How To Pay Yourself From Your LLC: Free Guide 2024

How To Pay Yourself From Your LLC

To pay yourself from an LLC, you can either take a salary or draw from profits, depending on the tax structure of your business; always pay taxes from a business account. LLCs offer flexibility in how the LLC owner can pay themselves. The small business owner can take a salary, which is subject to employment taxes, or they can take distributions from the company’s profits, which are not subject to employment taxes. It’s important to ensure that payments to owners are made in accordance with the LLC’s operating agreement and any legal requirements, such as minimum wage laws. It is also important to consult with a tax professional to ensure that the chosen method of payment is the most advantageous; there are differences between being taxed as a sole prop, single or multi-member LLC, or S or C Corporation.

Read More: How to Start an LLC 2024

What Kind of LLC Do You Have?

To determine the kind of LLC you have, you should review your LLC’s operating agreement, articles of organization, and tax documents. All may offer significant tax savings which may lead to more business profits. It’s also advisable for all LLC members to consult with a legal or tax professional for guidance.

Single Member LLC

An LLC or sole proprietor has only one owner. Some single members are also sole proprietorships. The LLC member or sole proprietor has the flexibility of a sole proprietorship, but still enjoys liability protection and other benefits of an LLC, such as pass-through taxation, tax savings, and a separate legal entity status.

Multi Member LLC

If the limited liability company has more than one member, it is a Multi Member LLC. All multiple members contribute to the company’s ownership, management, and profits, and the LLC enjoys the same liability protection and how you pay income tax, along with other benefits as a single member LLC. Multi-member LLC designations are common for businesses with multiple owners or partners.

S Corporation or C Corporation

An S corporation and C corporation status is another designation. Both S Corp LLC and C Corp LLC offer tax protections. C corp and S corp are pass-through entities, meaning that income and losses pass through to shareholders. S corporations are separate taxable entities, subject to double taxation. Both S corp and C corp types have their own unique advantages and disadvantages, many dealing with how you pay taxes. All members of an LLC, S corp, or C Corp pay tax.

How Do I Pay Myself From My LLC?

Some larger S Corp or C Corps will choose a payroll service. To pay yourself from a single-member LLC, S Corp, or multi-member LLC, you can either be paid from the payroll service as an employee of the S corp or receive a distribution of profits as a business owner. It’s important to follow your LLC’s operating agreement and comply with all legal requirements for business expenses, such as minimum wage laws and payroll tax regulations. If you are an owner of a single-member LLC or S corp, and you receive income from the LLC, then you may be subject to self-employment income taxes on that income.

Self-employment taxes are Social Security and Medicare taxes that are typically paid by self-employed individuals and not from a capital account. The self-employment tax rate is 15.3% on the first $142,800 of net self-employment income, and 2.9% on any net self-employment income above that amount.

As an owner of an LLC, you’ll file taxes. You may be considered self-employed for tax purposes and may have to pay self-employment income taxes on any income you receive from the LLC. However, the exact tax treatment will depend on several factors, including the type of LLC and how the income is classified. It is recommended to consult with a professional for guidance specific to your individual tax situation.

Pay As An Employee

To pay yourself from a single member LLC, S corporation, or Multi Member LLC as an employee, you need to determine your salary, set up payroll, and make regular salary payments to yourself. You will also need to withhold taxes, make payroll tax payments, and provide yourself with any employee benefits that the single-member LLC offers. It’s important to comply with all relevant employment laws and regulations. 

Receive Distributions from LLC Profits

To receive distributions from LLC profits, the LLC must have available funds. The members must agree on the amount of the distribution and the timing. The LLC must then issue a distribution check or make a direct deposit to each member’s business account. It’s important to keep detailed records of all distributions made.

Pay As An Independent Contractor

To pay yourself from an LLC as an independent contractor, you will need to invoice the LLC for services rendered. The LLC will pay the invoice, and you will receive payment as an independent contractor. It’s important to keep detailed records of all invoices and payments made and comply with all relevant tax laws and regulations.

Selecting Not to Receive Payments

If the LLC owner decides not to receive any payments from the company, they can choose to forego any salary or distributions. However, it’s important to note that even if the S Corporation owner doesn’t receive any payments, they still have a tax liability on the LLC’s income. This means they may still pay self-employment taxes. It’s important to consult with a professional to understand the tax implications of this decision.

Small business owners are allowed reasonable compensation. An owner’s draw is a way for the owner of a business, including an LLC, to withdraw money from the business for personal use.

