You decide to start a business venture for you and the members of your family with the hopes that the business will generate income to provide a moderate level of income to each member of your family in perpetuity. The venture will develop 200 acres of land with several commercial buildings on the site and will lease space to more than one tenant. You anticipate that the venture will generate losses during the years of construction. You want to be the only manager of the business; your family members will be passive owners only.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of operating the business as a limited liability partnership for this family-owned commercial development?
One significant advantage of operating the business as a limited liability partnership is that the investing members have, as the name of this type of partnership indicates, "limited liability". In other words, the family members can only lose the amount they invested into the business - their personal assets are not at risk.
Another advantage of a limited liability partnership is that the members can make decisions regarding the operation of the business. They still have control over the everyday operations of the business. They do not have to answer to a Board of Directors as those in corporations do.
A disadvantage of a limited liability partnership is that a family member, unbeknown to the others, could enter into a contractual agreement with another entity. If this turns out to be a bad business arrangement for the limited liability partnership because it causes financial losses, then all are hurt through the actions of one family member.
Another disadvantage of this type of partnership is that not all states recognize this form of business arrangement.