When forming a limited liability company (LLC) you need to determine if you wish to be Member-Managed or Manager-Managed. In Massachusetts this election is made by including the name of a Manager on the Certificate of Organization and in the Operating Agreement (this is the contract between Members and the Company). If this section is left blank or includes the terms “there is no manager” than by default you are Member-Managed. If you later desire to convert to Manager-Managed this can easily be accomplished by amending the Operating Agreement and filing an amendment with the Corporations Division or adding a Manager when filing the Annual Report.
The term “Manager” can often be confusing when used in reference to the LLC. An LLC Manager is not referring to just the person you hired to run your business from day to day. This is a different type of legal management structure for an LLC. The LLC is owned by its Members. Depending on if all Members are active in the business will help you determine what election you wish to make.
So, should I be manager-managed or member-managed?
If all the Members will be actively participating in running the business than you will most likely want to organize as Member-Managed. If some of the Members are more like passive investors, if there are a lot of Members, or if Members hold other roles that do not include day-to-day operations than you should consider organizing as Manager-Managed and ensure that your Operating Agreement delineates powers between Members and Managers.
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