How Do I Pay Myself An LLC?

  • John A. Osborne
  • Feb 20, 2023
Small Business Insurance Iowa

Starting a Limited Liability Company (LLC) can be a great way to protect your personal assets, but it can also be confusing when it comes to paying yourself. As the owner of an LLC, it’s important to understand how to compensate yourself for the work you do without disrupting the legal protections of your business. In this article, we’ll explore the various ways to pay yourself as an LLC and what you need to know to make the right choices for your business.

Before we dive into the details, let’s explore some semantic topics related to this question. First, we need to understand what an LLC is and how it’s different from other business structures. We also need to consider the legal and tax implications of paying yourself as an LLC. By examining these topics, we can gain a better understanding of the best practices for paying yourself as an LLC owner.

Understanding LLCs

An LLC is a business structure that provides limited liability protection to its owners. This means that the owners of the company are not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. Instead, the business itself is responsible for these obligations. LLCs are popular among small business owners because they are relatively easy to set up and maintain, and they provide flexibility in terms of management and ownership.

LLCs are not taxed as separate entities from their owners. Instead, the profits and losses of the business are passed through to the owners, who report them on their personal tax returns. This is known as pass-through taxation. It’s important to note that LLC owners are not considered employees of the company, which can impact how they are paid.

Ways to Pay Yourself as an LLC Owner

As an LLC owner, there are several ways to pay yourself for the work you do. The best option for you will depend on your personal financial situation and the needs of your business. Here are some of the most common ways to pay yourself as an LLC owner:

  • Draws: LLC owners can take draws from the company’s profits as a way to pay themselves. These are similar to dividends and are not subject to payroll taxes. However, draws are not guaranteed and should only be taken when the business has sufficient profits to support them.
  • Salaried employee: LLC owners can also choose to pay themselves a salary as a regular employee of the company. This is a more predictable form of compensation and can help with budgeting. However, the salary is subject to payroll taxes, which can be higher than the taxes on draws.
  • Distributions: LLC owners can also take distributions from the company’s profits. These are similar to draws but are more predictable and can be scheduled in advance. Distributions are also not subject to payroll taxes.

Considerations for Paying Yourself as an LLC Owner

When deciding how to pay yourself as an LLC owner, there are several important considerations to keep in mind:

  • Tax implications: The way you pay yourself will impact your personal tax liability. Consult with a tax professional to determine the best approach for your situation.
  • Business needs: Consider the financial needs of your business when deciding how to compensate yourself. If your business is struggling, it may not be the best time to take a large draw or salary.
  • Legal requirements: Make sure you are following all legal requirements for paying yourself as an LLC owner. Consult with an attorney to ensure you are in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.


Paying yourself as an LLC owner can be a complex process, but it’s important to understand your options and make informed decisions. By considering the various ways to compensate yourself and the legal and tax implications of each, you can ensure that you are making the best choices for your business and your personal finances. As always, it’s important to consult with professionals like tax accountants or business lawyers before making any final decisions.

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