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Sometimes business owners will need to remove members from their Limited Liability Companies (LLC). This unfortunate situation can be fraught with emotions. There are numerous considerations: money and finances, how to replace the departing member’s contributions, and trying to not burn bridges. Vitally, you have to account for a variety of legal concerns.

No matter the reason, once you have decided that a member must be removed, it’s crucial to understand the steps to take. There are possible difficulties at every stage of the removal process.

In an LLC, a member is an individual with an ownership interest in the organization. They can be either a manager who is involved in day-to-day affairs or a non-managing member.

Removing a member can range from a simple form letter to a lengthy legal dispute. The first step will always be to consult your LLC’s Articles of Organization. This document will serve as a guide for how to proceed with the removal process.

Reasons To Remove a Member From an LLC

There are various reasons you may need to remove a member from an LLC. First, the member could have passed away or suffered an incapacitating health condition. There are also cases where a member voluntarily chooses to retire from the organization. Members may also want to take a step back or shift their investment to different opportunities. Becoming involved with another business or company could present a conflict of interest with their continued involvement in the LLC.

More complicated issues arise when a member is removed due to disputes within the LLC. Everything from strategic disagreements to personality clashes can end up causing a falling out. Once proceeding with the existing business structure becomes impossible, the members will need to sort out complicated issues. Compensation, return of investment principal, and continued intellectual property use may cause friction among the LLC members.

Review the Articles of Organization

Whenever a member needs to be removed, the first step is to consult the LLC's Articles of Organization. This is an official document that was filed when the LLC was created. The Articles of Organization contains legal information regarding the LLC and rules for its governance. Their drafting and contents are a vital part of how to start a Limited Liability Company.

Legally, you need to determine whether your Articles of Organization have formal provisions to remove a member from an LLC. If the Articles do not have procedures laid out, you may be unable to remove a member by simply voting them out, depending on the laws in your state.

Limited Liability Companies are regulated by the state in which they register their Articles of Organization. Laws differ from state to state.

Most states use at least part of the Uniform Limited Liability Company Act (ULLCA) as a basis for their own LLC laws. Unfortunately, the default option in the ULLCA does not provide for voting members out. Instead, there must be an explicit provision in your Articles allowing members to vote for removal.

Formal Procedure

If your Articles of Organization contain a formal procedure for removing a member, you need to follow those steps. State law will require owners to abide by the Articles of Organization. If a formal process is in place, it will typically require an official vote to remove a member.

Written Notice of Withdrawal

Generally, if the Articles of Organization have protocols governing how to remove a member from an LLC, the simplest method is through a written notice of withdrawal.

This formality is easiest when a member is leaving voluntarily. Whether to retire or pursue other interests or opportunities, a notice of withdrawal allows for a smoother split. By opting to withdraw, the member is entitled to their share of the profits as outlined in the Articles of Organization.

Buyout Members Ownership

If a member resists voluntarily submitting a notice of withdrawal, the remaining members can offer to buy them out of their stake. Commonly, even members who know they are on their way out will hesitate to voluntarily withdraw. Hesitancy to leave can be a negotiating tactic intended to boost the amount of a buyout agreement. Your Articles of Organization may place guidelines on buyout structure and methods.

Forcing a Member Out

Once you have reached an impasse that cannot be solved through a buyout, the members have few remaining options. As mentioned above, forcing a member out is only possible if your Articles of Organization contain removal procedures.

An LLC with provisions for removing a reluctant member will still need to follow its Articles of Organization regarding voting and compensation. For example, most members are entitled to their initial investment plus a part of profits. Removing a member through a vote only comes after an impasse, so avoiding a lawsuit may be difficult. The Articles should contain a section outlining each member’s voting power. Following protocols included in the LLC’s governing document can shield the remaining members from liability.

Judicial Dissolution

Disputes that cannot be solved through buyout negotiations or with a membership vote leave few options. For an LLC that does not have provisions to force a member out, petitioning for a judicial dissolution may be the best course of action.

A court will review a dissolution request to determine whether it is no longer practical to continue operations due to the membership impasse. This nuclear option results in the end of the LLC itself, with orders regarding which members receive what assets. Seeking the recourse of a judicial dissolution should be reserved for only the most significant membership conflicts.

Considerations When Writing Articles of Organization for an LLC

Because your Articles of Organization will determine the options membership has available for removing a wayward member, it is essential to consider removal when drafting your Articles. Proactively addressing potential contingencies from the creation of the LLC can prevent significant issues down the road.

When you are ready to form an LLC, consult Lawdistrict.com for all your legal needs. You can draft Articles of Organization that are perfectly tailored to your needs quickly and easily with Lawdistrict’s simple contract maker. Follow the step-by-step instructions to develop comprehensive governing documents that will help you avoid future disputes and disasters.

