Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
3/24/2017

Virginia Professional Limited Liability Company Act

§ 13.1-1100. Reservation of power to amend or repeal.

The General Assembly shall have the power to amend or repeal all or part of this chapter at any time and all domestic and foreign professional limited liability companies subject to this chapter shall be governed by the amendment or repeal.

1992, c. 574 .

§ 13.1-1101. Legislative purpose.

It is the legislative intent to provide for the association of a group of individuals and professional corporations, professional limited liability companies, or other business entities formed to provide professional services as a limited liability company to render the same professional service to the public for which those individuals or other business entities are required by law to be licensed or to obtain other legal authorization from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

1992, c. 574 .

§ 13.1-1101.1. Practice of certain professions by limited liability companies.

Unless otherwise prohibited by law or regulation, the professional services defined in subsection A of § 13.1-1102 may be rendered in this Commonwealth by:

1. A limited liability company organized as a professional limited liability company pursuant to the provisions of this chapter;

2. A foreign limited liability company that has obtained a certificate of authority pursuant to the provisions of this chapter;

3. A limited liability company organized pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 12 (§ 13.1-1000 et seq.) of this title; or

4. A foreign limited liability company that has obtained a certificate of authority pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 12 (§ 13.1-1000 et seq.) of this title.

2003, c. 678.

§ 13.1-1102. Definitions.

A. As used in this chapter:

"Professional business entity" means any entity as defined in § 13.1-603 that is duly licensed or otherwise legally authorized under the laws of the Commonwealth or the laws of the jurisdiction under whose laws the entity is formed to render the same professional service as that for which a professional corporation or professional limited liability company may be organized, including, but not limited to, (i) a professional limited liability company as defined in this subsection, (ii) a professional corporation as defined in subsection A of § 13.1-543, or (iii) a partnership that is registered as a registered limited liability partnership under § 50-73.132, all of the partners of which are duly licensed or otherwise legally authorized to render the same professional services as those for which the partnership was organized.

"Professional limited liability company" means a limited liability company whose articles of organization set forth a sole and specific purpose permitted by this chapter and that is either (i) organized under this chapter for the sole and specific purpose of rendering professional service other than that of architects, professional engineers, land surveyors, or landscape architects, or using a title other than that of certified interior designers and, except as expressly otherwise permitted by this chapter, that has as its members only individuals or professional business entities that are duly licensed or otherwise legally authorized to render the same professional service as the professional limited liability company or (ii) organized under this chapter for the sole and specific purpose of rendering professional service of architects, professional engineers, land surveyors, or landscape architects or using the title of certified interior designers, or any combination thereof, and at least two-thirds of whose membership interests are held by persons duly licensed within the Commonwealth to perform the services of an architect, professional engineer, land surveyor, or landscape architect, or by persons legally authorized within the Commonwealth to use the title of certified interior designer; or (iii) organized under this chapter for the sole and specific purpose of rendering the professional services of one or more practitioners of the healing arts, licensed under the provisions of Chapter 29 (§ 54.1-2900 et seq.) of Title 54.1, or one or more nurse practitioners, licensed under Chapter 29 (§ 54.1-2900 et seq.) of Title 54.1, or one or more optometrists licensed under the provisions of Chapter 32 (§ 54.1-3200 et seq.) of Title 54.1, or one or more physical therapists and physical therapist assistants licensed under the provisions of Chapter 34.1 (§ 54.1-3473 et seq.) of Title 54.1, or one or more practitioners of the behavioral science professions, licensed under the provisions of Chapter 35 (§ 54.1-3500 et seq.), 36 (§ 54.1-3600 et seq.) or 37 (§ 54.1-3700 et seq.) of Title 54.1, or one or more practitioners of audiology or speech pathology, licensed under the provisions of Chapter 26 (§ 54.1-2600 et seq.) of Title 54.1, or one or more clinical nurse specialists who render mental health services licensed under Chapter 30 (§ 54.1-3000 et seq.) of Title 54.1 and registered with the Board of Nursing, or any combination of practitioners of the healing arts, of optometry, physical therapy, the behavioral science professions, and audiology or speech pathology and all of whose members are individuals or professional business entities duly licensed or otherwise legally authorized to perform the services of a practitioner of the healing arts, nurse practitioners, optometry, physical therapy, the behavioral science professions, audiology or speech pathology or of a clinical nurse specialist who renders mental health services; however, nothing herein shall be construed so as to allow any member of the healing arts, optometry, physical therapy, the behavioral science professions, audiology or speech pathology or a nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist to conduct that person's practice in a manner contrary to the standards of ethics of that person's branch of the healing arts, optometry, physical therapy, the behavioral science professions, or audiology or speech pathology, or nursing as the case may be.

