Subject: RE: Mozilla For Profit?
From: "Chris Maeda" <chrismaeda@comcast.net>
Date: Mon, 15 Aug 2005 23:04:32 -0400

 Mon, 15 Aug 2005 23:04:32 -0400
(I tried to avoid this topic but I'm a sucker for a good corporate tax
policy discussion...)

An LLC doesn't work in this case because LLC's (at least in the US) are
typically pass-through entities for taxation.  You form an LLC when the
shareholders do not want to be taxed twice on earnings; an LLC's taxable
income is not taxed, and is instead passed through to the shareholders and
taxed at their rates.

It's not clear what happens when a non-profit entity reports pass-through
income from a for-profit LLC.  It probably ends up paying tax on it at the
corporate rate, which is precisely what you are trying to avoid when you set
up an LLC.

I think Mozilla made exactly the right choices.  I'll bet Mozilla, Inc. will
never report a profit or pay any taxes since it will be able to make
tax-deductible donations back to the Mozilla Foundation.  Whoever thought
this up has done the open source community (or at least the Mozilla
Foundation) a great service.

-Chris 

-----Original Message-----
From: Taran Rampersad [mailto:cnd@knowprose.com] 
Sent: Monday, August 15, 2005 12:38 PM
To: fsb@crynwr.com
Subject: Re: Mozilla For Profit?

Anthony Long wrote:

> Was wondering if some of the Mozilla board members on this list and
> others could weigh in on why the change and how the new corporation
> intends to make money and also thoughts on similar strategies for
> other consumer-facing open source projects like OpenOffice.org.

I read through the responses, and was surprised that nobody mentioned a
LLC (Limited Liability Company):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limited liability company (decent
reference, your mileage may vary and is bounded by the geo-legal space
you exist in)