PMA vs. Corporation: Unraveling the Legal and Tax Differences

Private Membership Associations (PMAs) have gained popularity as an alternative business structure for various reasons, including potential tax benefits and increased privacy. However, it’s crucial to understand that PMAs are fundamentally different from corporations in terms of legal status and tax treatment. ProAdvocate Group PMA is here to shed light on these distinctions and help you make informed decisions about your business structure.

PMA vs. Corporation: Unraveling the Legal and Tax Differences

Understanding Private Membership Associations (PMAs):

A PMA is an unincorporated association formed under common law principles. It’s a group of individuals who voluntarily come together for a common purpose, sharing similar interests or goals. Unlike corporations, PMAs are not separate legal entities from their members. This means that members are personally liable for the association’s debts and obligations.

PMAs and Corporations: Key Differences

Legal Status:

  • PMA: Unincorporated association, not a separate legal entity.
  • Corporation: Separate legal entity from its owners (shareholders).


  • PMA: Members are personally liable for the association’s debts and obligations.
  • Corporation: Owners have limited liability, meaning their personal assets are protected.


  • PMA: Can choose to be taxed as a partnership, sole proprietorship, or corporation.
  • Corporation: Taxed as a separate entity, with profits subject to corporate income tax.


  • PMA: Less formal structure, with fewer legal requirements and regulations.
  • Corporation: More formal structure, with specific requirements for bylaws, shareholder meetings, and record-keeping.

Tax Treatment of PMAs:

Although PMAs are not corporations, they can choose to be taxed as one by filing an 1120 tax return. This allows them to take advantage of certain tax benefits, such as deducting business expenses and potentially reducing their overall tax burden. However, it’s crucial to consult with a qualified tax professional to determine the best tax strategy for your specific PMA.

Choosing the Right Structure for Your Business:

The decision to form a PMA or a corporation depends on various factors, including your business goals, risk tolerance, and tax preferences. Consider the following:

  • Liability: If you’re concerned about personal liability, a corporation might be a better choice.
  • Taxation: Consult with a tax professional to determine which structure offers the most favorable tax treatment for your business.
  • Formality: If you prefer a less formal structure with fewer legal requirements, a PMA might be more appealing.

ProAdvocate Group PMA: Your Trusted Partner

At ProAdvocate Group PMA, we’re committed to providing comprehensive legal and educational resources to empower individuals and businesses. We can help you understand the intricacies of PMAs and corporations, guiding you towards the best choice for your specific needs. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your legal and business endeavors.