Owning a Yacht or Pleasure Boat in a Florida LLC – Are you truly protected from liability?

Florida’s endless waterways and proximity to the Bahamas and Caribbean make it a boater’s dream. Whether it an evening cocktail cruise, a fishing trip, or an extended cruise in the Bahamas or down island, many people love to enjoy the water with friends, family and other guests. But what happens when something goes wrong and a person is injured in an accident involving your boat or yacht.   Many people believe that they are protected from personal liability in the event of an accident, if their boat or yacht is owned through a Limited Liability Company (LLC). While an LLC does offer protection from personal liability, an LLC needs to be formed and operated correctly in order to avoid personal liability. If an LLC has only one member and is not separate from the LLC member owner’s personal affairs and finances, Courts in many instances will treat an LLC as a “disregarded entity” and hold the owner personally liable for claims against the LLC. The LLC needs to operate as a company would operate. Bank accounts should be opened in the LLC’s name and all financial transactions involving a boat or yacht owned by the LLC should flow through the LLC’s bank accounts, not through any LLC member’s personal accounts. Insurance policies on the boat or yacht should be held in the LLC’s name, and any work performed on the boat or yacht should be paid by the LLC. Essentially, if you own a boat or yacht in an LLC, treat the LLC like a business in order to retain the liability protection an LLC affords.


If you are interested in properly forming and operating an LLC to protect you from personal liability involving your boat or yacht, contact The Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC to help you with your needs. Call us today @ (561) 699-0399 or set-up an appointment to come visit us at our Lantana, Florida office location.