you want to keep it short. Hope that helps.

  3. Hi, I am starting an occupational therapy home care business. In the articles of organization can I list speech and physical therapy also or do I have to have licensed PT and ST as owners of the PLLC in order to do that?

    • Hi Steve, a PLLC can only offer the services for which its Members are licensed. Hope that helps :)

  4. I’m in Texas and my prospective partner is a Licensed CPA but I am not. Can we still form a PLLC in Texas considering one partner is Licensed and the other partner is not a Licensed CPA?

    Thanks.

    • Hi Faisal, as per Section 301.006 (see Chapter 301 of the BOC), you would need to be licensed as a CPA in order to be a Member of the PLLC. Hope that helps.

  5. Hi Matt,
    I have been looking to see if the publication requirements for a PLLC are different than an LLC. I have not been able to find anything, but I would think they would be the same. any thoughts? Thanks Kevin

    • Hi Kevin, you are correct. The same rules apply to the PLLC for newspaper publication requirements if the PLLC is formed in Arizona, Nebraska, or New York.

  6. Hi Matt, my partner and I are both osteopathic physicians. She specialises in internal medicine and I specialise in cardiology. We are opening a small office in Michigan that offers concierge cardiology, lifestyle and weight loss services. Do we need a PLLC? Will an LLC suffice?
    Thanks, Simone

  7. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor(LPC) in the state of TX. Is it best to create and LLC or PLLC to conduct my mental health services?

    • Hi Nicky, we are not 100% certain as we don’t specialize in PLLC formation, however we think so. We recommend speaking with an attorney in Texas and/or the Texas Secretary of State. The relevant statute is Chapter 301 of the Texas Business Organizations Code. As per statute, Licensed Professional Counseling (LCP) is refereed to as a “licensed mental health professional”. The Texas Secretary of State has put out a guide showing permissible entity types for licensed professionals and it does seem that a “Counselor, Licensed (Mental Health or Professional)” is not allowed to form a regular LLC and can only form a professional entity (PLLC, PC, or PA). Please see Texas Secretary of State: Guide for Determining Permissible Entity Types for Licensed Professions. I hope that helps.

  8. Does a physician assistant need form PLLC or can then form a single member LLC in New York?

  9. Thank you! One more question- When making a PLLC can you use a registered agent in another county and change it after publishing? If so, any recommendations on a company to use?

    • You’re welcome Lorraine. Yes, you can certainly change the Registered Agent to a Registered Agent in a different county after meeting the publication requirement. The company we recommend is Northwest Registered Agent. Hope that helps.

  10. Hi, Matt. I’m from Indiana and started setting up my housecall business. Do I need a PLLC in Indiana? i am currently practicing with my registered nurse. i tried to call Indina board of nursing to see if I need an approval to set up a PLLC and they told me to call Secretary of state in Indiana. Both entities have been going back and forth related to my question related to forming a PLLC in my state. I was hoping you can shed a light related to what I needed to form a PLLC and is LLC enough. TIA.

  11. Reporting a Typo

    “why most California professionals can’t for an LLC”

  12. Is it necessary/wise for a Mobile Notary Signing Agent to form an LLC or PLLC in the state of Arizona?

  13. Hi Matt,
    I am a Physical Therapist in NY. I currently have a DBA and plan to expand to LLC or PLLC. Can I list OT and/or speech therapy along with physical therapy under LLC or PLLC? I read through the ‘Corporate Entities NYSED’; however, it’s confusing.

    • Hi Leena, I hear you. Trying to sort that page out (or Section 1203 of the New York LLC Act) is challenging. We’ve spent hours combing through the statutes and hours on the phone with the NY Division of Corporation and the NY State Education Department on numerous occasions. Here’s my best guess: As per the Corporate Entities for Professional Practice, the only relevant exception is Speech-Language Pathologists (they can form a regular LLC). However, Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists need to form a PLLC. Also, you can’t offer both occupational therapy and physical therapy unless you are licensed in both or there is another LLC Member who is a licensed Occupational Therapist. We recommend verifying this with the New York State Education Department, your licensing board, and/or an attorney who specializes in working with licensed practitioners. I wish I could give you a more “absolute” answer. Thank you for your understanding :)

      • Hi Matt,

        Thank you so much for your response! It really helps, primarily because you explained it in plain English :). Would you recommend Northwest or Legal zoom to help with the formation of PLLC?
        Thanks again:)

  14. Hi,
    I need a PLLC in Texas. I contacted Northwest company to assist and they don’t help file PLLC’s. only LLCs. Do you know of a company that will? I can’t afford to go the full attorney route.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Jodie, we don’t have a service provider recommendation at this time for PLLCs.

  15. Hi! Thank you- this has been helpful. As a Physical Therapist in Virginia, it is necessary to form a PLLC or can I set up an LLC for PT services? The state board does not seem to know.
    Also, my husband has a separate LLC already- if a PLLC is not required in VA, can I be added to that one and provide Therapy services under a different company name ( but have his LLC as the parent company)? Would that be too confusing? Thanks!!

    • Hi Sadaf, you’re very welcome. The answer is PLLC. And no, hypothetically speaking, you couldn’t have non-licensed Member as a part of your PLLC in Virginia.

  16. I am looking to start an LLC for a salon, we are licensed professionals but was not sure if I needed a PLLC in NYS.

    • Hi Salena, you can form a regular LLC for a nail salon in New York.

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