"Professional services" means any type of personal service to the public that requires as a condition precedent to the rendering of that service or the use of that title the obtaining of a license, certification, or other legal authorization and shall be limited to the personal services rendered by pharmacists, optometrists, physical therapists and physical therapist assistants, practitioners of the healing arts, nurse practitioners, practitioners of the behavioral science professions, veterinarians, surgeons, dentists, architects, professional engineers, land surveyors, landscape architects, certified interior designers, public accountants, certified public accountants, attorneys at law, insurance consultants, audiologists or speech pathologists and clinical nurse specialists. For the purposes of this chapter, the following shall be deemed to be rendering the same professional services:

1. Architects, professional engineers, and land surveyors; and

2. Practitioners of the healing arts, licensed under the provisions of Chapter 29 (§ 54.1-2900 et seq.) of Title 54.1, nurse practitioners, licensed under Chapter 29 (§ 54.1-2900 et seq.) of Title 54.1, optometrists, licensed under the provisions of Chapter 32 (§ 54.1-3200 et seq.) of Title 54.1, physical therapists, licensed under the provisions of Chapter 34.1 (§ 54.1-3473 et seq.) of Title 54.1, practitioners of the behavioral science professions, licensed under the provisions of Chapters 35 (§ 54.1-3500 et seq.), 36 (§ 54.1-3600 et seq.), and 37 (§ 54.1-3700 et seq.) of Title 54.1, and clinical nurse specialists who render mental health services licensed under Chapter 30 (§ 54.1-3000 et seq.) of Title 54.1 and registered with the Board of Nursing.

B. (Effective until October 1, 2016) Persons who practice the healing art of performing professional clinical laboratory services within a hospital pathology laboratory shall be legally authorized to do so for purposes of this chapter if such persons (i) hold a doctorate degree in the biological sciences or a board certification in the clinical laboratory sciences and (ii) are tenured faculty members of an accredited medical college or university that is an "educational institution" within the meaning of § 23-14.

B. (Effective October 1, 2016) Persons who practice the healing art of performing professional clinical laboratory services within a hospital pathology laboratory shall be legally authorized to do so for purposes of this chapter if such persons (i) hold a doctorate degree in the biological sciences or a board certification in the clinical laboratory sciences and (ii) are tenured faculty members of an accredited medical college or university that is an "educational institution" within the meaning of § 23.1-1101.

C. Except as expressly otherwise provided, all terms defined in § 13.1-1002 shall have the same meanings for purposes of this chapter.

1992, c. 574; 1993, c. 113; 1994, c. 349; 1996, c. 265; 1999, c. 83; 2000, cc. 194, 688, 763; 2003, c. 678; 2008, c. 265; 2009, c. 309.

§ 13.1-1103. Who may become a member.

One or more individuals or professional business entities (i) duly licensed or otherwise legally authorized to render the same professional services other than those of architects, professional engineers or land surveyors, or to use a title other than those of certified landscape architects or certified interior designers, of which at least one is duly licensed or otherwise legally authorized to render such professional services within the Commonwealth or (ii) complying with the provisions of § 13.1-1111 and duly licensed to render within the Commonwealth the professional services of architects, professional engineers or land surveyors, or legally authorized to use within the Commonwealth the title of certified landscape architects or certified interior designers, or any combination thereof, may become members of a limited liability company for pecuniary profit under the provisions of Chapter 12 (§ 13.1-1000 et seq.) of this title, for the sole and specific purpose of rendering the same and specific professional service, subject to any laws, not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter, which are applicable to the practice of that profession in the limited liability company form.

1992, c. 574; 1994, c. 349; 1997, c. 133; 2000, c. 763.

