There are important exceptions to the rule of limited liability. A NON-EXHAUSTIVE list of business obligations for which the business owner can be liable includes
- Payroll, sales and use taxes
- Obligations that you have personally guarantied
- Business torts (like fraud or intentional interference with another's business) committed by the company through the acts or omission of an individual or individuals
- Losses of investors in the business if the company and its promoters have failed to comply with the registration or anti-fraud requirements of the securities laws.
A creditor can overcome or "pierce the corporate veil" (hold an owner responsible for an obligation of the company) under a variety of circumstances. The most common weapon for piercing the veil is an allegation of fraudulent transfer, meaning that the obligor (the owner in this case) made certain transfers of money or property from a limited liability entity under circumstances that left the entity unable to meet its current or anticipated obligations. For this reason, establishing your limited liability entity should be done carefully and EARLY, long before insolvency looms.