This article discusses the self-directed Checkbook Colorado LLC.
By now I am sure you’ve heard that it is legal, permissible, and profitable to invest in real estate using your self-directed IRA, SEP, or Roth IRA. If you’ve been using this technique, you know the drawbacks – delays in funding, fees from your custodian, potential lawsuits against your IRA.
Well, there’s a solution… the Checkbook IRA Colorado LLC.
Instead of investing directly from your IRA, we set up a single-member LLC that is owned by your IRA. Your IRA account is the MEMBER of the LLC and you are the MANAGER of the LLC. The LLC is a legal entity that has powers and protections that are not possessed by any individual or by any regular IRA.
The combination of the self-directed IRA custodian and the LLC produces great results. This is an entirely new type of LLC, not your run-of-the-mill LLC you may have done before. It generally requires an attorney to draft the operating agreement and provide an opinion letter to your IRA custodian. If the LLC operating agreement is improperly drafted, the entire Checkbook IRA Colorado LLC may be disqualified and taxed.
Lawsuit Protection of Your IRA Account
A single member LLC (Limited Liability Company) is a business entity that gives the liability protection of a corporation but is “disregarded” (ignored) for federal income tax purposes. It is a separate legal entity under state law, so creditors of your LLC (as in the case of a tenant injured on the property) cannot go after the member (your IRA account) or you (the Manager). To further protect your properties, you can either form subsidiary LLCs for each asset or consider forming a Delaware Series LLC.
As manager of your checkbook IRA Colorado LLC, you can write checks as you need to for purchasing property, paying property expenses, or loaning money. If you want to do a deal in a hurry, you can run down to your bank and get a wire or certified funds the SAME DAY, as in the case of a foreclosure auction.
Keep in mind that any transaction you can’t do in your IRA account you are also prohibited from doing in your IRA-LLC. You should not attempt any transact inside your checkbook IRA Colorado LLC setup without competent tax and legal advice.
Steps to Self Directed Checkbook IRA Colorado LLC
First, you need to transfer your existing IRA to a custodian that allows complete self-direction of your account. Big firms like Fidelity and Schwab generally don’t allow you to direct your account into real estate investments. We recommend New Direction IRA in Colorado.
Second, you need to hire a qualified attorney for the Checkbook IRA Colorado LLC. A generic LLC setup by LegalzoomTM and their ilk will not suffice.
Third, you “fund” the LLC by directing the money from your IRA custodian to the LLC’s bank account.
Fourth, you start investing in your LLC owned by your IRA (making sure you get qualified advice as to the legality of each transaction).
Custodial fees are much lower because the IRA only has one asset, the LLC.