How To Start An LLC for Yoga Teachers
Calmness, serenity, and relaxation are just a few of the benefits that come with teaching yoga classes. As a yoga teacher, you have to be able to teach these classes with authority, confidence and skill. However, the administrative side of running your own center can be stressful. The paperwork, taxes, permits, and other time-consuming tasks can lead to a lot of headaches.
One aspect to consider is your business structure. For many teachers, setting up a Limited Liability Company (LLC) is the right choice. In this article, we’ll explore what an LLC is and how it can help yoga teachers achieve success in their business.
What Is An LLC?
A Yoga Teacher LLC is an entity set up by its owners — the yoga teacher — that provides limited liability protection from business debts and obligations. It’s a great choice for entrepreneurs who want to keep their personal assets separate from their business interests. With an LLC, the owner of Yoga Teacher LLC is shielded from any legal action taken against the company itself. This means that if someone has a dispute with the LLC, they can’t take any action against the yoga teacher’s personal assets.
What are the Advantages of a Yoga Teacher LLC?
Below are the advantages of a yoga teacher LLC:
Limited liability protection means that the owner will not be held personally liable in the event of legal action against the company. This is an incredibly important consideration when starting any type of business, and it can potentially save you from significant financial losses if your yoga center is ever sued or otherwise faces legal action.
Secondly, an LLC is a great way to create credibility in the yoga industry. By opting for this business structure, you can show clients and potential employers that you are serious about your business and want to protect yourself professionally.
It also provides limited liability protection, which means that if something were to happen while teaching yoga classes, your personal assets would be safe from legal repercussions.
It also provides the unique opportunity of enjoying pass-through taxation. This means that any income or losses from your yoga classes will be reported on your personal tax return as opposed to a corporate one. This ensures that you don’t need to pay taxes twice and can enjoy more of the money you make teaching yoga.
Ease of setting up
An LLC gives you the flexibility to structure your business exactly how you want it and set yourself up for success in a way that works best for you. It entails a straightforward management structure and minimal paperwork. This way, you can focus on your business, and not so much on its administrative aspects.
Protecting your brand isn’t just for those selling products. It’s also applicable for yoga teachers. You can even say that it’s even more important for yoga teachers since you’re dealing with people’s trust. Establishing a Yoga Teacher LLC will ensure that you get the legal protection that your business needs and that no one else can use your name or logo without your permission.
What are the Disadvantages of a Yoga Teacher LLC?
Meanwhile, you should also think about the disadvantages of a yoga teacher LLC:
One of the main downsides to forming a yoga teacher LLC is the costs. Depending on your state, you may have to pay fees for filing documents and registering your business name. Furthermore, if you plan on taking advantage of tax benefits that an LLC offers, such as pass-through taxation or protection from personal liability, then additional costs may apply.
LLC regulations vary from state to state, making it more difficult to establish than other business structures. Plus, you must adhere to specific regulations in order for your LLC to remain legally compliant throughout its lifetime.
For example, in California, you have to file additional paperwork within 90 days of forming your LLC due to their biennial report system. This can add more complexity to your yoga business operations.
Additionally, failure to comply with such regulations can result in fines or even dissolution of your LLC. Therefore, it pays off to stay informed and updated on the latest compliance requirements for running a successful Yoga Teacher LLC.
Yoga teachers who own an LLC must pay self-employment taxes. This is because an LLC is considered to be a disregarded entity — meaning that the business and its owner are treated as one for tax purposes. As such, any income earned from teaching yoga will be subject to federal self-employment taxes, such as Social Security and Medicare contributions.
An LLC is tied to its owners and has a limited lifespan. If one of the LLC members leaves or dies, the LLC will automatically dissolve unless it’s been legally transitioned to another owner. This can be a significant disadvantage for yoga teachers who are trying to create a business that will outlast them.
How to Create a Yoga Teacher LLC
Creating an LLC is a relatively straightforward process, but it requires careful attention to detail and adherence to legal requirements. Follow these steps to successfully establish your yoga teacher LLC:
- Choose a suitable business name
- Determine the LLC’s location
- Appoint a registered agent
- File Articles of Organization
- Create an Operating Agreement
- Get the Required Licenses and Permits
- Apply for an Employer Identification Number
- Open a business bank account
- Obtain business insurance
Choose a suitable business name
Select a unique and professional name for your business. Ensure it is not already in use by another center or brand to avoid potential legal issues. Check with your state’s business name database or use the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s online search tool to confirm its availability.
Determine the LLC’s location
Decide where you want to register your LLC. Typically, you should choose the state where you will conduct the majority of your yoga teaching activities. Each state has its own rules and regulations regarding LLC formation, so research the specific requirements for your chosen state.
