If you’re renting cars for business purposes, you may wonder if you need to create a limited liability company (LLC). This article will answer that question and help you understand the benefits of having an LLC for Turo or your car rental business.
Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.
An LLC is a business structure that can offer you personal liability protection. If your business is sued, the plaintiff can only go after your business assets and not your personal assets. This is important because it can help you separate your personal and business finances.
Before we dive in, here’s a really good explanation video on this issue if you prefer a video answer.
Do I NEED an LLC for my car rental business?
The short answer is no, you don’t NEED an LLC to rent cars. You can operate your business as a sole proprietor without forming an LLC. However, you will not have personal liability protection if you don’t have an LLC. If your business is sued, the plaintiff can go after your personal assets in addition to your business assets.
Is it better to have an LLC for my car rental business?
Absolutely! Having an LLC offers several benefits, including personal liability protection and the ability to deduct business expenses on your taxes.
Here are a few scenarios where a person who owns a Turo business (or a private car rental business) benefits from having an LLC business:
Scenario 1: A customer gets into an accident while driving one of your rental cars and sues for damages. If you have a sole proprietorship, your personal assets could be at risk. However, if you have an LLC, your personal assets are protected and only the assets of the LLC are at risk. This can help protect your personal savings, investments, and other assets from being seized to pay for any damages awarded to the customer.
Scenario 2: A customer alleges that they were injured while using one of your rental cars due to a mechanical failure or defect. If you have a sole proprietorship, you could be held personally liable for any damages awarded to the customer. However, if you have an LLC, your personal assets are protected and only the assets of the LLC are at risk.
Scenario 3: You need to borrow money to expand your Turo business. If you have a sole proprietorship, you may have a harder time getting approved for a loan, as lenders may see your personal assets as being at risk. However, if you have an LLC, lenders may be more willing to lend to your business, as they know that your personal assets are protected.
Scenario 4: You are sued for breach of contract by a customer who claims that you did not deliver the rental car they reserved. If you have a sole proprietorship, you could be held personally liable for any damages awarded to the customer. However, if you have an LLC, your personal assets are protected and only the assets of the LLC are at risk.
These are just a few scenarios where having an LLC can be beneficial for someone who owns a Turo or private car rental business. By forming an LLC, you can help protect your personal assets and limit your liability in the event that something goes wrong.
You can learn more about the benefits and disadvantages of having an LLC here. You can also learn how to start your own LLC in your state or use an LLC formation service. We also have a list of the cheapest LLC formation services.
Will I pay more taxes as an LLC?
No, you will not pay more taxes as an LLC. Limited Liability Companies qualify for what’s called pass-through taxation. This means that the business itself is not taxed. Instead, the business owners (known as members) are taxed on their share of the LLC’s income on their personal tax returns.
Piercing the corporate veil
One important note – even if you have an LLC, your personal assets are still at risk if the court decides to “pierce the corporate veil.” This happens when the court believes that you’ve used your LLC to commit fraud or engage in other illegal activities. If this happens, your LLC will not offer you any protection and you could be held personally liable for your business’s debts and liabilities.
To avoid this, make sure to follow all the LLC rules in your state and don’t use your LLC to engage in illegal or fraudulent activities. You can also speak to an attorney to learn more about how to protect your personal assets with an LLC.
If you’re already in the car rental business operating as a sole proprietor, you can still form an LLC at any time. And if you’re just getting started, we recommend that you form an LLC from the beginning. It’s a simple process and well worth the peace of mind that comes with personal liability protection.
Still not sure whether an LLC is right for your car rental business? We recommend speaking to an attorney. They can help you weigh the pros and cons and make the best decision for your business.
If you decided that you do want to form an LLC, below are a few things you’ll need to do to get started.
Forming an LLC: Single-member or multi-member LLC?
If you are the only owner of your car rental business, you can form a single-member LLC. If you have one or more business partners, you will need to form a multi-member LLC.
LLC Bank account
Once you have formed your LLC, you will need to open a business bank account. This is important because it will help you separate your personal and business finances. It’s also a good idea to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your LLC. You can apply for an EIN online through the IRS website.
Vehicle Ownership: Transferring your car under the name of the LLC
If you’re already in business, you may want to transfer the ownership of your car (or cars) to your LLC. This can be done by requesting a title transfer form from your state’s DMV. You will need to list the LLC as the new owner of the vehicle (or vehicles).
If you have a loan on the car, you will need to notify the lender of the change in ownership. You will also need to update your insurance policy to list the LLC as the owner of the vehicle (or vehicles).
So, if you’re in the car rental business, whether you’re using Turo or any other way of renting cars, it’s a good idea to form an LLC. This will offer you personal liability protection and other benefits, such as the ability to deduct business expenses from your taxes. And remember, even if you have an LLC, your personal assets are still at risk if the court decides to “pierce the corporate veil.” To avoid this, make sure to follow all the LLC rules in your state and don’t use your LLC to engage in illegal or fraudulent activities. You can also speak to an attorney to learn more about how to protect your personal assets with an LLC.
Frequently Asked Question
Can you make a business out of Turo?
Yes, you can make a business out of Turo. Turo is a peer-to-peer car rental company that allows people to rent out their cars to others. This can be a great way to make some extra money, especially if you have a car that you don’t use very often.
To get started, you’ll need to create a listing for your car on the Turo website. You’ll need to provide some information about your car, including its make and model, as well as photos. You’ll also need to set a price and specify the dates and times that you’re available to rent your car out.
How do I start a Turo business?
First, you’ll need to sign up for a Turo account. You can do this by going to their website and creating an account. Once you have an account, you can list your car (or cars) on their platform. Be sure to add lots of photos and information about your car so that renters can make an informed decision about whether or not they want to rent it.
Is Turo considered self-employment?
Yes, Turo is considered self-employment. You must report your business on schedule C as you would any other self-employment activity. This includes income and expenses related to the activity. You may be able to deduct some of your expenses, such as car depreciation and gas, as long as they are related to the business use of your car.
How much do you have to make on Turo to file taxes?
If you’re a single US taxpayer under the age of 65, you need to make at least $12,550 annual gross income to file taxes. So, if you reach or exceed the $12,550 annual gross income mark, you’ll need to file a tax return and pay taxes on your earnings. Of course, this is just basic information and there may be other factors that come into play when determining your taxes. For more detailed information, it’s always best to consult with a tax professional.
Do you need a business license for Turo?
In most states, you don’t need a business license to list your car on Turo. However, there may be some exceptions depending on your state.