§ 13.1-1104. Use of initials "P.L.C.," "PLC," "P.L.L.C." or "PLLC" in company name.

Any professional limited liability company as defined in § 13.1-1102 may, but is not required to, use the initials "P.L.C.," "PLC," "P.L.L.C." or "PLLC," or the phrase "professional limited company," "a professional limited company," "professional limited liability company," or "a professional limited liability company," at the end of its limited liability company name. Such initials or phrase may be used in the place of any words or abbreviation required by subsection A of § 13.1-1012.

1992, c. 574; 1996, c. 265; 2002, c. 608; 2003, c. 592.

§ 13.1-1105. Certificate of authority for foreign professional limited liability company.

A. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, a foreign professional limited liability company, organized under the laws of a jurisdiction other than the Commonwealth of Virginia to perform a professional service of the type defined in § 13.1-1102, may apply for and obtain a certificate of authority to render those professional services in Virginia on the following terms and conditions:

1. Only members, managers, employees, and agents licensed or otherwise legally qualified by this Commonwealth may perform the professional service in Virginia.

2. The professional limited liability company must meet every requirement of this chapter except for the requirement that all of its members and managers be licensed to perform the professional service in this Commonwealth.

3. The powers of any foreign professional limited liability company admitted under this section shall not exceed the powers permitted to domestic professional limited liability companies under this chapter.

B. In order to qualify, a foreign professional limited liability company shall make application to the Commission as provided in § 13.1-1052 and shall make the application for and secure any certificate of authority, registration or registration certificate may be required by §§ 13.1-1111, 13.1-1112 or § 13.1-1113 and, in addition, shall be required to set forth the name and address of each member, manager, employee, and agent of the limited liability company who will be providing the professional service in this Commonwealth and whether those members, managers, employees, and agents are licensed, or otherwise legally qualified, to perform the professional service in Virginia.

1992, c. 574; 1996, c. 265.

§ 13.1-1106. Merger with foreign professional limited liability company or foreign professional corporation.

Any limited liability company organized under this chapter may merge with one or more foreign professional limited liability companies that have obtained a certificate of registration to transact business in the Commonwealth pursuant to § 13.1-1105, or one or more foreign professional corporations that have obtained a certificate of authority to transact business in the Commonwealth pursuant to § 13.1-544.2, only if the professional limited liability companies and the professional corporations are organized to render the same professional services, provided that (i) the merger is permitted by the laws of the jurisdiction under which each such foreign professional limited liability company or foreign professional corporation is organized, (ii) if the surviving or new professional business entity is a professional limited liability company organized and operating under the laws of the Commonwealth, all of its members and managers shall be licensed or otherwise legally authorized to render the same professional service as the limited liability company, provided that if such service is that of architects, professional engineers, land surveyors or certified landscape architects, or any combination thereof, at least two-thirds of its membership interests shall be held by individuals or professional business entities that are licensed or otherwise legally authorized within the Commonwealth to render the applicable service, and (iii) if the surviving or new professional business entity is a professional corporation organized and operating under the laws of the Commonwealth, all of its shareholders shall be licensed or otherwise legally authorized to render the same professional service as the professional corporation, provided that if such service is that of architects, professional engineers, land surveyors or certified landscape architects, or any combination thereof, at least two-thirds of its shares shall be held by individuals who are licensed or otherwise legally authorized within the Commonwealth to render the applicable service.

1992, c. 574; 1994, c. 349; 2008, c. 509.

§ 13.1-1107. How limited liability company may render professional services; nonprofessional employees and agents; members and managers need not be employees, etc.

No limited liability company organized under this chapter may render professional services except through its members, managers, employees, independent contractors, and agents who are duly licensed or otherwise legally authorized to render those professional services, and only members, managers, employees, independent contractors, and agents licensed or otherwise legally qualified by this Commonwealth may perform the professional service in Virginia. However, this provision shall not be interpreted to preclude clerks, secretaries, bookkeepers, technicians and other assistants who are not usually and ordinarily considered by custom and practice to be rendering professional service to the public for which a license or other legal authorization is required from acting as employees, managers and agents of a professional limited liability company and performing their usual duties or from acting as employees, independent contractors, managers or agents of a professional limited liability company. Nothing contained in this chapter shall be interpreted to require that the right of an individual to be a member or manager of a limited liability company organized under this chapter, or to organize that limited liability company, is dependent upon the present or future existence of an employment relationship between that individual and that limited liability company, or that individual's present or future active participation in any capacity in the production of the income of that limited liability company or in the performance of the services rendered by that limited liability company.

