A Low-profit Limited Liability Company (L3C) is a new type of business entity, recognized by law in only 7 states. A L3C is a hybrid of existing nonprofit and for-profit corporations, designed to attract both private and philanthropic capital in a unique manner by allowing ‘investments’ rather than only ‘donations’. Profits earned from such investments may be distributed to owners or investors. However, unlike a standard limited liability company (LLC), the L3C must have an explicit primary charitable mission and only a secondary profit concern. Conceptually, L3Cs are formed to create a vehicle to bring together government, for-profit, nonprofit (mainly private foundations), individuals, and corporations to facilitate and expand investments in charitable enterprises and to eliminate the need for costly and time-consuming letter rulings from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which recognize contributions or investments as ‘Program Related Investments’ (PRI).

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