It is becoming more and more common for boat owners to form a Delaware LLC in order to protect themselves as well as their boat. Oftentimes, people who own a yacht or boat charter it out for a fee. Their boat may be in one city while they are in another, and their boat is often being operated by a person they have never met. The liability concerns here are easy to see. A Delaware LLC can protect the boat owner from personal liability that may stem from any damage that can possibly occur, whether the fault of their boat or the operators of their boat at the time.
Sheltering a boat under a Delaware LLC also allows the owner to maintain his/her privacy. In Delaware, information about the members of an LLC is not required to be filed with the state, and is not on the public record. The members of the LLC are shielded from any debts and obligations of the LLC as well. There can also be tax benefits associated with a Delaware LLC that holds an asset such as a boat. If this interests you, we encourage you to speak with a tax professional for the specifics on LLC tax benefits.
After the LLC is formed, The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control can be a good source of information on how to register your boat in Delaware. The DDNREC requires a bill of sale, a certificate of origination from the manufacturer, the boat type and length and the year the boat was constructed. You can contact the DDNREC office directly for the specifics.
To maintain a Delaware registration, there is a minimum amount of days the boat must be kept in the state of Delaware. DDNREC officers have ways of verifying this information, so it is important to stay in compliance. Those who are not in compliance may receive fines or have their Delaware registration rescinded.
If you would like to protect your boat in an LLC, Harvard Business Services, Inc. can help, and we will not need any of your boat’s information. In fact, some of our clients even form a Delaware LLC before purchasing a boat. The only questions we will need to ask are:
Please feel free to contact us with any questions about protecting your boat in an LLC. You can call Harvard Business Services, Inc. at 800-345-2677 for assistance.