Updated on: May 24th, 2024

How to Pay Yourself From An LLC? (5 Ways)

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Beginning your business is an exhilarating experience, and a critical component of that is being aware of how you are going to take business profits to compensate yourself. When the profits start flowing in, what exactly is the best way for extracting funds out of your LLC? It really depends on which type of LLC you operate; here we will discuss numerous methods for taking money from your company as well as their effects.

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Pros and Cons of Getting Yourself Paid from An LLC

Here are some Pros and Cons of Paying Yourself from an LLC:


When it comes to starting a business, there are many crucial decisions that need to be made, one of which is how you will pay yourself from your LLC. While there are a variety of options, paying yourself through an LLC can provide numerous advantages.

  • Firstly, by paying yourself a salary, you create a sense of consistency and stability in your company’s finances. This can help with budget allocation and ensure that your business has a steady cash flow.
  • Additionally, it can help you separate your personal funds from your company’s funds.
  • Another benefit is that as the owner of an LLC, you have the flexibility to change how much you pay yourself, based on your company’s financial standing. This can help ensure that you can adjust to changing market conditions and unexpected expenses. 
  • By paying yourself through an LLC, you can also limit your personal tax liability and reduce your self-employment taxes.
  • Finally, paying yourself a salary from your LLC can also make it easier to obtain financing in the future, as many lenders will see that you have a steady income stream.

All in all, paying yourself from internal revenue service your LLC can be a great way to ensure the stability and financial success of your business.


When it comes to LLCs, paying yourself may seem like a great perk, but it’s important to consider the drawbacks.

  • One disadvantage is that it can complicate your tax situation, requiring extra paperwork and attention to detail.
  • Additionally, taking too much money out of the LLC could potentially hurt your company’s long-term financial stability.
  • Lastly, taking large personal payments from an LLC can also increase your personal liability in the event of a lawsuit. While paying yourself from an LLC may be tempting, it’s crucial to weigh the costs and benefits before making any decisions.

5 Ways to Pay Yourself from An LLC

Here are five primary approaches to receiving payments from your LLC.

1. Pay Yourself as a W-2 Employee

LLC business owners typically discover the most beneficial method of payment is to treat themselves as employees. In this situation, you—and any other active owner within the business—are both employee and owner; subsequently receiving paychecks similar to working in someone else’s company.

By having your business generate reliable income to cover your wages, you can make tax savings and make sure that steady pay is provided for your household. The IRS requires “reasonable compensation” and does not dictate a specific amount; it simply that reasonable salary needs to be an appropriate sum someone in the same role would receive.

If you take your pay in this manner, you can elect to be regarded as an S-corporation for taxation purposes. The advantage of doing so is that the FICA, Medicare and Social Security taxes (popularly referred to as “self-employment tax”) are only levied on the wages or salary paid out by your business – not all profits made. This could result in a 15% decrease in income tax, when it comes to paying taxes on some revenue!

2. Earn Profit Distributions

If you’re a shareholder of an LLC, then it’s easy to receive your payment through profit distributions or owner’s draws. This means taking some profits from the front business account and transferring them into your personal account. For single-member LLCs, this is similar in process to how freelancers are paid; money comes in and they distribute funds accordingly. However, if you have multiple members within more than one member of LLC, the process may be more complicated than expected.

Multi-Member LLCs must delineate the manner in which profits will be apportioned and how frequently such disbursements shall occur through their operating agreements. Being a sole proprietorship and remunerated solely from your business can carry a negative consequence- you are required to pay self-employment taxes on all income that is achieved, as opposed to only being taxed on salary payments. If your enterprise serves as your primary source of income, it may be prudent for you to receive money via wages as an employee and claim any supplemental funds as an owner’s draw.

3. Pay Yourself as a 1099 Independent Contractor

Although you may think that paying yourself as an independent contractor will save your small business money, this isn’t usually the case. With a contract-based employee, there are no payroll taxes to be deducted from their salary–leading them to receive their entire pay in one lump sum. However, in lieu of these deduction tax payments not being taken out at individual tax sources, self-employment tax must be paid when filing quarterly taxes as a freelancer or contractor. Ultimately meaning it rarely grants any financial benefit for either party!

This approach can be quite intricate, as you must submit taxes for both the personal assets of your LLC and the services rendered by yourself (as either a sole proprietor or an owner of another distinct LLC). It could be useful if you are part of an LLP that isn’t actively managed by you yet is willing to provide limited services; however, it won’t prove beneficial in most cases if you own and manage your individual business.

4. Keep the Money in the Business

The final alternative is to opt-out of all the money of paying yourself a salary. You could do this if you’d rather reinvest your earnings into the business or build savings within it.

Although you might not take a salary from your LLC, the business still needs to pay income taxes on any profits earned. The IRS regards business income from an LLC as a pass-through business entity by default and will include those earnings in your filed taxable income for that fiscal year. No independent tax is levied upon them (in comparison to other entities).

Consider your personal finance decision carefully before choosing S-corp tax treatment, as neglecting to pay yourself can pass the “reasonable compensation” test if revenue is low. However, it could become expensive in the future should you opt not to take money out of the business so as to avoid self-employment taxes – resulting in additional fees and back taxes.

5. Using Your Business Bank Account to Pay Yourself

As the owner of an LLC, you’ll need to transfer funds from your small business owner’ bank account into your personal one in order to pay yourself. Your company’s personal bank account also is used for receiving revenue, holding money and paying expenses; when it comes time to receive payment as a business owner, simply move the necessary amount from that source into your individual checking or savings.

Depending on the kind of LLC you operate, there are multiple ways to transfer funds.

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We also advise checking our best LLC services list here.

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