Is It Better To Be A 1099 Or LLC?

  • John A. Osborne
  • Dec 05, 2022
Small Business Insurance Tennessee

When it comes to starting a business, there are many decisions to make, and one of the most important is deciding on the legal structure. The two most popular options for small businesses are to operate as a 1099 contractor or form an LLC. While both options have their advantages and disadvantages, choosing the right one for your business can make all the difference. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of both structures to help you make an informed decision.

Overview of 1099

A 1099 contractor is an individual who provides services to a company or individual as an independent contractor. They are not considered employees and do not receive benefits or have taxes withheld from their paychecks. Instead, they are responsible for paying their own taxes, including self-employment tax.

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a 1099 contractor:


  • Freedom and flexibility to work for multiple clients
  • Ability to deduct business expenses from taxable income
  • No need to file paperwork to form a separate legal entity


  • No benefits, such as health insurance or retirement plans
  • No job security or protection against wrongful termination
  • Greater risk for audits and legal disputes due to lack of legal protection

Overview of LLC

An LLC, or Limited Liability Company, is a legal entity that separates personal and business assets. As the name suggests, it limits the liability of the owners or members to the amount of their investment in the company. This means that personal assets are protected from business debts or legal actions.

Here are some of the pros and cons of forming an LLC:


  • Protects personal assets from business debts and legal actions
  • Can be taxed as a pass-through entity, avoiding double taxation
  • Can attract investors and partners by offering ownership shares


  • Requires filing paperwork and paying fees to form the entity
  • More complex tax filings and accounting requirements
  • Less flexibility in management and decision-making due to legal requirements

Which One is Better for Your Business?

The answer to this question depends on the specific needs of your business. If you are just starting out and need flexibility to work for multiple clients, then being a 1099 contractor may be the best option. However, if you have a high-risk business or need to protect personal assets, then forming an LLC is the way to go.

It is also important to consider the long-term goals of your business. If you plan to attract investors or partners, then an LLC may be the best way to go. However, if you want to keep things simple and don’t need legal protection, then being a 1099 contractor may be the right choice.


Choosing between being a 1099 contractor or forming an LLC can be a difficult decision, but it is an important one. By considering the pros and cons of each option and thinking about the needs of your business, you can make an informed decision that will set you up for success in the long run.

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