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Limited Liability Company - Structure

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The owners of an LLC are called members and are similar in some respects to shareholders of a corporation. A member can be a natural person, a corporation, a partnership, or another legal association or entity. Unlike corporations, which may be formed by only one shareholder, LLCs in most states must be formed and managed by two or more members. LLCs are therefore unavailable to sole proprietors. In addition, unlike some closely held, or S, corporations, which are allowed a limited number of shareholders, LLCs may have any number of members beyond one.

Generally, state law outlines the required governing structure of an LLC. In most states members may manage an LLC directly or delegate management responsibility to one or more managers. Managers of an LLC are usually elected or appointed by the members. Some LLCs may have one, two, or more managers. Like a general partner in a limited partnership or an officer in a corporation, an LLC's manager is responsible for the day-to-day management of the business.

A manager owes a duty of loyalty and care to the LLC. Unless the members consent, a manager may not use LLC property for personal benefit and may not compete with the LLC's business. In addition, a manager may not engage in self-dealing or usurp an LLC's business opportunities, unless the members consent to a transaction involving such activity after being fully informed of the manager's interest.

Limited Liability Company - Operating Agreement [next] [back] Limited Liability Company - Formation

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