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Question: Are partners considered employees of a partnership or are they considered self-employed?
Partners in a partnership (including members of a limited liability company (LLC)) are considered to be self-employed, not employees, when performing services for the partnership.
- If you are a general partner of a partnership (or treated as a general partner in an LLC) that carries on a trade or business, your net earnings from self-employment include your distributive share of the income or loss from that trade or business. General partners must also include guaranteed payments for services rendered to or on behalf of the partnership as net earnings from self-employment.
- If you are a limited partner of a partnership (or treated as a limited partner in an LLC) that carries on a trade or business, only guaranteed payments you receive for services you rendered to or on behalf of the partnership are net earnings from self-employment. Limited partners do not pay self-employment tax on their distributive share of partnership income except as to the guaranteed payments.
- Instructions for Form 1065 (.pdf), U.S. Return of Partnership Income
- Publication 541, Partnerships
- Publication 3402 (.pdf) Taxation of Limited Liability Companies
- Publication 334, Tax Guide for Small Business
- Schedule SE (Form 1040) (.pdf), Self-Employment Tax
Category: Small Business, Self-Employed, Other Business
Subcategory: Entities: Sole Proprietor, Partnership, Limited Liability Company/Partnership (LLC/LLP), Corporation, Subchapter S Corporation