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Multi-Member LLCs in Florida: The Importance of an Operating Agreement


A limited liability company (LLC) is a business structure that blends some of the advantages of both partnerships and traditional corporations. A multi-member LLC is simply a business with two or more owners. In Florida, an LLC can technically have an unlimited number of owners. While not mandatory under the law, it is crucial that all multi-member LLCs have an operating agreement. Without one, you could end up in a serious dispute. In this article, our Miami business litigation lawyer highlights the importance of a well-crafted operating agreement for multi-member LLCs.

What is an Operating Agreement? 

An operating agreement is a foundational document for an LLC in Florida. It sets the terms for much of the rights and responsibilities that members owe to each other. Indeed, operating agreements outline the governance of the business. As noted previously, while an operating agreement is not required by law in Florida, it is highly recommended. The document is effectively a contract between the members.

A Properly Drafted Operating Agreement Can Help Reduce the Risk of Disputes 

A well-crafted operating agreement is essential in preempting potential disputes among members by providing clear guidelines and protocols for handling common business scenarios. Indeed, these  agreements typically cover processes for decision-making, conflict resolution, and the allocation of profits and losses. The right operating agreement limits ambiguities and reduces the risk of a dispute. If conflict does arise, an operating agreement can help to protect your rights and interests.

 Common Elements of an Operating Agreement for an LLC 

What goes into an operating agreement for a multi-member LLC. While it will depend somewhat on the nature of the business, these contracts typically include following common elements:

  • Ownership: The agreement should specify each member’s stake in the company.
  • Voting Rights: An operating agreement should also clarify how decisions are made, including which decisions require a majority or unanimous vote.
  • Distribution of Profits/Losses: A multi-member operating agreement should also delineate how the company’s profits and losses are shared among members.
  • Management Structure: The agreement should also define whether the LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed.

Take a Proactive Approach to Resolve Internal Multi-Member LLC Disputes 

An operating agreement can reduce the risk of a dispute. With that being said, disputes can arise for a number of differences. To effectively manage and resolve disputes within a multi-member LLC, adopting a proactive approach is must. Along with other things, this involves setting up clear, agreed-upon procedures in the contact for handling disagreements. Members should commit to resolving disputes through dialogue and negotiation before resorting to legal action. A top-tier Miami business lawyer who has experience with multi-member LLC disputes can help.

 Consult With Our Miami Business Law Attorney Today

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Miami business litigation attorneys are solutions-driven advocates for clients. If you have any questions about operating agreements and multi-member LLCs, please do not hesitate to contact us today. Our firm provides business law representation throughout all of South Florida, including in Miami, West Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale.

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