Get an LLC Operating Agreement

Helpful Resources:

Law Cornell - Articles of Organization

Uniform Laws

Law Cornell - Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Sometimes business owners will need to remove members from their Limited Liability Companies (LLC). This unfortunate situation can be fraught with emotions. There are numerous considerations: money and finances, how to replace the departing member’s contributions, and trying to not burn bridges. Vitally, you have to account for a variety of legal concerns.

No matter the reason, once you have decided that a member must be removed, it’s crucial to understand the steps to take. There are possible difficulties at every stage of the removal process.

In an LLC, a member is an individual with an ownership interest in the organization. They can be either a manager who is involved in day-to-day affairs or a non-managing member.

Removing a member can range from a simple form letter to a lengthy legal dispute. The first step will always be to consult your LLC’s Articles of Organization. This document will serve as a guide for how to proceed with the removal process.

Reasons To Remove a Member From an LLC

There are various reasons you may need to remove a member from an LLC. First, the member could have passed away or suffered an incapacitating health condition. There are also cases where a member voluntarily chooses to retire from the organization. Members may also want to take a step back or shift their investment to different opportunities. Becoming involved with another business or company could present a conflict of interest with their continued involvement in the LLC.

More complicated issues arise when a member is removed due to disputes within the LLC. Everything from strategic disagreements to personality clashes can end up causing a falling out. Once proceeding with the existing business structure becomes impossible, the members will need to sort out complicated issues. Compensation, return of investment principal, and continued intellectual property use may cause friction among the LLC members.

Review the Articles of Organization

Whenever a member needs to be removed, the first step is to consult the LLC's Articles of Organization. This is an official document that was filed when the LLC was created. The Articles of Organization contains legal information regarding the LLC and rules for its governance. Their drafting and contents are a vital part of how to start a Limited Liability Company.

Legally, you need to determine whether your Articles of Organization have formal provisions to remove a member from an LLC. If the Articles do not have procedures laid out, you may be unable to remove a member by simply voting them out, depending on the laws in your state.

Limited Liability Companies are regulated by the state in which they register their Articles of Organization. Laws differ from state to state.

Most states use at least part of the Uniform Limited Liability Company Act (ULLCA) as a basis for their own LLC laws. Unfortunately, the default option in the ULLCA does not provide for voting members out. Instead, there must be an explicit provision in your Articles allowing members to vote for removal.

Formal Procedure

If your Articles of Organization contain a formal procedure for removing a member, you need to follow those steps. State law will require owners to abide by the Articles of Organization. If a formal process is in place, it will typically require an official vote to remove a member.

Written Notice of Withdrawal

Generally, if the Articles of Organization have protocols governing how to remove a member from an LLC, the simplest method is through a written notice of withdrawal.

This formality is easiest when a member is leaving voluntarily. Whether to retire or pursue other interests or opportunities, a notice of withdrawal allows for a smoother split. By opting to withdraw, the member is entitled to their share of the profits as outlined in the Articles of Organization.

Buyout Members Ownership

If a member resists voluntarily submitting a notice of withdrawal, the remaining members can offer to buy them out of their stake. Commonly, even members who know they are on their way out will hesitate to voluntarily withdraw. Hesitancy to leave can be a negotiating tactic intended to boost the amount of a buyout agreement. Your Articles of Organization may place guidelines on buyout structure and methods.

Forcing a Member Out

Once you have reached an impasse that cannot be solved through a buyout, the members have few remaining options. As mentioned above, forcing a member out is only possible if your Articles of Organization contain removal procedures.

An LLC with provisions for removing a reluctant member will still need to follow its Articles of Organization regarding voting and compensation. For example, most members are entitled to their initial investment plus a part of profits. Removing a member through a vote only comes after an impasse, so avoiding a lawsuit may be difficult. The Articles should contain a section outlining each member’s voting power. Following protocols included in the LLC’s governing document can shield the remaining members from liability.

Judicial Dissolution

Disputes that cannot be solved through buyout negotiations or with a membership vote leave few options. For an LLC that does not have provisions to force a member out, petitioning for a judicial dissolution may be the best course of action.

A court will review a dissolution request to determine whether it is no longer practical to continue operations due to the membership impasse. This nuclear option results in the end of the LLC itself, with orders regarding which members receive what assets. Seeking the recourse of a judicial dissolution should be reserved for only the most significant membership conflicts.

Considerations When Writing Articles of Organization for an LLC

Because your Articles of Organization will determine the options membership has available for removing a wayward member, it is essential to consider removal when drafting your Articles. Proactively addressing potential contingencies from the creation of the LLC can prevent significant issues down the road.

When you are ready to form an LLC, consult Lawdistrict.com for all your legal needs. You can draft Articles of Organization that are perfectly tailored to your needs quickly and easily with Lawdistrict’s simple contract maker. Follow the step-by-step instructions to develop comprehensive governing documents that will help you avoid future disputes and disasters.

Get an LLC Operating Agreement

Helpful Resources:

Law Cornell - Articles of Organization

Uniform Laws

Law Cornell - Limited Liability Company (LLC)