Last Updated: May 10, 2024, 10:51 am by TRUiC Team

Do I Need an LLC for My Wedding Officiant Business?

Starting a limited liability company (LLC) for your wedding officiant business can provide several benefits.

Most importantly, an LLC structure offers limited liability to its owners, which can protect their personal assets from lawsuits and creditors.

For a wedding officiant business, lawsuits can arise from things like failing to submit a client’s marriage license on time, or being unable to attend a client’s wedding due to scheduling issues.

LLCs are also affordable, highly flexible (from a tax point-of-view), and can make your wedding officiant business seem more credible.

Recommended: Use Northwest to form an LLC for $29 (plus state fees).

A bride and groom holding hands

Should I Start an LLC for My Wedding Officiant Business?

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 a Wedding Officiant Business

By starting an LLC for your wedding officiant business, you can:

  • Protect your savings, car, and house with limited liability protection
  • Have more tax benefits and options
  • Increase your business’s credibility

Limited Liability Protection

LLCs provide limited 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.

Wedding officiants will benefit from liability protection because of the risk of professional liability, scheduling conflicts, and illness. 

Example 1: A couple hires you as their wedding officiant. As a result of a personal emergency, you are unable to attend their wedding on time, leaving them with a last-minute requirement to find another officiant. If they decide to sue your LLC for breach of contract, your business may be required to compensate them, but your personal assets will remain protected nonetheless. 

Example 2: While officiating a same-sex marriage, a couple becomes unhappy about an embarrassing statement that one of your employees made. If they decide to file a lawsuit against your business for slander, your LLC’s assets may be affected, but yours will remain safe.

Example 3: A couple pays you to file their marriage license. Several months later, they suspect that this has still not been done and decide to file a breach of contract lawsuit against your LLC. Regardless of the legitimacy of the lawsuit, your personal assets will remain protected from the claimants as a result of your business’s LLC classification.

An LLC will also protect your personal assets in the event of commercial bankruptcy or loan default.

To maintain your LLC's limited liability protection, you must maintain your LLC's corporate veil.

LLC Tax Benefits and Options for a Wedding Officiant Business

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 business’s 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

An 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 401k or health insurance premiums.

The S corp status requires that the business pay the employee-owner(s) a reasonable salary for the work they perform. 

In addition, the business might need to spend more on accounting, bookkeeping, and payroll services. To offset these costs, you'd need to be saving about $2,000 a year on taxes.

We estimate that if a wedding officiant business owner can pay themselves a reasonable salary and at least $10,000 in distributions each year, they could benefit from S corp status.

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

Wedding officiant businesses rely on consumer trust. Credibility plays a key role in creating and maintaining any business.

Businesses gain consumer trust simply by forming an LLC.

A growing business can also benefit from the credibility of an LLC when applying for small business loansgrants, and credit.

Northwest will start an LLC for you for just $29 (plus state fees).

How to Form an LLC

Forming an LLC is easy. There are two options for forming your LLC:

  • You can hire a professional LLC formation service to set up your LLC for a small fee
  • Or, you can choose your state from the list below to start an LLC yourself

Select Your State

For most new business owners, the best state to form an LLC in is the state where you live and where you plan to conduct your business.

Do LLCs Need Insurance?

All businesses need insurance to protect their business assets — even LLCs. This is because the limited liability protection from an LLC protects your personal assets, not your business assets.

Wedding officiant businesses need insurance to cover risks such as loss of wedding files, injury to couples and guests, and lawsuits from clients.

Common Situations Business Insurance May Cover for a Wedding Officiant Business

Example 1: When you’re filling out the paperwork for a client, you make an error on the forms. Due to the mistake, the couple isn’t technically married for several months. They decide to file a lawsuit for missed financial opportunities (e.g., tax rebates) as well as general aggravation. General liability insurance would compensate for any financial repercussions of the mistake. 

Example 2: After performing a ceremony, one of your customers believes that you disrespected their spouse during the event. They begin to smear your business on social media and other independent review sites. General liability insurance would cover the costs associated with fighting the claims of the customer, so you can protect your reputation.

Example 3: During the ceremony, you back into one of your clients, and they fall over. General liability insurance would cover the medical costs if the person sustained any major injuries.

Other Types of Coverage Wedding Officiant Businesses Need

While general liability is the most important type of insurance to have, there are several other forms of coverage you should be aware of. Below are some other types of insurance all wedding officiants should obtain:

Commercial Property Insurance

Many wedding officiants will work from home, but others will have a small office where they can meet and discuss matters with their clients. If this is the case and you own your property, you will need commercial property insurance. This insurance covers the structure, grounds, and administrative equipment in the case of loss due to fire, natural disaster, or criminal activity.

Data Breach Insurance

If you keep your clients’ details in a database, data breach insurance keeps your business safe in case of a data breach or hack. It works to compensate both you and your clients in the event that sensitive information is used for criminal gain.

Commercial Umbrella Liability Insurance

Commercial umbrella insurance will cover your business in the event that your primary general liability policy reaches its coverage limits. If you face a particularly large lawsuit, your general liability policy may max out before all damages or liabilities are satisfied. An umbrella policy will continue to provide funds when a general liability policy has been exhausted.

Liquor Liability Insurance

Some wedding officiants may offer simple event planning for weddings. Even if you’re just planning to offer a champagne toast at the end of the ceremony, you may need liquor liability insurance to protect yourself against any adverse events that occur due to excess alcohol consumption. 

Home-Based Business Insurance

If you operate your business from home, a home-based insurance policy will cover any commercial equipment you need to conduct your affairs. A general liability policy may deny requests if you have not disclosed you were using your home as your company’s base.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

If you decide to hire additional officiants under your brand name, you’ll need workers’ compensation insurance in case they’re injured on the job. This includes part-time officiants or event workers.

Should I Start an LLC FAQ

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.

At a minimum, you’ll need general liability insurance and professional liability insurance.

Read our Wedding Officiant Business Insurance article for more info.

To start a wedding officiant business, you will first need to get ordained. You will also need a computer to keep track of your reservations, a business website, and a formal wardrobe. 

Moreover, you will likely want to invest in marketing in order to reach more clients, as well as business insurance in order to protect your business’s assets.

Visit our How to Start a Wedding Officiant Business guide to learn more about the costs of starting and maintaining this business.

The ongoing expenses of running a wedding officiant business include marketing, transportation, wardrobe, and insurance.

Learn more about running a wedding officiant business.

Wedding officiants make money by charging a fee for each wedding that they officiate. It is also customary for clients to tip the wedding officiant after the wedding ceremony.

Learn more about starting a wedding officiant business.

Wedding officiant businesses are quickly gaining in popularity for couples who choose non-traditional ceremonies. Wedding officiants are neither restricted by religious doctrine like ministers, nor the narrow time availability of justices of the peace.

The standard fee for a wedding officiant ranges from $500 to $800. With low overhead costs, the profit margin can be very high. 

Learn more about starting a wedding officiant business.

Related Articles

Article Sources

IRS: Limited Liability Company

IRS: S Corporations


SBA: Small Business Guide

SBA: Choose a Business Structure Guide

US Census Bureau: Small Business Statistics

SBA Office of Advocacy: Data on Small Business

FRED: SBA Data for Small Business