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Roger
Roger, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 31019
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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I am an architect in California. My wife also has two

Customer Question

I am an architect in California. My wife also has two businesses related to hair and clothing. All three businesses are sole props in California. I want to set up an umbrella company to house these three businesses, preferably an LLC, but I'm confused as to the best way. In California, architects are barred from forming an LLC, but can form an LLP.
1. In that case, can my wife be the other parter of my architecture practice if she is not a licensed architect?
2. If she can't, what are my options, if any, besides forming a typical corporation?
3. Is it possible for make the umbrella company and LLC, and then have my architecture practice be a sole prop underneath that umbrella?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Roger replied 6 months ago.
Hi - my name is ***** ***** I'll be glad to assist.
Expert:  Roger replied 6 months ago.
There is a such thing as a series LLC, which is one umbrella LLC with several subsidiaries. Here's a link that outlines how this works: https://www.ftb.ca.gov/businesses/bus_structures/SLLcompany.shtml
Expert:  Roger replied 6 months ago.
But, each organization must be an LLC.......and if CA law doesn't allow an architecture firm to operate under an LLC, this wouldn't work.
Expert:  Roger replied 6 months ago.
Thus, you'd likely be better off to form an LLC for your architecture firm and then form a series LLC for the other businesses.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I can't form an LLC in California as an architect though, and a series LLC can't be formed in California either
Expert:  Roger replied 6 months ago.
You can form a series LLC is another state and then register it in CA....which is what the link refers to.
Expert:  Roger replied 6 months ago.
But, even forming a series LLC in another state isn't going to help your architecture firm since the law prohibits an LLC for that profession.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
What would be your suggestion for best setting all these businesses up for the greatest ease and limited liability?Can I form an llp for the umbrella or for architecture if my wife is not licensed?If not an llp, what type of corp is my last option?
Expert:  Roger replied 6 months ago.
you're likely going to have to establish a stand-alone company for your architecture firm.....and you can decide how to proceed with establishing a series LLC in another state and register to do business in CA or just form separate companies in CA.
Expert:  Roger replied 6 months ago.
The only entities available for a series is an LLC......so there's no other structure that I'm aware of that would work....
Expert:  Roger replied 6 months ago.
The other two businesses may be capable of operating as one LLC and combining its books....but that would depend on how the business operates.
Expert:  Roger replied 6 months ago.
It seems like your best option is to have the architecture firm as a separate LLP or Inc.....and then either have one LLC for the other two businesses to operate under or set up a series LLC in another state and register to do business in CA.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
What about a corporation? I thought you could have an umbrella corporation
Expert:  Roger replied 6 months ago.
You can do this with the series LLC or a corporation with subdivisions (but most umbrella companies are in the consumer goods business and they're very complicated).....but you're likely going to have to keep the architecture firm separate because of the restrictions and professional licensure required by state law.