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Best method to set up LLC holding company for real estate

Asked by: Mike - 10 May, 2012
Hi, this web site has been great and I have read all the answers, so I understand the benefits of using an LLC for real estate/rental properties, and I also understand you must register that LLC in whatever state you have the property. For multiple properties, I also understand you can have another "holding company LLC" to house all the separate properties/LLCs in your portfolio.

I live in New York state and am about to purchase a property in Texas, so I must register a Texas LLC to house the property. Since I am a sole owner of the LLC this probably isn't a big deal right now... but down the line, if I own multiple properties in different states, where would you recommend setting up the holding company LLC? I have read how certain states might have better anonymity features (New Mexico), certain states might have higher annual fees for reporting (California), etc.

So what would be the "best" State to set up the holding LLC (lowest fees, most features, etc.)? Any other things to avoid? Thanks in advance.
Answered by: Robert Kowalski - 10 May, 2012
Dear Mike,

Yes, you can pretty much register the holding company in any state, and for that matter you would probably be better off choosing a state offering some special advantage.

As you mentioned, New Mexico LLC is one tool that is often chosen by asset protection specialists to recommend as a holding entity for their clients' assets. Keep in mind though - New Mexico LLC is not the only entity that would be anonymous in the sense that the State does not require you to list members in public records. Same would be with Delaware and Wyoming (in Wyoming you do list a contact person on the articles though, but its not easily searchable online).

The plus of New Mexico LLC in addition to anonymity is lack of Annual Report filing of any kind - that means that the entity cannot be administratively dissolved if you forgot to file something. Other than that both Delaware and Wyoming could be considered as potential destinations.

Another state to consider would be New York, for no other reason but the fact that you live there. Technically, if you are running this business from your home and you have plenty of deductible business expenses related to the business that all are connected to NY, you might eventually have to register your company in New York anyway (as a foreign entity, if originally it was formed elsewhere).

Of course, forming LLC in New York is a bit expensive, but you would save in a long run on Registered Agent service and, if you don't choose NM LLC, on annual reports (in New York you file biennial reports, its only $9).

So, as you can see, "best" is relative and there could be several correct answers.

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