If you are an LLC and the company truck is in the owner’s name and not the company’sbut the company pays the payment directly to the loan. is that legal?

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If you are an LLC and the company truck is in the owner’s name and not the company’sbut the company pays the payment directly to the loan. is that legal?

Asked on January 26, 2012 under Business Law, Maryland

Answers:

Joseph Gasparrini

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes.  With respect to income tax obligations and tax returns, this is legal becasue, for income tax purposes, the LLC and its owner are considered one and the same.  Let me emphasize that they are only considered to be one and the same for income tax purposes.  For that reason, the interest expense of on a truck loan would be tax deductible for you, regardless of whether it is paid out of the LLC's bank account or out of your personal bank account.  However, if you use the truck entirely or almost entirely for business purposes, you should change title to the truck into the LLC.  That is a preferable way to operate your business and to hold title to business assets.  Holding the truck in the company name may help to reduce the risk of you being sued personally in the event the truck is in an accident and another person is injured.  You should seek to arrange the operations of the company and ownership of its assets so that you minimize the risk of having a creditor or other claimant of the company try to sue you personally and try to attach your personal assets.  Operating a business as a limited liability company provides some benefits in this regard, but you have to arrange the affairs of the business so as to best take advantage of these benefits.  You should obtain the advice of a lawyer with regard to specific steps to take so as to limit your personal liability for claims and debts of the business.

Joseph Gasparrini

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes.  With respect to income tax obligations and tax returns, this is legal becasue, for income tax purposes, the LLC and its owner are considered one and the same.  Let me emphasize that they are only considered to be one and the same for income tax purposes.  For that reason, the interest expense of on a truck loan would be tax deductible for you, regardless of whether it is paid out of the LLC's bank account or out of your personal bank account.  However, if you use the truck entirely or almost entirely for business purposes, you should change title to the truck into the LLC.  That is a preferable way to operate your business and to hold title to business assets.  Holding the truck in the company name may help to reduce the risk of you being sued personally in the event the truck is in an accident and another person is injured.  You should seek to arrange the operations of the company and ownership of its assets so that you minimize the risk of having a creditor or other claimant of the company try to sue you personally and try to attach your personal assets.  Operating a business as a limited liability company provides some benefits in this regard, but you have to arrange the affairs of the business so as to best take advantage of these benefits.  You should obtain the advice of a lawyer with regard to specific steps to take so as to limit your personal liability for claims and debts of the business.


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