Starting an LLC isn’t a requirement for having a podcast, but you may want to have one to ensure you aren’t legally liable.
As a new podcaster, you may have considered whether you are a legally operating business or not. You don’t need to have an LLC to start a podcast, nor do you need one to continue releasing podcast episodes. Once you start making money, however, and especially if you have other people involved, you will want to look into making sure your podcast is legally protected under the law and not have your assets stripped if your business is sued or defaults on debt. Much like a sole proprietorship, business income from the podcast would still pass through to the owner’s individual tax return when starting an LLC, but sole proprietorships do not offer limited liability protection under the law, meaning that what happens to the business’s finances will fall on you as an individual. This is why if you start to make money as a podcaster, starting an LLC might be worth it for your business.
Do I need an LLC for my podcast?
To have a podcast, you do not need to file to become a Limited Liability Company. There are several different types of legal entities you can choose to register as, including a sole proprietorship or partnership or even S corporation, depending on how you want your taxes and earnings to be managed. If you don’t expect to make money from your podcast, you don’t have to worry about creating a business entity for the project. If you make a small sum of money and are the sole operator, you can even file your earnings as an independent contractor would, or self-employed.
Is podcasting considered a business?
When deciding whether your podcast is a business, there’s only one question to ask: is it making money or does it have the potential to make money? If you say yes to either of those things, you either have a business or will have a business. Businesses make money, and if your podcast makes money, it is a business. But having a business does not mean you have to start an LLC. You just have to pick a business entity that suits your business and describes your business dealings.
How to Start an LLC
In order to start an LLC, you will first need to check to see if the name of your company is available as a business name. You can check your state’s official website to find a search engine to determine this. Then, you will want to either consult with a lawyer or file your own LLC paperwork using one of the many legal professional services available, such as: ZenBusiness or Legal Zoom. You will work with these programs or professionals to develop necessary documents which vary state by state. Each state is also different in the fees that it requires to operate every year. Some states may require an operating agreement, while others may not, for instance.
Starting an LLC is not a requirement for having a podcast, and sometimes podcasts aren’t even considered businesses. Businesses are considered such when they actually bring in money for the creators. If you do want to start an LLC for your podcast, you can use services like LegalZoom or contact a local lawyer to get started. Regulations and requirements are different for LLCs in each state.