1992, c. 574; 1994, c. 349; 2003, c. 786.

§ 13.1-1108. Professional law limited liability company may qualify as executor, administrator or in other fiduciary capacity.

A professional limited liability company engaged in the practice of law, as a part of the practice of law, may act as an executor, trustee or administrator of an estate, guardian for an infant, or in any other fiduciary capacity. Any member, manager, employee or agent of a professional limited liability company engaged in the practice of law who is duly licensed as an attorney in the Commonwealth may perform necessary fiduciary responsibilities on behalf of the professional limited liability company.

1992, c. 574 .

§ 13.1-1109. Professional relationships not affected; liability for debts, etc., of limited liability company, its members, managers, employees, and agents.

The provisions of this chapter shall not be construed to alter or affect the professional relationship between a person furnishing professional services and a person receiving that service either with respect to liability arising out of that professional service or the confidential relationship between the person rendering the professional service and the person receiving that professional service, if any, and all confidential relationships enjoyed under the laws of this Commonwealth, whether now in existence, or hereafter enacted, shall remain inviolate. A member, manager, agent or employee of a professional limited liability company shall not, by reason of being any member, manager, agent or employee of a professional limited liability company, be personally liable for any debts or claims against, or the acts or omissions of the professional limited liability company or of another member, manager, agent or employee of the professional limited liability company, but the professional limited liability company shall be liable for the acts or omissions of its members, managers, agents, employees and servants to the same extent to which any other limited liability company would be liable for the acts or omissions of its members, managers, agents, employees and servants while they are engaged in carrying on the limited liability company business.

1992, c. 574 .

§ 13.1-1110. Professional limited liability company not to engage in other business; investment of funds.

No professional limited liability company organized under this chapter may engage in any business other than the rendering of the professional services for which it was specifically organized; however, nothing in this chapter or in any other provisions of existing law applicable to limited liability companies shall be interpreted to prohibit that limited liability company from investing its funds in real estate, mortgages, stocks, bonds or any other type of investments, from owning real or personal property, or from exercising any other investment power granted to limited liability companies under this title and not in conflict with the provisions of this chapter.

1992, c. 574; 1996, c. 265.

§ 13.1-1111. Qualifications of members and managers; special provisions for limited liability companies rendering service of architects, professional engineers, land surveyors and landscape architects, and using the title of certified interior designers.

Not less than two-thirds of the membership interests of a professional limited liability company rendering the services of architects, professional engineers, land surveyors, or landscape architects, or using the title of certified interior designers, or any combination thereof, shall be held by individuals duly licensed or professional business entities legally authorized to render the services of architects, professional engineers, land surveyors, or landscape architects, or by individuals or professional business entities legally authorized to use the title of certified interior designers, and the remainder of the membership interests may be held only by individuals who are employees of the professional limited liability company whether or not those employees are licensed to render professional services or authorized to use a title. For those professional limited liability companies using the title of certified interior designers and providing the services of architects, professional engineers or land surveyors, or any combination thereof, not less than two-thirds of the membership interests of the professional limited liability company shall be held by individuals who are duly licensed. No other professional limited liability company, except for a professional limited liability company engaged in the practice of accounting as described in § 13.1-1112, may have as a member anyone other than an individual or a professional business entity that is duly licensed or otherwise legally authorized to render the same professional services as those for which the professional limited liability company was organized.

As an additional prerequisite for a professional limited liability company's engaging in the practice of the professions of architecture, professional engineering, land surveying, or landscape architecture, or using the title of certified interior designer, or any combination thereof, that professional limited liability company shall secure a certificate of authority, which may be renewable and may be either general or limited, from the Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers and Landscape Architects. The certificate of authority shall be issued or renewed by the Board when in its discretion the professional limited liability company is in compliance with rules and regulations which shall be promulgated by the Board consistent with its jurisdiction to provide adequate safeguards for the public's health, welfare and safety. The fees for a certificate of authority as described above shall be the same fees as provided for in Chapter 4 (§ 54.1-400 et seq.) of Title 54.1.

