Creating a Strategy for Your SDIRA LLC

By David J Drummond


For many individuals, an IRA is one of the biggest sources of available capital. However, using a traditional IRA custodian limits your investment options and prevents you from making non-standard investments.

Fortunately, there is an alternative: the SDIRA Limited Liability Company, or LLC. This asset protection structure allows you to capitalize a newly-created LLC with funds from your IRA and offers you the ability to take control of your assets and direct how they are invested.

This is a very hands-on approach to financial investing, so a comprehensive strategy is required for you to be able to enjoy fiscal success and fulfill legal obligations.

Determine Whether an LLC Makes Sense for You

Before you take further steps to establish an SDIRA LLC, you should determine whether or not the LLC is a good fit for you and your financial needs.

If you are financially comfortable and want to take bigger risks in hopes of earning bigger rewards, choosing less-traditional investments in developing regions can be ideal.

If you are hoping to eliminate vulnerability through your SDIRA LLC, then diversification is important. You may choose to invest in stocks, bonds and a variety of foreign currencies, or invest in the growth of a new international business. You could also purchase foreign real estate to rent out or to benefit later due to its rising value. 

Choose a Trusted Custodian

If you decide to establish an SDIRA LLC, you should first identify a cooperative custodian who will allow you to fund your own SDIRA LLC structure.

As the LLC's manager, you'll be responsible for calling all the shots and making the decisions necessary to direct assets.

However, there must also be a custodian listed. In order to retain autonomy over your assets and make sure you are in control of the funds within the LLC, you'll want to choose a cooperative custodian who understands your desires and your financial plans.

Don't be afraid to ask many questions and get to know a custodian before making a commitment. After all, it’s not just your assets that are at stake. The LLC will continue on after you're gone, so your dependents, friends and family will need to rely on a custodian acting according to your wishes, no matter what.

Transfer Assets to New Custodian

After choosing a cooperative custodian, it’s time to transfer your existing IRA's assets to a cooperative custodian who will then fund them into the newly created LLC structure.

This can be done through a transfer form to move the assets from your current custodian to your new custodian who will then wire the funds to your new LLC’s bank account.

Typically your assets will be liquidated before they are moved from your current custodian to your new custodian and then cash assets are moved to the new bank account owned by your LLC.

This part of the process takes time to accomplish, so prepare to be patient as this is completed.

Establish the SDIRA LLC

You will need to determine where to establish the new company. You have the world as your oyster, but Belize and Nevis are particularly popular choices thanks to favorable LLC laws and the protection that these countries offer your LLC.

Next, you'll need to create a formal LLC structure and a bank account for the new company. It is important to note that the LLC cannot be established until the SDIRA account is in place because the account number is required for finalization of the LLC.

While the SDIRA is being established, you can continue to work on the application process.

Eliminate Illegal or Nonviable Investment Options

The assets in your SDIRA LLC may be under your control, but there are certain guidelines you must follow. For instance, you can't legally pay yourself a salary, even if your investments do well. 

The LLC shouldn't benefit you personally, so you can’t live in a vacation home owned by the LLC or borrow money from it. Other unapproved items you shouldn't invest in include cars, jewelry and art.

A comprehensive strategy should lead from the creation of an SDIRA LLC to the selection of a cooperative custodian all the way to making a solid plan for the types of investments you want to make.  

Take Advantage of Financial Expertise

Having professional assistance to guide you through the process to make sure you set things up legally is incredibly important. That’s where the financial experts at Georgetown Trust come into play. They are there to answer your questions and help you make wise financial decisions.

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Topics: Self-directed IRA