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Re: Sole Proprietor or LLC

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From my (limited) understanding, this is true of "general" liability issues, but NOT professional liability issues.  As I understand things, for professional liability, there is basically no technical difference between an LLC or SP since your professional liability is technically an "individual" liability.  If you screw up professionally on a design, your personal assets as just a vulnerable with a LLC or an SP.  Now, if the LLC has enough assets and you personally have no real assets (I believe it varies from state to state what asset you have can be "gone after"), then you might get some "round about" protection due to the whole "sue the deep pockets" approach...but you would technically be just as exposed to possible liability personally as you would as a SP.

The primary "liability" protection for an LLC deals with non-professional stuff...i.e. a client slips and falls on your front porch when they come to a meeting.  It is all the other "general" liability that is "dumped" on the LLC not the individual.

The primary benefit of LLC would generally be for tax purposes and other financial things as I understand it.  And to my knowledge, those benefits usually do not pan out with a single person who forms an LLC...but do start to become more tangible if you start hiring employees.

Just some of the limited knowledge that I have picked upon in my own "investigations".  

I would suggest that it would be best to talk to a lawyer and/or tax professional about such things.  After all, would we not suggest that a (non-structual engineering) person should talk to a structural engineer rather than their friends or colleagues at their job about whether or not a steel moment frame or a wood shearwall is better for laterally supporting the house they want to have build for them?  <grin>



On Mar 3, 2010, at 2:15 PM, David Topete wrote:


I've tried to shy away from moonlighting and side work from my regular 9 to 5.  The main reason being that a sole proprietorship has much less protection from damages.  As I have understood it, if you are a SP, all assets including your personal property are fair game.  An LLC provides some protection against that type o' stuff.

Good luck.  I'd be curious to hear others, and any info you may get about this.

On Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 10:26 AM, Thor Tandy <vicpeng(--nospam--at)> wrote:

Here in Canada an incorporated entity (LLC) may have some tax advantages.  Also has more flexibility in investment strategies and scope of activity than Sole Proprietor.


Thor A. Tandy P.Eng, C.Eng, Struct.Eng, MIStructE
Victoria, BC


From: Joe Venuti [mailto:jovenengr(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2010 10:21 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Sole Proprietor or LLC


Hello All


A non technical question………from your own personal perspective and experience; what are the Pros and Cons Sole Proprietor or LLC ?


Joe Venuti,  P.E.

Joven Engineering

La Quinta,  CA



David Topete, SE