1992, c. 574; 1998, c. 27; 2000, cc. 191, 763; 2009, c. 309.

§ 13.1-1112. Special provision for limited liability company engaged in practice of accounting.

Before any professional limited liability company may engage in the practice of accounting in this Commonwealth, it shall first obtain and maintain any registration required for that professional limited liability company by Chapter 44 (§ 54.1-4400 et seq.) of Title 54.1. Not less than fifty-one percent of the membership interests of a professional limited liability company rendering the services of accounting shall be held by individuals or professional business entities duly licensed or otherwise legally authorized to render the services of accounting, and the remainder of the membership interests may be held only by individuals who are employees of the professional limited liability company, whether or not those employees are licensed or otherwise authorized to render professional services.

1992, c. 574; 2000, c. 191.

§ 13.1-1113. Registration certificate required for limited liability company engaged in practice of law.

Before any professional limited liability company may engage in the practice of law in this Commonwealth, it shall first obtain and maintain a registration certificate required for that professional limited liability company by Chapter 39 (§ 54.1-3900 et seq.) of Title 54.1.

1992, c. 574 .

§ 13.1-1114. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1994, c. 349.

§ 13.1-1115. Transfer of membership interests.

A. No member of a professional limited liability company organized under this chapter may sell, assign in whole or in part, or otherwise transfer that member's membership interest in the professional limited liability company except to (i) the professional limited liability company, (ii) another individual or professional business entity that is eligible to be a member of that professional limited liability company, or (iii) a qualified charitable remainder trust as described in subsection B. In the case of a professional limited liability company rendering the services of architects, professional engineers, land surveyors and certified landscape architects, or any combination thereof, no person or professional business entity which is not duly licensed or otherwise legally authorized to render one of those services will be eligible unless at least two-thirds of the remaining membership interests after the sale or transfer are held by persons or professional business entities duly licensed or otherwise legally authorized to perform one of those services.

B. As used in this section, "qualified charitable remainder trust" means a trust meeting the requirements of § 664 of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and which meets all of the following conditions:

1. Has one or more current income beneficiaries, all of which are eligible to be members in the professional limited liability company under § 13.1-1103.

2. Has a trustee or independent special trustee who:

a. Is eligible to have a membership interest in the professional limited liability company under § 13.1-1103; and

b. Has exclusive authority over the membership interests while such interests are held in the trust.

3. Has one or more irrevocably designated charitable remaindermen, all of which must at all times be domiciled or maintain a local chapter in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

4. When transferring any assets during the term of the trust to charitable organizations, the distributions are made only to charitable organizations described in § 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code that are domiciled or maintain a local chapter in this Commonwealth.

1992, c. 574; 1999, c. 100.

§ 13.1-1116. Disqualification of member, manager, agent or employee.

If any member, manager, agent or employee of a professional limited liability company organized under this chapter who has been rendering professional service to the public becomes legally disqualified to render those professional services within this Commonwealth, that member, manager, agent or employee shall immediately sever all employment with, and financial interests in, that professional limited liability company except that the member, manager, agent or employee may be a member subject to the provisions of this chapter. A professional limited liability company's failure to require compliance with this provision shall constitute a ground for the forfeiture of its articles of organization and the cancellation of its existence by the State Corporation Commission.

1992, c. 574; 2009, c. 201.

§ 13.1-1117. Conversion into nonprofessional company; disposition of membership interests of deceased or disqualified members.

A. A professional limited liability company organized under this chapter shall continue until dissolved in accordance with other provisions of this chapter or the provisions of Article 9 (§ 13.1-1046 et seq.) of Chapter 12 of this title.

B. Whenever all members of a professional limited liability company licensed under this chapter cease at any one time and for any reason to be licensed, certified or registered in the particular field of endeavor for which the professional limited liability company was organized, or by the vote of the holders of at least two-thirds of its membership interests, the professional limited liability company thereupon shall be treated as converted into, and shall operate henceforth solely as, a limited liability company under applicable provisions of this title, exclusive of this chapter, but may be reconverted upon removal of the disability or by the vote of the holders of at least two-thirds of its membership interests.

