Should your Oklahoma series LLC have one bank account or multiple bank accounts?

One goal in using an Oklahoma series limited liability company is to separate the liabilities of different assets within one limited liability company.  For example, the series LLC creates cells within it, and we call the cells “series.”

The magic of the series model
Each series has a name and is intended to be legally separate for all other series.  Series “A” for example, may own a rental home and Series “B” may also own a rental home.  The magic of the series model is if a water heater explodes on the Series “A” property, causing property damage and physical injury, only Series “A” is responsible for the damage, not any other Series.  Liabilities from one series don’t leak into any other series (pun intended).

The need to maintain series separately
One key to securing series LLC protection is to maintain and operate each Series separately.  That means you need to account for each series separately.  As to bank accounts, ideally, each series would have its own bank account, into which all revenue would be deposited and out of which account all expenses would be paid. However, for people with many properties (meaning many series), it is cumbersome and difficult to maintain a separate bank account for each series.  I have clients who own as many as 30 rental properties, and such clients have no interest in using 30 bank accounts.

One Taxpayer Identification Number or Multiple? 
Additionally, you will probably use a single IRS taxpayer identification number (also referred to as an “employer identification number”) for the master LLC and each series within the LLC.  While Oklahoma law provides separate legal protection for each series, Oklahoma law does not consider each series a separate legal entity.  With this in mind, the master LLC obtains the taxpayer identification number from the IRS.  If you are establishing bank accounts for each series, you will normally use the master LLC’s taxpayer identification number for each series bank account.

Using one bank account
When not using separate bank accounts, you must still maintain the ability to track all revenue and expenses for each series separately.  That means the accounting software (e.g., like Quickbooks) can sort and then generate reports for each series’ revenue and expenses.  While not ideal (separate bank accounts would be ideal), depositing funds into one bank account with the ability to track and report funds for each series separately is an alternative.

Posted by Shawn Roberts

On this blog, I write about and try to answer practical Oklahoma legal questions. My focus and most experience is in estate planning and business issues including Oklahoma non-compete law. I make a living as an attorney in the law firm I founded, Shawn J. Roberts, P.C. in Oklahoma City. I live in Edmond with my wife Amy and my two children, Sam (19) and David (11). We live precisely in the path of where the "wind comes sweeping down the plains."