Can I have an S-Corp with just one owner?

I need to dissolve an owner's share in an IL S-Corp. Currently there are 2 owners. Would I still be able to keep the S-Corp with just one owner? 1 partner needs to dissolve their stake so the full company would be under my name. I live in CA and will be based there still. I am not sure how much business would still be in IL. Am I able to keep the S-Corp even though my IL based partner is no longer present and I don't live in IL? If I plan to do more work in CA, would I need to set up a foreign corporation in CA, or can it still operate as is? It is a national/global business. Is it better to just close the business and set up a new one with just myself as the owner?


As a business owner, I face similar issues myself. I'm sure you already know this but for something like this, you really should consult a lawyer and a tax professional. Having said that, the cleanest and safest way to do this would be to dissolve the current S-Corp and create a new one under a different name. This way there isn't any controversy over ownership. Hopefully you have a partnership agreement that covers the dissolution of your company. If not, you'll need one now. If you incorporate your own S corp in CA, you will have to register in IL as a foreign corporation. If you won't have a physical presence in IL, you will need a registered agent.

Answered 7 years ago

S-Corps often have only one shareholder. If you're not going to have many ties with IL going forward, and if most of your ties will be with CA, I'd dissolve the IL entity and form anew in CA. That way you avoid the hassle of double annual filings and double state taxes. Note: you'd likely still need to maintain foreign registrations if you plan to "do business" in other states. Just be aware that "doing business" means different things in different states. Please retain counsel if you have any doubt or questions.

Answered 7 years ago

Hello I am Priyanka.

I have face this problem and I have come out of this problem so I would give you the best possible answer.

The S corporation is often more attractive to small-business owners than a standard (or C) corporation. That's because an S corporation has some appealing tax benefits and still provides business owners with the liability protection of a corporation. With an S corporation, income and losses are passed through to shareholders and included on their individual tax returns. As a result, there's just one level of federal tax to pay.

A corporation must meet certain conditions to be eligible for a subchapter S election. First, the corporation must have no more than 75 shareholders. In calculating the 75-shareholder limit, a husband and wife count as one shareholder. Also, only the following entities may be shareholders: individuals, estates, certain trusts, certain partnerships, tax-exempt charitable organizations, and other S corporations (but only if the other S corporation is the sole shareholder).

In addition, owners of S corporations who don't have inventory can use the cash method of accounting, which is simpler than the accrual method. Under this method, income is taxable when received and expenses are deductible when paid.

S corporations do come with some downsides. For example, S corporations are subject to make of the same requirements corporations must follow, and that means higher legal and tax service costs. They also must file articles of incorporation, hold directors and shareholders meetings, keep corporate minutes, and allow shareholders to vote on major corporate decisions. The legal and accounting costs of setting up an S corporation are also similar to those for a standard corporation. And S corporations can only issue common stock, which can hamper capital-raising efforts.

Gaining--and Revoking--S Status
A corporation must make the subchapter S election no later than two months and 15 days after the first day of the taxable year to elect. Subchapter S election requires the consent of all shareholders.

The states treat S corporations differently. Some states disregard subchapter S status entirely, offering no tax break at all. Other states honor the federal election automatically. Finally, some states require the filing of a state-specific form to complete subchapter S election. Consult an attorney in your state to determine the rules that apply to your business.

An S corporation may revoke its subchapter S status by either failing to meet the conditions of eligibility for S corporations, or by filing with the IRS no later than two months and 15 days after the first day of the taxable year. Once the revocation becomes effective, the business will be taxed as a corporation.

S Corporations vs. LLCs
S corporations and LLCs possess similarities: They offer their owners limited liability protection and are both pass-through tax entities. Pass-through taxation allows the income or loss generated by the business to be reflected on the personal income tax return of the owners. This special tax status eliminates any possibility of double taxation for S corporations and LLCs.

That's where the similarities end. The ownership of an S corporation is restricted to no more than 75 shareholders, whereas an LLC can have an unlimited number of members (owners). And while an S corporation can't have non-U.S. citizens as shareholders, an LLC can. In addition, S corporations cannot be owned by C corporations, other S corporations, many trusts, LLCs or partnerships. LLCs are not subject to these restrictions.

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LLCs are also more flexible in distributing profits than S corporations, wherein the corporation can only have one class of stock and your percentage of ownership determines the percentage of pass-through income. On the other hand, an LLC can have many different classes of interest, and the percentage of pass-through income is not tied to ownership percentage. The pass-through percentage can be set by agreement of the members in the LLC's operating agreement.

S corporations aren't without their advantages, however. One person can form an S corporation, while in a few states at least two people are required to form an LLC. Existence is perpetual for S corporations. Conversely, LLCs typically have limited life spans.

The stock of S corporations is freely transferable, while the interest (ownership) of LLCs is not. This free transferability of interest means the shareholders of S corporations are able to sell their interest without obtaining the approval of the other shareholders. In contrast, member of LLCs would need the approval of the other members in order to sell their interest. Lastly, S corporations may be advantageous in terms of self-employment taxes in comparison to LLCs.

For further queries you can consult me.

Answered 6 years ago

Yes, you can have an S corporation with only one shareholder. Under U.S. tax rules, an S corporation is permitted to have anywhere from 1 to 100 shareholders. The shareholders must be natural persons, certain estates or trusts, and the shareholders must be U.S. citizens or tax residents for U.S. federal income tax purposes. If your legal entity is formed under the laws of Illinois, you are still permitted to operate the corporation even though your Illinois resident shareholder leaves the company. You're still required to file Illinois tax returns for the S corporation and remain compliant with all applicable laws. If you plan to operate the business exclusively from California, it might make sense to re-domicile the entity to California or another state, such as Delaware, or simply close the entity and form a new legal entity with you as the single shareholder.

Answered 5 years ago

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