The Biggest LLC's in the USA - 2012 Edition

LLC's are a fairly new form of business organization in the United States, having first appeared in the late 1970’s. But this hasn’t deterred some truly gigantic organizations from adopting this form of business structure.
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Sept. 21, 2012 - PRLog -- When people think of LLC's, it is hairdressers, plumbers, dog walking companies and the like that generally come to mind. The impression isn’t necessarily wrong, because many very small businesses have adopted this simple, inexpensive form of organization, with its obvious advantages of limited liability and pass-through taxation. But it’s not all about little guys.

The largest is Koch Industries Revenues are north of $100 Billion, with 80,000 employees. It is involved in so many different industries that it’s difficult to even characterize this huge multinational.

There seems to be no sector that of the US economy that doesn’t include gigantic LLCs. There is Cargill in agribusiness with a staggering 160,000 employees. The confectioner Mars, the famous candy bar maker, takes in over $25 Billion each year and construction giant Bechtel takes in similar annual revenue.

In health care, Kaiser Permanente and Hospital Corporation of America are both LLCs with over 150,000 employees.

In finance GMAC is an LLC with over $30 Billion in yearly revenue. One of the Big Four accounting firms, Price Waterhouse, takes in revenues in the neighborhood of $30,000,000 each year

Another surprising member of this fraternity is Chrysler. Yes, THAT Chrysler, one of the Big Three US automakers. In a typical year the global auto giant, organized as an LLC, takes in revenues in the range of $50 Billion.

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There really are no restrictions on how large an LLC can grow. One LLC can engage in any number of businesses, and include any number of members, as the LLC’s stakeholders are called. It can encompass any level of business complexity, it can prioritize any pattern of ownership….. or it can be a single member providing a the simplest service or product.

It’s actually getting to the point that in some parts of the US, more LLCs are being formed than are corporations. Like a synthesis of a partnership and a corporation, the LLC sports the advantages of both and the drawbacks of neither. One big disadvantage, one that is seldom thought of, stems from the very newness itself of the form. Corporations, and the legal precedents governing them, have been around for half a millennium now. For LLCs, much of the book is yet to be written, so unexpected surprises can still occasionally show up in court due that very lack of precedent.

The great disadvantage to an LLC is that it cannot raise cash by selling stock in itself. In some ways similar to LLCs, C Corporations and S Corporations have some of the traditional disadvantages of regular corporations, including the requirement for holding elections for officers, and the possibility of double taxation.

Some of the largest LLCs, measured by numbers of owners per LLC on average, are in finance and insurance, with about 150,000 LLCS averaging about 8 partners each. Outside of this sector, LLCs typically average about half as many partners each.

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