If you’re an independent contractor working remotely, you have likely acclimated yourself to your billing and invoicing system. After completing a project, you’ll submit an invoice for the work that you completed. Your client will then pay you, often via PayPal, Google Pay, or some other similar platform. At the end of the year, you’ll receive a Form 1099 for any income you earned greater than $600.
Sound familiar? This system may seem full proof. Many independent contractors are hesitant to break away from what they know and what works for them. However, there’s a potentially better option available that self-employed workers should want to consider. Before the next fiscal year, independent contractors should look into forming an LLC. Below, you’ll find a complete breakdown of why it may be in their best interest to do so.
Protect Yourself From Liabilities
As an independent contractor, you expose yourself to tremendous liability. Clients would be able to go after all of your assets if something were to go wrong with a deal, including those not related to your day-to-day contracting obligations. This includes things such as your:
- Savings account
- Personal vehicle
However, working under the LLC umbrella practically eliminates this. That’s because the business organization is responsible for its own debts and liabilities, even if you are the sole owner and only employee. This, in turn, protects your personal assets were anything to go wrong with a contract. Were your business to have debts, the clients typically cannot come after your personal assets.
One of the most significant benefits that self-employed contractors can gain when forming an LLC is the fact that their taxes will become much more straightforward. LLCs offer pass-through taxation. This means that the owner can claim anything the company earns on their personal income statements. LLC owners won’t have to worry about double taxation, as they would with a C corporation.
So, owners will end up protecting themselves from liabilities without having to give up any income. And, taxes become easier to file because LLC owners merely report a profit or loss on a Schedule C, which they attach to their personal income returns. The Internal Revenue Service, for tax purposes, views LLCs just as they do general partnerships and sole proprietorships.
Additionally, LLC owners can opt to be taxed as an S-Corporation, which would allow them to reduce their self-employment tax. Depending on how much money you earn as an independent contractor, this could be in your best financial interest. We strongly advise you to seek out a trusted account or similar financial professional who can advise you on the tax implications of registering as an LLC.
Forming an LLC demonstrates to clients that you are professional and that you take your work quite seriously. Think about how much better it looks if a customer were to call, say, “John Doe’s Content Marketing LLC” as opposed to “John Doe.” This is especially true when the LLC could direct the client on how to wire money to their business account. The bottom line is that other companies will take you more seriously if you form an LLC.
Open A Business Bank Account
Registering as an LLC also allows self-employed contractors to open a business banking account. Currently, you may find it easy to keep track of employment funds. Perhaps you’ve allocated a personal credit card and account strictly toward self-employment income. If so, this is excellent, as you’re already on the right track.
However, if your business were ever to grow, it would be difficult to add a non-family member to this account. A business bank account allows you to do so. It also allows you to track everything much easier. No longer will you forget small expenses or miscalculate income. With a business banking account and credit card, you’ll have a detailed financial report at the end of the year of all business income and expenses.
We’ve spoken with many self-employed contractors who said that before creating an LLC, they did not put much time into running cash flow statements or similar financial analysis. But once they started a company and opened a business bank account, they found it much easier to calculate figures such as their profit margin.
Also, remember that the IRS can audit you at any time. With a dedicated business bank account, it’s significantly easier to go back and track your financial history during a given year. This becomes much more challenging if you’re using a personal bank account for your business funds.
You Can Accept New Forms Of Payment
One of the other significant financial perks to opening a business bank account upon forming an LLC is the fact that you can accept new forms of payment. For instance, you can allow clients to pay with a credit card. They could also wire the funds to your business account directly. Some corporations have regulations about wiring money to a personal bank account, which is why this would be nearly impossible if an independent contractor chose not to create an LLC.
You Could Gain New Clients
Lastly, 1099 contractors could want to form an LLC because it could put them in touch with new possible clients. Unfortunately, many companies have grown weary over the past couple of years of using 1099 contractors. This is primarily because the IRS has caught companies using the 1099 designation to skirt employment requirements, such as FICA taxes and health insurance. Now, many companies have said they won’t work 1099 contractors as a result.
Allow Someone To Handle Your Administrative Needs
When forming an LLC, one of the requirements is that you designate a registered agent to serve on the company’s behalf. The agent receives all legal correspondence on behalf of this company. Registered agents could prove to be integral to a company’s success. Hiring a quality registered agent could allow you to focus strictly on business dealings, instead of having to worry about tracking down relevant forms and information.