The Three Company Structure For Real Estate Investors

Many real estate investors buy and sell property without a company or LLC. While this is okay for investors with 1 or 2 properties, someone with multiple properties would be better off knowing how to structure a real estate investment company. He or she would be better off using the 3 company structure for tax and asset protection purposes.

Just think, the more properties you own, the more risk you're facing, and the more taxes you're paying. That's why it makes sense to use the 3 company structure, which is made up of 2 LLCs and your operating company, a corporation. Note: if you haven't already, see our info on how to start an LLC.

Three Ways to Use an LLC

  1. Buy & Hold LLC. This LLC is for your long-term rentals and other properties that you expect to hold for longer than a year. We can structure this LLC to make it friendly for long-term capital gains tax.
  2. Fix & Flip LLC. This LLC is for properties you plan on holding for less than a year. We can also structure this LLC to make it tax-friendly for short-term capital gains tax.
  3. Operating Company. The operating company will generally be a corporation. Having an operating company will shield you from personal liability.

By using the three company structure, your assets will be protected and your business will become more tax efficient. When you combine the Buy & Hold LLC and the Fix & Flip LLC, all your assets will be protected.

Now, all that's left are your personal assets. These will fall under the protection of your operating company, preventing liability and the risk of having to forfeit your assets in a lawsuit.

In essence, the three company structure protects you and your assets from lawsuits and allows you to get the most money out of your properties.

Why Should I Use Three LLCs?

If you're wondering why one LLC isn't enough, you're not the first investor to ask that question.

Remember the expression, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket?" Not to mix our poultry metaphors, but with one LLC, you're a sitting duck because all your assets can be found in one place. By separating them, not only will it make a lawsuit less likely in the first place, but you can also rake in more profits from these tax-efficient legal structures.

The name of the game (asset protection) is separation and anonymity. Your LLCs will hold everything that's valuable, and nobody except you will know they exist. Your operating company will exist only to sign contracts and negotiate with clients.

So if anything ever went wrong between you and a client business-wise, they wouldn't get anything if from suing you.

But let's say you don't flip homes. If that's the case, then you won't need a Fix & Flip LLC. The same applies to the Buy & Hold LLC if all you're doing is flipping homes. You could have two of each instead in these situations.

And sure, filing an LLC costs money, but unlike a lawsuit, you won't have to worry about bankruptcy. Get maximum asset protection and tax efficiency with the 3 company structure.

Scott Royal Smith is an asset protection attorney and long-time real estate investor. He's on a mission to help fellow investors free their time, protect their assets, and create lasting wealth.

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