The SEP for IRA LLC Solution: Retirement Savings For Small Businesses & The Self-Employed

There are my kinds of retirement plans available today. An individual retirement account (IRA) is one of the most well known. A self-directed IRA (SDIRA) may not be as well known, though it can afford you greater investment opportunities and return potential.

As with an IRA, there are different types of SDIRAs. Traditional and Roth SDIRAs are the most common. However, simplified employee pension (SEP) plans have been around for many years. SEP accounts are available to any business owner, with one or more employees, or anyone who earns a freelance income.

What is a SEP self-directed IRA (SDIRA)?

A SEP approach to retirement funds offers employers with an easy means of contributing toward both their employees’ and their own retirement accounts. SEP SDIRAs are considered traditional accounts because they are established with pre-tax wages. As such, SEP SDIRAs are subjected to the same regulations that govern a traditional SDIRA account, as established by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). These regulations, established through the IRS’ Internal Revenue Codes, govern investment, distribution, and rollovers.


As with any other type of SDIRA, the SEP account owner can establish a business entity to act on its behalf. A limited liability company (LLC) is one such entity. Your SEP SDIRA LLC is an IRS-approved structure that gives you, the owner, the opportunity to open an LLC-related, SEP SDIRA-funded bank account. Other benefits include:

  • Checkbook Control & Direct Access: By opening a bank account for your SEP SDIRA LLC, you are given checkbook control. This means you no longer need to get approval from your SDIRA’s custodian in order to make an investment. This gives you direct and immediate access to your investment funds. Because of this, you will be able to make investments easier and more efficiently.
  • Greater Investment Opportunities: Your SEP SDIRA LLC makes investing in opportunities faster and easier. Investment opportunities include real estate, precious metals, private businesses, foreign currency, and much more. Because your LLC is linked to your SDIRA, all incomes and earnings generated by these investments can flow directly back into your SEP SDIRA, tax-free. This is because your LLC is actually considered to be a pass-through entity by the IRS.
  • Reduced Custodian Fees: Because you have checkbook control over your investments, you are able to reduce custodian-incurred fees associated with the account value and transactions.
  • Limited Liability: As implied by the LLC, your SEP SDIRA funds are better shielded from attacked. This is important in the case of a bankruptcy, debt or creditor issues, or lawsuits.


Last Updated: 
April 21, 2018

Scott Royal Smith is an asset protection attorney and long-time real estate investor. He's on a mission to help fellow investors free their time, protect their assets, and create lasting wealth.

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