Appoint a registered agent
Designate a registered agent who will receive legal documents and official correspondence on behalf of your LLC. This person or entity must have a physical address within the state where your LLC is registered and be available during regular business hours.
File Articles of Organization
Prepare and file the Articles of Organization with the appropriate state agency. This document officially establishes your Yoga Teacher LLC and includes essential information such as the LLC’s name, address, registered agent details, and the purpose of the business.
Create an Operating Agreement
Though not required in all states, it is highly recommended to create an Operating Agreement for your LLC. This internal document outlines the management structure, ownership percentages, voting rights, and how profits and losses will be allocated among the members. It also helps prevent potential conflicts in the future.
Get the Required Licenses and Permits
Check local and state regulations to determine if you need any specific licenses or permits to operate your yoga teaching business legally. Typically, it involves applying for a business license with your local government, as well as any permits for independent contractors or teachers.
Apply for an Employer Identification Number
You can get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) online from the IRS. An EIN is a unique nine-digit number used to identify your LLC and report taxes. It’s free and easy to apply for an EIN, so you can get started right away.
Open a business bank account
A business bank account can help you keep track of your finances and ensure that all funds are properly allocated and accounted for. Having a separate bank account also helps protect your personal assets from liability related to your operations.
Obtain business insurance
When you open a yoga center, it’s important to make sure that your business is properly insured. This will protect you and your students in the event of an unfortunate incident while teaching yoga classes.
Check with local insurance companies to find out what type of coverage they offer for small businesses like yours, such as liability or professional indemnity insurance. It’s also worth considering public liability and/or product liability coverage if you plan on selling any products related to yoga as part of your business.
How are Yoga Teacher LLCs Taxed?
As mentioned, one of the significant advantages of forming a yoga teacher LLC is pass-through taxation. With pass-through taxation, the LLC itself does not pay federal income taxes at the business level.
Instead, the profits and losses of the business “pass through” to the individual owners. This means that the income generated by the LLC is directly reported on the personal tax returns of the owners, and any taxes owed are calculated based on their individual tax rates. Essentially, the LLC’s profits are only taxed once, at the individual level.
Moreover, you can choose how the LLC is taxed:
Single-member LLC taxation
If you are the sole owner, your business will be treated as a “disregarded entity” for tax purposes. This means that you will report the LLC’s income and expenses on your personal tax return, similar to how you would report income from a sole proprietorship. In this case, the LLC’s profits will be taxed at your individual tax rate.
Multi-member LLC taxation
For centers with multiple members, the default tax treatment is that of a partnership. In a multi-member LLC, each member’s share of the profits and losses is determined by the ownership percentage stated in the operating agreement.
Each member then reports their share of the LLC’s income and expenses on their individual tax returns. The LLC itself does not pay taxes at the entity level.
What are the Costs of Starting a Yoga Teacher LLC?
Starting a Yoga Teacher LLC involves some costs, which may vary depending on your location and specific needs. Common expenses include:
These are the costs associated with registering your LLC with the state. These typically range between $35 and $500.
Seeking advice from an attorney to ensure proper formation. The average cost of enlisting legal assistance for LLCs is $425.
Some states require LLCs to pay annual renewal fees. On average, the annual fee can cost you anywhere between $10 to $520.
Drafting an agreement outlining the LLC’s internal operations has an average cost of around $600.
Yoga teachers can also protect their business with liability and professional insurance, spending anywhere between $30 and $340 a month.
Is LLC The Best Entity For Me?
Maybe, LLC isn’t the right entity for you. Maybe it is a C-Corp. Only way to find out is to directly compare them all.
LLC vs Corporation (C-Corp)
Sole proprietorships and Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) are two of the most common business entities for individuals and small businesses. Learn what differentiates the two today.
LLC vs S-Corp
Not sure what business structure to choose? Learn about the key differences between LLC and S-Corp today.
LLC vs Sole Proprietorship
The primary difference is that an LLC provides limited liability protection for its owners, while a sole proprietorship does not.
Frequently Asked Questions About Yoga LLCs
Here are the most commonly asked questions about forming an LLC:
Yes, you can certainly form an LLC if you teach yoga independently. It can help you protect your assets and provide you with a range of tax advantages, particularly pass-through taxation.
Yes, you can convert your existing yoga business into an LLC. You can do this by forming a new LLC with the same name as your existing business or changing the name of your business to an LLC. Once you have formed this new entity, you can transfer the assets and liabilities from your existing business into it, making it easier to manage and protect yourself from liability.
To successfully brand yourself as a yoga teacher, you need to create an online presence and build relationships with potential clients. Start by creating a website and social media accounts for your yoga business. You can share information about your classes, promote events or workshops, and showcase photos of your practice.