In an LLC, an owner’s draw is a distribution of profits made to the owner or owners of the business. The amount of the owner’s draw is determined by the profits of the business and the percentage of ownership of each owner.

It is important to note that an owner’s draw is not considered a salary or wage, and is not subject to payroll taxes such as Social Security and Medicare taxes. Instead, the owner will typically pay income tax on the amount of the owner’s draw on their personal tax return.

Best Way To Pay Yourself From An LLC

The best way to pay yourself from an LLC depends on your specific situation and goals. If you want to receive a steady income and have employment benefits, taking a salary may be the best option. If you prefer flexibility and want to minimize taxes, receiving distributions may be preferable. It’s important to work with a professional to determine the most tax-efficient payment strategy and ensure compliance with all legal requirements. Rember, there are differences between being taxed as a sole prop, single or multi-member LLCs, or S or C Corporation, and how you are paid is part of this.

5 Basic Steps to Start an LLC in 2024

How To Pay Yourself From Your LLC

Paying yourself from an LLC requires careful consideration of your goals and compliance with legal requirements. The best payment method depends on your specific situation. Always pay your salary from the business bank account rather than your personal account. Your personal account is where you will pay income taxes. Follow the steps below to begin paying yourself from the LLC: 

Choose a Name for Your LLC

The first step is to choose an LLC name. Choosing a name for an LLC involves considering legal requirements, branding goals, and availability, as well as registering the name with appropriate authorities.

Choose Your Registered Agent

The next step is to choose your registered agent. A registered agent is required for LLCs to receive legal and tax documents, ensure compliance, and maintain privacy for LLC owners.

Read More: Best Registered Agent Services 2024

File Articles of Organization

Next are the articles of organization. Articles of organization are legal documents required to establish an LLC. They include information about the company’s name, ownership structure, and registered agent.

Create an LLC Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is a legal document that outlines the ownership, management, and operations of an LLC. This includes how you, other LLC members, and employees will be paid. It is not always required by law but is highly recommended.

Obtaining an EIN

To obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for an LLC, file an online application with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You can also apply by mail or fax.

The Top 2 LLC Formation Services

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Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest’s suite of tools offers services at a reasonable price. The main difference between Northwest and similar entities is that Northwest only offers one paid plan for services. The initial cost is $39 to file the LLC paperwork; all other charges are due as per your state’s regulations. There is a separate option, called Pay In Full. With this option, which costs $225, Northwest will file the LLC, and provide agent services for one year, however, all other charges from state fees, etc., will still apply. 

Northwest also has a strict no-data-selling policy and will provide pricing changes in advance. Northwest also offers the ability to pay by the month, with an auto-renew option. 


Zenbusiness is a one-stop shop for SMB preparation. Through Zenbusiness you can search for available names, create articles of incorporation, find out the needed documentation for your state and federal filings and registrations, obtain an EIN, and build the business’s web presence through domain names, email, and domain privacy protection. 

Zenbusiness offers three tiers of members. For $49 (Starter Plan), you can form your company within 3 to 4 weeks, file LLC paperwork, get an annual compliance service, search for business names, have phone/email support, and have online document access. The Starter Plan does not automatically renew each year. For $199 (Pro Plan), you get all of the Starter Plan benefits, plus extras including an operating agreement, expedited filing services, a virtual company guide, and Google Ads credit. The Pro Plan automatically renews each year. For $299 per year (Premium Plan), you get all of the Starter Plan and Pro plan benefits plus extras including a website, a domain name, and an email address. The Premium Plan automatically renews each year. 

Read More: Best LLC Services 2024

Final Thoughts

Paying yourself from an LLC involves selecting a payment method that aligns with your goals and complies with legal requirements. As an employee, you can take a salary, set up a payroll, and make regular payments. Alternatively, you can receive distributions of profits as an owner. If you prefer not to receive payments, you can choose to forego salary or distributions. It’s important to consult with a professional and follow all relevant laws and regulations to ensure compliance and minimize tax liability.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is an LLC?

LLC stands for Limited Liability Company, which is a type of business structure that offers personal liability protection for the owners (known as members) while also allowing for pass-through taxation. This means that the LLC itself doesn’t pay taxes on its income; instead, the profits and losses of the company are passed through to the individual members, who report them on their personal tax returns. LLCs are a popular choice for small businesses due to their flexibility, simplicity, and protection of personal assets.

How do I pay myself, my partners, and my employees from an LLC?

