Limited liability companies, or LLCs, are becoming more and more popular, and it's easy to see why. The Limited liability Company (LLC) provides the desired limited liability while avoiding some of the drawbacks (like double taxation and excessive paperwork). They combine the personal liability protection of a corporation with the tax benefits and simplicity of a partnership. In addition, they're more flexible and require less on going paperwork than corporations.
Owners of an LLC are called members. Since most states do not restrict ownership, members may include individuals, corporations, other LLCs and foreign entities. There may be unlimited number of members. Most states also permit "single member" LLCs, those having only one owner.
Member owned LLCs are analogous to partners in a partnership or shareholders in a corporation, depending on how the LLC is managed. A member will more closely resemble shareholders if the LLC utilizes a manager or managers, because then the members will not participate in management. If the LLC does not utilize managers, then the members will closely resemble partners because they will have a direct say in the decision making of the company.
A member's ownership of an LLC is represented by their "interests," just as partners have "interest" in a partnership and shareholders have stock in a corporation.