Limited liability

Page written by AI. Reviewed internally on February 2, 2024.


Limited liability is a legal concept that protects the personal assets of business owners, shareholders, or members from the debts and liabilities of the business entity.

What is limited liability?

Limited liability means that in the event of financial losses, creditors can only go after the business’s assets and not the personal assets of the owners or shareholders. Limited liability provides a significant level of protection for individuals involved in a business, and it is a fundamental principle in various forms of business entities.

Limited liability allows entrepreneurs and investors to take on business risks without risking their personal financial well-being. This encourages entrepreneurship and investment in the economy.

A business with limited liability is considered a separate legal entity from its owners. This distinction is important for legal purposes, allowing the business to enter contracts, own property, and be involved in legal actions.

While limited liability generally protects personal assets, there are exceptions. Personal guarantees or co-signing on loans, commingling personal and business finances, fraudulent or illegal activities, and failure to meet legal requirements can potentially expose owners to personal liability.

Limited liability is a key factor that attracts investors to businesses. It provides a level of protection that encourages individuals and institutions to invest capital in the company.

Example of limited liability

XYZ Consulting Group is a management consulting firm that provides strategic advice to businesses. The founders decide to structure the company as a limited liability company (LLC). The company has three owners, referred to as members. Each member invests a certain amount of capital into the business to fund operations and growth.

XYZ Consulting Group enters into a significant contract with a client to provide consulting services over the next year. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, the business is unable to fulfil its contractual obligations and faces a potential lawsuit from the client. Because XYZ Consulting Group is structured as an LLC, the personal assets of the members are protected.

In this example, the limited liability structure of XYZ Consulting Group safeguards the personal assets of its members, allowing them to engage in business activities with a reduced level of personal financial risk.

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