There are a few options. Getting paid from an LLC typically involves selecting a payment method and following legal requirements. As an employee of the LLC, you can set up payroll and receive regular payments, including salary and benefits. Alternatively, as an owner, you can receive distributions of profits. It’s important to work with a professional to determine the most tax-efficient payment strategy and ensure compliance with all legal requirements. The LLC should also maintain accurate financial records and file required tax forms to avoid penalties and legal issues.

What about self-employment taxes?

The way LLC payments are taxed depends on the type of LLC and the payment method. By default, single-member LLCs are taxed as sole proprietorships, meaning that the LLC’s profits and losses are passed through to the owner’s tax return and taxed at their individual tax rate. Multi-member LLCs are taxed as partnerships, with each member’s share of the profits and losses passed through to their personal income tax return. LLCs can also elect an S Corporation or a C Corp tax status, which can have different tax implications. It’s important to consult with a professional to determine the most advantageous tax strategy for your LLC payments.

How do I claim income on personal taxes?

It’s important to separate business finances and personal finances and to pay income tax. This means you will need a personal bank account and a separate business bank account. Many small LLC owners are sole proprietorships or single-member LLCs; these all pay taxes. In this type, your income and expenses are reported on your tax return using Schedule C (Form 1040). This means that you will claim your business income and expenses on your personal taxes, and pay self-employment tax on your net earnings. If you have a multi-member LLC, the profits and losses of the LLC will be distributed to the members according to their ownership share, and each member will report their share of the profits and losses on their personal tax return. It’s important to consult with a professional to ensure you are reporting your business income accurately and taking advantage of any available deductions.

What is the difference between corporate and personal income? 

The main difference between corporate and personal income is that income is earned by a business entity, while personal income is earned by an individual. This is subject to corporate income tax rather than an individual tax. The tax benefits vary depending on the type of corporation, type of members of the LLC, owner’s draws, and the amount of income earned by the small business. Personal income, on the other hand, is subject to individual income tax, which is a tax on the income earned by individuals. The income tax rate varies depending on the individual’s income level, filing status, and other factors. Another difference is that corporate income is separate from the income earned by the owners or shareholders of the corporation, while personal income includes all income earned by an individual, whether from employment, investments, or other sources.

What is a disregarded entity?

A disregarded entity is a type of business entity that is treated as if it does not exist for income tax purposes. Specifically, a DE is an entity that is separate from its LLC owner for legal purposes but is disregarded as a separate entity for tax purposes. This means that the income, deductions, and credits of the DE are reported on the tax return of the owner, rather than on a separate tax return for the entity. Examples of disregarded entities include single-member limited liability companies (LLCs) and sole proprietorships. In these cases, the business is not taxed as a separate entity, but instead, the owner reports the business income and expenses on their personal tax return.



Kristina Knight-1
Kristina Knight, Journalist , BA
Content Writer & Editor
Kristina Knight is a freelance writer with more than 15 years of experience writing on varied topics. Kristina’s focus for the past 10 years has been the small business, online marketing, and banking sectors, however, she keeps things interesting by writing about her experiences as an adoptive mom, parenting, and education issues. Kristina’s work has appeared with, NBC News,, DisasterNewsNetwork, and many more publications.


He is an organized and creative thinking sales management professional with experience in outside and inside sales in various markets. Working as freelancer in the Greater Boston Market, he moved to St. Louis and became an Account Executive, then a Sales Manager managing and coaching 12 sales reps covering a nationwide territory. He has developed his team with a combination of consultative selling and value before price coaching mindset which has won him a President’s Cup and many other financially rewarding awards at RICOH. His most recent role as a Continuous Improvement Manager provided insight into the importance of delivering a quality product in alignment with the value and reputation of his organization. It further enhances the aspect of selling on value as opposed to price.

+ 5 sources

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  1. Limited Liability Company Operating Agreement. Accessed March 6, 2023.
  2. IRS. S Corporations | Internal Revenue Service. Published 2018. Accessed March 6, 2023.
  3. IRS. Forming a Corporation | Internal Revenue Service. Published 2019. Accessed March 6, 2023.
  4. Self-Employment Tax (Social Security and Medicare Taxes) | Internal Revenue Service. Accessed March 6, 2023.
  5. Sole Proprietorships | Internal Revenue Service. Published September 14, 2022. Accessed March 6, 2023.
  6. Single Member Limited Liability Companies | Internal Revenue Service. Published 2009. Accessed March 6, 2023.



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