Do I Need an LLC for my Airbnb?
LLCs are a simple and inexpensive way to protect your personal assets and save money on taxes.
You should form an LLC when there's any risk involved in your business and/or when your business could benefit from tax options and increased credibility.
LLC Benefits For an Airbnb Business
Limited Liability Protection
LLCs provide personal liability protection. This means your personal assets (e.g., car, house, bank account) are protected in the event your business is sued or if it defaults on a debt.
The potential for personal injury on the Airbnb property is something hosts should consider when deciding whether or not to form an LLC.
LLC Tax Benefits and Options for an Airbnb
LLCs, by default, are taxed as a pass-through entity, just like a sole proprietorship or partnership. This means that the business's net income passes through to the owner's individual tax return. The net income is then subject to income taxes (based on the owner's tax bracket) and self-employment taxes.
Sole proprietorships and partnerships are taxed in a similar way to LLCs, but they do not offer limited liability protection or other tax options.
S Corp Option for LLCs
The S corporation (S corp) is an IRS tax status that an LLC can elect. S corp status allows business owners to be treated as employees of the business (for tax purposes).
S corp tax status can reduce self-employment taxes and will allow business owners to contribute pre-tax dollars to a 401k or health insurance premiums.
You can start an S corp when you form your LLC. Our How to Start an S Corp guide will lead you through the process.
Credibility and Consumer Trust
Consumers place more trust in businesses that have formed an LLC.
A growing business can also benefit from the credibility of an LLC when applying for small business loans, grants, and credit.
What is an LLC?
Most small businesses will benefit most from forming an LLC versus other business structure types. This is because LLCs are inexpensive, simple to form and run, and LLCs can protect a business owner’s personal assets from lawsuits and creditors.
How to Form an LLC
Step 1: Select Your State
- Alabama LLC
- Alaska LLC
- Arizona LLC
- Arkansas LLC
- California LLC
- Colorado LLC
- Connecticut LLC
- Delaware LLC
- Florida LLC
- Georgia LLC
- Hawaii LLC
- Idaho LLC
- Illinois LLC
- Indiana LLC
- Iowa LLC
- Kansas LLC
- Kentucky LLC
- Louisiana LLC
- Maine LLC
- Maryland LLC
- Massachusetts LLC
- Michigan LLC
- Minnesota LLC
- Mississippi LLC
- Missouri LLC
- Montana LLC
- Nebraska LLC
- Nevada LLC
- New Hampshire LLC
- New Jersey LLC
- New Mexico LLC
- New York LLC
- North Carolina LLC
- North Dakota LLC
- Ohio LLC
- Oklahoma LLC
- Oregon LLC
- Pennsylvania LLC
- Rhode Island LLC
- South Carolina LLC
- South Dakota LLC
- Tennessee LLC
- Texas LLC
- Utah LLC
- Vermont LLC
- Virginia LLC
- Washington LLC
- Washington D.C. LLC
- West Virginia LLC
- Wisconsin LLC
- Wyoming LLC
For most new business owners, the best state to form an LLC is the state where you live and where you plan to conduct your business.
Step 2: Name Your LLC
When you file your LLC's formation documents, you'll need to give your Airbnb business a unique name.
Once you find a business name, check if your name is available as a web domain.
Find a Domain Now
Step 3: Choose an LLC Registered Agent
Your LLC registered agent will accept legal documents and tax notices on your LLC's behalf. You will list your registered agent when you file your LLC's Articles of Organization.
Hiring a registered agent service offers a number of benefits, including privacy and peace of mind.
Many of these Best LLC Services offer a free year of registered agent service when you hire them to form an LLC.
Step 4: File Your LLC's Articles of Organization
The Articles of Organization, also known as a Certificate of Formation or a Certificate of Organization in some states, is the document you will file to officially register your LLC with the state.
Step 6: Get an EIN
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a number that is used by the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify and tax businesses. It is essentially a Social Security number for a business.
EINs are free when you apply directly with the IRS. Visit our What is an EIN guide for instructions for getting your free EIN.
Should I Start an LLC FAQ
Which is better for my Airbnb — an LLC or sole proprietorship?
Choosing the right business structure depends on your business’s unique circumstances and needs. However, unless your business is very low risk (like a hobby), an LLC is likely the better option.
Visit our LLC vs Sole Proprietorship guide to learn more.
How much does an LLC cost for an Airbnb business?
The cost of an LLC depends on which state you form your LLC in. The primary cost of forming an LLC is the state filing fee. This fee ranges from $40 to $500 depending on your state. You can read more details in our How Much Does It Cost to Start an LLC guide.
How do I pay myself from my Airbnb LLC?
How LLC owners pay themselves depends on how the LLC is taxed, the number of members, and any agreements regarding profit sharing and sweat equity.
Visit our How Do I Pay Myself From My LLC article to learn more.
What is limited liability protection?
Limited liability protection is one of the benefits of an LLC. It means that the owner’s personal assets are protected if the company is sued or defaults on a debt.
Visit our corporate veil guide to learn more about maintaining your LLC's limited liability protection.
When would I start a corporation vs LLC for my Airbnb?
Corporations are complex to manage and they are subject to double taxation. For this reason, most small businesses won’t benefit from starting a corporation.
When you know your Airbnb business will need to rely on outside investors, then a corporation might be the right choice.
Learn more in our LLC vs Corporation guide.
What is a corporate veil?
The corporate veil describes the limited liability protection (sometimes referred to as personal asset protection) provided by corporations and LLCs. If the corporate veil isn’t properly maintained, the corporation or LLC might lose its limited liability protection.
What are the benefits of starting an LLC for my Airbnb?
Some advantages of an LLC include personal asset protection, reduced paperwork when compared to corporations, tax flexibility, and increased credibility with customers and creditors.
Is a single-member LLC the same as a sole proprietorship?
No. A single-member LLC is a type of limited liability company, which is different from a sole proprietorship. Unlike sole proprietorships, a single-member LLC is formed by filing organization documents with your state government office.
Single-member LLCs are legal business structures that offer liability protection, branding, credibility, and privacy that a sole proprietorship doesn’t.
Do I need to open a business bank account for my LLC?
Using a dedicated business banking account is essential for personal asset protection.
When you mix your personal and business accounts, your personal assets (e.g., your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your LLC is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing the corporate veil.
How much does it cost to start and maintain an Airbnb business?
Visit our How to Start an Airbnb Business guide to learn more about the costs of starting and maintaining this business.
What are your ongoing expenses when running an Airbnb business?
Regularly re-stocking amenities in your rental(s) and periodically updating towels and linens will constitute a portion of your expenses. Any repairs, cleaning services, taxes, or maintenance fees will be incurred, as needed.
Learn more about running an Airbnb.