Are my personal assets at risk because I did not include my title within my LLC when I signed the lease agreement?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Are my personal assets at risk because I did not include my title within my LLC when I signed the lease agreement?

Several years ago I leased a commercial space for starting my own business. Since
I wanted to protect my personal assets from risk, I formed an LLC prior to entering
into any legal agreements. I am the president and sole member of the LLC. When
negotiating the lease agreement for the space I insisted that the language of the
contract stipulate an agreement between the landlord and the LLC my own name is
not mentioned in the contract. Also, I did not give the landlord a personal guarantee.
However, when signing the lease agreement, I neglected to include my title in the
signature area. I included only my signature and the name of the LLC in the
signature area. It reads ‘John Smith, XYZ LLC’ instead of ‘John Smith, President,
XYZ LLC’. If the lease goes into default, are my personal assets at risk because of
how I signed the lease agreement?

Asked on January 14, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Based on what you write, your personal assets should be protected by the LLC structure:
1) You state that the lease (contract) lists the LLC as the party to the lease, not you personally.
2) You may not have used your title when signing, but signing "John Smith, XYZ LLC" still shows you were signing as a representative of the LLC, rather than in a personal capacity. 
Based on the above, a court should have not problem concluding that the LLC, not you, is the party to the lease.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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