Is an LLC for Short Film Really Something I Should Consider

Is an LLC for Short Film Really Something I Should Consider?

If you’re a filmmaker that is considering the production of a short film, you might be wondering if an LLC for short film projects like this is really necessary. If you’re an independent filmmaker, forming an LLC might be something that is totally new to you and uncharted territory comes with a lot of questions and concerns. Why do film companies consider forming an LLC for short film projects and for longer films? What’s the process like? And is it necessary?


If you think of the life cycle of a film, from start to finish, in terms of the actual steps involved.

Which include things like coming up with the initial idea, raising money to actually produce the film, distributing the film, paying for cast and crew, dispersing interest to those who financed your project.

You’re definitely thinking of your film as a business. So, why would you treat it as a business?

Why Consider an LLC for Short Film Projects?

You’re thinking about your short film as a business, so you might as well protect it as such! Consider forming an LLC for your short film projects to protect yourself, your investors, and those involved in your production the way you would a real business.

Think of it this way. If you don’t form an LLC, and your film crashes and burns, your investors are probably going to sue for their money. Who are they going to file a lawsuit against? YOU!

This means, they’ll be able to put lines on your assets and treat your property as part of the film. Unless you form an LLC.

A Form of Protection

Forming an LLC for a short film protects yourself, and your investors, should the film crash and burn.

If things go wrong, the only lawsuit that can come forth will be against the business of the film, and not against you as a sole-proprietor or independent filmmaker. 

Chain of Title

It’s also important to form an LLC for short film projects. So that you can keep a chain of title that clearly shows that the LLC operating the business is involved in the production of the short film. And is clearly the owner of the copyrights for the film.

Showing that your LLC controls the copyrights for the film will keep a clean chain of title for your project. Which is exactly what distributors are going to be looking for if they consider purchasing your film rights. This way they can show it in theaters or on television. 

Keep Accounting Separate

Are you a full-scale production company? As a business owner, you know the importance of keeping separate accounting for your business.

Thus, by creating an LLC for short film projects that you produce, you’ll have the proper accounting delegated to the project without interfering with your own business.

This means you can apply things like state tax credits, investments, and individual cash infusions to your film project without any loss of clarity as to what the funds, credits, or expenses are for.

They all apply to the LLC for the film, and cannot be confused with your own business or other entities. 

The Takeaway

So, is an LLC for short film projects really important? Naturally you might not form an LLC for a film project that is say, 30-second or a minute long.

But if you’re producing a short movie or a short-film that will be presented to a film festival, and you’ll be seeking investors and other benefits, you should certainly consider the value of forming an LLC to protect yourself, your other business, and those involved in the production.

It’s just good sense!

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