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LLC vs. Inc: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 18, 2023
LLC stands for Limited Liability Company, offering personal liability protection to its members, while Inc. denotes a corporation with a distinct legal entity separate from its owners.

Key Differences

LLC, or Limited Liability Company, is a business structure that combines the pass-through taxation benefits of a partnership with the limited liability advantages of a corporation. Inc., on the other hand, stands for "Incorporated" and refers to corporations that have gone through the incorporation process.
While both LLC and Inc. offer liability protection, their tax implications differ. An LLC's profits and losses pass through to its members and are reported on their individual tax returns, whereas an Inc. pays corporate taxes on its profits.
Moreover, the ownership in an LLC is referred to as members, while in an Inc., they are called shareholders.
The management structure is also distinct; LLCs can be member-managed or manager-managed, while an Inc. typically has a board of directors and officers.

Comparison Chart


A business structure with pass-through taxation and limited liability.
A corporation that's a separate legal entity.




Pass-through taxation; members report on individual tax returns.
Pays corporate taxes on profits.


Limited personal liability for members.
Limited personal liability for shareholders.

Management Structure

Can be member-managed or manager-managed.
Typically has a board of directors and officers.

LLC and Inc Definitions


A business structure where owners have limited personal liability for company debts.
After consulting their lawyer, they decided to form an LLC.


A business entity that's legally separate from its owners.
TechWave Inc. just released its annual report.


An entity where profits and losses pass directly to its members.
The profits of GreenGardens LLC are split among its three members.


An entity with a structured management, including a board of directors.
The annual general meeting for HealthFirst Inc. is scheduled for December.


A flexible management structure that doesn't require a board of directors.
The LLC chose to have a manager-led structure for operational efficiency.


A corporation that can issue stock to raise capital.
SwiftCars Inc. issued new shares to fund its expansion.


A company type that can have an unlimited number of members.
DreamWorks LLC has members from various professional backgrounds.


A designation indicating a company has been incorporated.
After successful early growth, CraftyCrafters became CraftyCrafters Inc.


A hybrid business entity combining characteristics of a corporation and partnership.
BrightTech LLC has grown rapidly in the past year.


Alternative spelling of Inc


Abbr of incoming


(programming) increment


(knitting) increase


A Japanese measure of length equal to about two and one twelfth yards.


A heterogeneous collection of groups united in their opposition to Saddam Hussein's government of Iraq; formed in 1992 it is comprised of Sunni and Shiite Arabs and Kurds who hope to build a new government


A business that pays corporate taxes on its profits.
BrightFutures Inc. saw an increase in its corporate tax bill this year.


Do both LLC and Inc. offer limited liability protection?

Yes, both structures provide limited liability protection to their owners.

What does LLC stand for?

LLC stands for Limited Liability Company.

How is taxation different between an LLC and an Inc.?

LLCs offer pass-through taxation to members, while Inc.s pay corporate taxes.

Are members of an LLC the same as shareholders of an Inc.?

No, LLCs have members, while Inc.s have shareholders.

Can foreign entities own an LLC or an Inc.?

Yes, in many U.S. states, foreign entities can own both LLCs and Inc.s.

Are there ongoing formalities for an LLC like there are for an Inc.?

Inc.s typically have more formal requirements, like annual meetings. LLCs have fewer state-imposed formalities.

Can an LLC issue stock like an Inc.?

No, only Inc.s can issue stock to shareholders.

Can an individual form an LLC?

Yes, an LLC can have a single member or multiple members.

Is there a limit to the number of members an LLC can have?

No, an LLC can have an unlimited number of members.

What is the meaning of Inc.?

Inc. stands for Incorporated, referring to a corporation.

Which has a more flexible management structure, LLC or Inc.?

LLCs have a more flexible management structure compared to Inc.s.

How are profits and losses handled in an LLC?

They pass directly to the members and are reported on individual tax returns.

Does an Inc. require a board of directors?

Typically, yes, an Inc. has a board of directors overseeing its operations.

How are decisions made in an LLC versus an Inc.?

LLCs decide based on member agreement, while Inc.s rely on their board of directors.

Can both LLC and Inc. raise capital?

Yes, though Inc.s often have an advantage by issuing stock.

Can an LLC choose to be taxed as a corporation?

Yes, an LLC can elect to be taxed as a corporation by filing the appropriate paperwork with the IRS.

Why might a business choose to become an Inc. over an LLC?

Businesses might opt for an Inc. structure for easier access to capital, stock issuance, or a more established corporate image.

Is it easier to transfer ownership in an LLC or an Inc.?

In an Inc., it's often easier through the transfer of shares. LLC transfers depend on member agreements.

Which is more suitable for a small business, LLC or Inc.?

It depends on the business's needs, but many small businesses prefer the flexibility of an LLC.

Do all states recognize the LLC structure?

Yes, all 50 U.S. states recognize the LLC business structure.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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