C. Following the occurrence of any event that terminates the continued membership of a member in a professional limited liability company, including a disqualification that terminates a member's membership as provided in § 13.1-1116, the limited liability company shall pay to the former member or the former member's successor in interest the value of the interest of the former member. The time of payment and value of the interest of the former member shall be determined in the manner provided in writing in the articles of organization or an operating agreement of the limited liability company, and to the extent not so provided in the articles of organization or an operating agreement, the payment shall be made within one year following the occurrence of the event that terminates the former member's membership and for the book value of the interest, determined as of the end of the month immediately preceding the event that terminated the membership of the former member. If applicable, the book value shall be determined from the books and records of the limited liability company in accordance with the generally accepted accounting principles on the accrual method of accounting. No subsequent adjustment of this book value, whether by the limited liability company itself, by federal income tax audit made and agreed to, or by a court decision which has become final, shall alter the amount of the payment to be made.

D. An arrangement or provision in the articles of organization, operating agreement or by contract may be made to transfer any membership interest held by a disqualified charitable remainder trust to the professional limited liability company or to persons qualified to hold such an interest under § 13.1-1103, whether made before or after the disqualification of a charitable remainder trust, provided that the membership interest involved shall have been so transferred within one year following such disqualification.

1992, c. 574; 1995, c. 168; 1996, c. 265; 1999, c. 100; 2009, c. 763.

§ 13.1-1118. Management.

Unless the articles of organization or an operating agreement provides for management of a professional limited liability company by a manager or managers, management of a professional limited liability company shall be vested in its members. If the articles of organization or an operating agreement provides for management of a professional limited liability company by a manager or managers, the manager shall be an individual or professional business entity duly licensed or otherwise legally authorized to render the same professional services within this Commonwealth that the professional limited liability company was organized for the purpose of rendering. Only members or managers duly licensed or otherwise legally authorized to render the same professional services within this Commonwealth shall supervise and direct the provision of professional services within this Commonwealth, or delegate to their agents, officers, and employees or delegate by a management agreement or another agreement with, or otherwise to, other persons managerial duties and tasks related to the professional limited liability company's operations.

1992, c. 574; 2007, c. 629.

§ 13.1-1119. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2002, ch. 346 .

§ 13.1-1120. Income and property taxes.

All professional limited liability companies organized or qualifying under the provisions of this chapter shall be treated for income tax purposes under the provisions of Chapter 3 (§ 58.1-300 et seq.) of Title 58.1 in the manner determined under § 58.1-301, and property owned by professional limited liability companies shall be taxed in the actual form in which it may exist and not as capital.

1992, c. 574 .

§ 13.1-1121. Merger.

A professional limited liability company operating pursuant to the terms of this chapter may merge with one or more corporations, limited liability companies, or domestic partnerships only if the surviving corporation, limited liability company, or domestic partnership is a professional corporation, a professional limited liability company, or a domestic partnership all of the partners of which are professional corporations, professional limited liability companies, or individuals duly licensed or otherwise legally authorized to render the same professional services as those for which the surviving professional corporation, professional limited liability company or domestic partnership was incorporated or organized.

1992, c. 574; 1996, c. 265; 2008, c. 509.

§ 13.1-1122. Application of Chapter 12 of this title.

The provisions of Chapter 12 (§ 13.1-1000 et seq.) of this title shall be applicable to professional limited liability companies organized under the provisions of this chapter. Where a conflict arises between the provisions found in Chapter 12 (§ 13.1-1000 et seq.) of this title and this chapter, this chapter shall control.

1992, c. 574 .

§ 13.1-1123. Coordination with other provisions of Virginia Code.

For purposes of all sections of this Code other than sections in Chapter 7 (§ 13.1-542 et seq.) and in this chapter, whenever the term "professional corporation" is used, that term shall be deemed to include a professional limited liability company and wherever the terms "shareholder," "employee," "officer" or "agent" are used those terms shall be deemed to include, as appropriate, the terms member, manager, employee and agent.

1992, c. 574; 2007, cc. 233, 639.

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