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What is the Owner of a Single Member LLC Called?

Attorney Thomas B. Burton answers the following question: "What is the Owner of a Single Member LLC Called?"

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"What is the owner of a single member LLC called?"

Hello, I'm Attorney Thomas Burton. I'm an estate planning and business attorney here in Wisconsin and this question is a very good one because the term you may see, when you're dealing with an LLC, when we refer to the owner, in Wisconsin, the owner is called a member.

Instead of calling them a shareholder like you might with a C corporation, if you own 100% of the shares of a C corporation, you'd be called the primary or majority shareholder but in his LLC context, we call the people who own membership interests, the members.

You can have a single member LLC, meaning an LLC owned entirely by one individual, 100% of the membership interests are owned by one person or you can have a multi-member LLC where the membership interests are divided among two or three or ten people potentially.

You could have 10 people in a multi-member LLC and they all hold a 10% membership interest. The thing you may see here with a single member LLC, is sometimes, you'll see it referred to as being taxed like a sole proprietorship because if you have a single member LLC, the default entity classification is as a disregarded entity, meaning all profit and losses of the business flow through to the owner, similar as a sole proprietorship and the great thing is you can file your taxes similar to sole proprietorship as an attached schedule to your tax return, often Schedule C for a business.

This term, sometimes when I'm meeting with clients, I will call you the LLC owner but what you really are is the member but I will use the term owner to make clear, I will say you own the membership interest in the LLC but in Wisconsin, you're always going to be called the member and you own membership interest in the LLC and if you have a single member LLC, that means you would own 100% of the membership interest in that LLC.

The owner of a single member LLC is called a member.

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