In the simplest terms, a master limited partnership is a limited partnership business that is also a publicly traded company. This allows investors to take advantage of the same “flow-through” or “pass-through” income as well as a prorated share of the business’s depreciation. Unlike other types of LPs, these investors also enjoy the flexibility that comes with having publicly traded shares. To further incentivize tax-exempt investors, some MLPs create a C-corp holding company.
When MLPs were first allowed in the 1980s, they quickly became so popular that the federal government decided to limit what types of companies could gain such status. Now, at least 90 percent of an MLP business must come from certain types of income sources including energy, minerals, natural resources, and special types of rental income from real property. This includes the production, processing, storage, and transportation of such resources. If you’re starting a different kind of company, you can still take advantage of the tax incentives to attract investors by forming a limited partnership business.
More Information about How an MLP Works
While the business’s general partner has no fiduciary responsibility to its shareholders, the income distributions and management fees are typically set up so that to reduce any financial conflict of interest. Moreover, minus a certain amount of reserve funds, all of the business income is paid to shareholders through quarterly distributions. For this reason, MLPs are popular for businesses that have a regular source of income and thus a predictable payout for their shareholders.
Investing in a Master Limited Partnership
We’re not going to pretend to offer personal advice about investing in an MLP, but there are some general principles and examples that can provide background knowledge of the relative pros and cons. First, know that, despite regular income and quarterly distributions, a master limited partnership is not immune from risk. In fact, some have argued this type of business structure may make it more difficult for investors to see the risks that come with MLPs. On the other hand, financial websites have also suggested certain MLPs that are ultra-safe to own.
Form Filing Software for MLPs
A master limited partnership is a simple and effective way for an individual to invest in a high-yield product, but that doesn’t make it easy to manage. The production, processing, storage, and transportation of energy and other natural resources is typically a regulation-intensive business. Advanced Micro Solutions (AMS) is your answer for form filing and payroll solution software.
Every one of our software packages starts with our W-2/1099 Forms Filer. The foundational platform provides all the data management features you need to import, organize, input, report, and print information on pre-printed tax filing forms. This includes all the core w-2 and 1099 filing forms needed by MLPs. At the same time, our Forms Filer serves as a platform for the rest of our filing and payroll software modules. From processing employee payroll to tying this data to your end-of-year forms to e-filing directly with your state and federal agencies, you can build a comprehensive system to manage your company with the following products:
- W-2/1099 Forms Filer (required platform)
- Payroll Software
- Software-Generated Forms
- E-File Direct
- Affordable Care Act Filer
- 1042-S Filer
- Forms Filer Plus
Download our demo software, talk to our Sales and Information team at (800) 536-1099, or buy our products online at any time.