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Subject:  Investing IRA in private business Date:  6/3/2013  5:25 PM
Author:  Umm Number:  118656 of 127753

I have a couple of questions regarding investing a 401k or IRA into a private business. From what I understand, 401k or IRA funds can be invested in a private company under certain conditions. One condition is that the 401k/IRA owner is not the majority owner of the business. Does a spouse's IRA count towards majority ownership?

For example, consider the following ownership structure of a company:
I own 20% of the company through my IRA.
I own an additional 20% through a non-IRA investment.
My wife owns 20% through an IRA.
Parent owns 20% through non-IRA investment.
Various friends and outside investors own remaining 20% through non-IRA investments.

My wife and I have signed a pre-nuptial agreement stating that our 401ks/IRAs are not community property. In case of divorce we each take our own retirement money. However, we are beneficiaries on each other's retirement accounts.

So under that scenario I directly own 40% of the company but my wife has 20% ownership through her IRA. Am I considered a majority owner?

Next question (assuming prior is legal), what happens if my wife or parents die and I inherit their stake? I suddenly become a 60% majority owner.
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