Whats The Difference Between Llc and Pllc

When considering starting a business or professional practice, understanding the differences between LLC (Limited Liability Company) and PLLC (Professional Limited Liability Company) is crucial. In this article, we’ll explore the distinctions between these two entity types, their characteristics, formation processes, and more.

Understanding LLC

An LLC is a business structure that combines the flexibility of a partnership with the limited liability protection of a corporation. Owners of an LLC are referred to as members, and they enjoy limited liability protection, meaning their assets are generally protected from the company’s debts and liabilities.

Forming an LLC involves choosing a unique name for the business, filing articles of organization with the state, and drafting an operating agreement that outlines the management structure and operating procedures of the LLC. Additionally, LLCs are required to obtain necessary business licenses and permits.

Understanding PLLC

A PLLC is a specific type of LLC designed for licensed professionals such as doctors, lawyers, architects, and accountants. It offers similar liability protection to an LLC but is tailored to meet the regulatory requirements of licensed professions.

Forming a PLLC requires compliance with additional regulations and licensing requirements specific to the profession. Depending on the state and profession, these requirements may include obtaining a professional license, maintaining professional liability insurance, and adhering to professional conduct standards.

Differences Between LLC and PLLC

Legal structure and liability protection

One of the main differences between LLC and PLLC is the scope of liability protection. While both provide limited liability protection to their members, PLLCs are specifically designed for licensed professionals and offer protection against malpractice claims related to professional services.

Regulation and restrictions

PLLCs are subject to additional regulatory oversight and licensing requirements imposed by state licensing boards or professional associations. These requirements may include ongoing education, professional conduct standards, and restrictions on ownership and management.

Scope of practice

PLLCs are typically restricted to providing services within the licensed profession for which they were formed. In contrast, LLCs have broader flexibility in terms of the types of business activities they can engage in, as they are not limited to specific professional services.

Similarities Between LLC and PLLC

Both LLCs and PLLCs can have one or more members who own and manage the business. Members of both entity types enjoy limited liability protection for the company’s debts and obligations.

LLCs and PLLCs are both pass-through entities for tax purposes, meaning that profits and losses are passed through to the member’s tax returns. They are not subject to double taxation like C corporations.

Advantages and Disadvantages of LLC and PLLC

LLCs offer flexibility in management and taxation, along with limited liability protection for all members. However, PLLCs provide additional protection against malpractice claims for licensed professionals but may be subject to more regulatory requirements and restrictions.

Choosing Between LLC and PLLC

When deciding between an LLC and a PLLC, factors to consider include the nature of the business or profession, liability concerns, regulatory requirements, tax implications, and long-term goals for the company.

Consulting with legal and financial professionals can help business owners and professionals make an informed decision based on their specific circumstances and goals.


While LLCs and PLLCs share similarities in terms of their structure and limited liability protection, they are tailored to meet the needs of different types of businesses and professionals. Understanding the differences between these two entity types is essential for making informed decisions when establishing a business or professional practice.


Can a PLLC be owned by non-professionals?

In most states, PLLCs must be owned and managed by licensed professionals within the specific profession.

Are PLLCs taxed differently from LLCs?

No, both PLLCs and LLCs are generally taxed as pass-through entities, meaning profits and losses are reported on the members’ personal tax returns.

What happens if a member of an LLC or PLLC is sued?

In both cases, the personal assets of individual members are typically protected from the company’s liabilities, except in cases of personal wrongdoing or negligence.

Can an LLC convert to a PLLC?

Yes, in some states, an existing LLC can convert to a PLLC by meeting the necessary regulatory requirements and obtaining approval from the state licensing board or authority.

Do PLLCs require professional liability insurance?

Yes, many states require PLLCs to maintain professional liability insurance coverage as part of their licensing requirements.

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