Is It Possible To Create An Umbrella LLC For 2 Sole Proprietorships?

My wife and I currently each own a sole proprietorship business in Ohio. The 2 businesses do not sell related products or services. I would like to create an umbrella LLC and then establish each of these existing businesses as a DBA under a single LLC name. My goal is to provide more protection for us as a LLC. Is this possible to do or recommended? Would we be limited to one EIN and thus one checking account if we do this? I believe we want to maintain separate checking accounts.

– Jay, Ohio

Answer

It is possible to establish a single LLC and then create 2 DBAs for your separate existing companies.

The problem is that, for liability purposes, both “separate” companies are actually considered one and the same.

Using a single LLC for both businesses will save you a few dollars in formation fees, however, you now expose each business to liabilities created by the other.

I would suggest that if you want the businesses separated, both financially and from a liability standpoint, you ought to create separate LLCs for each one.

To save some money on creating two LLCs, learn how to file for your own free EIN here.

Fortunately for you, being in Ohio, there are no annual reporting requirements and no annual fee per LLC. Therefore, the only additional costs for creating two LLCs is the initial Ohio formation fee.

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