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Business Structure Basics

Business Structure

Your chosen business structure influences everything from day-to-day operations to taxes and how much of your assets are at risk. Therefore, you should select a business structure that provides the appropriate balance of legal protections and benefits.

Your business structure influences how much tax you pay, your ability to raise capital, the paperwork you must file, and your liability.

Earlier registering your business with the state, you must choose a business structure. Most businesses must also obtain a tax identification number and apply for the necessary licenses and permits.

Choose wisely. While you might convert to a different business structure in the future, your location may impose restrictions. For example, it could lead to tax implications and involuntary dissolution, among other complications.

Consulting with business advisors, attorneys, and accountants can be beneficial.

Examine Typical Business Structures

Examine Typical Business Structures

Solitary Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is simple to establish and provides you with complete control over your business. You remain automatically considered a sole proprietorship if you conduct business but do not register as another type of business.

Sole proprietorships do not create a distinct business entity. Your business affects and liabilities remain inextricably linked to your assets and liabilities. You may be held personally liable for the company’s debts and obligations. Sole proprietors can still obtain a trading name. Raising funds can also be challenging because you cannot sell a stock, and banks are wary of lending to sole proprietorships.

Sole proprietorships are a decent option for low-risk businesses and owners who want to put their business idea to the test before forming a more formal company.


Partnerships are the basic structure for two or more people to own a business jointly. There are two varieties of partnerships: limited partnerships (LP) and limited liability companies (LLC).

Only one general partner has unlimited liability in a limited partnership, while all other partners have limited liability. Limited liability partners typically have little control over the company, as documented in a partnership agreement. Profits remain passed through to personal tax returns, and the general partner — the non-limited liability partner — must also pay self-employment taxes.

Limited liability partnerships remain similar to limited partnerships in that each owner has limited liability. However, an LLP shields each partner from debts owed to the association; they are not liable for the actions of other partners.

Partnerships are a good preference for businesses with multiple owners, professional groups (such as attorneys), and groups looking to test a business idea before forming a more formal company.

Corporation – C corporation

A corporation, also identified as a C corporation, is a legal entity distinct from its owners. Corporations can profit, be taxed, and be held legally responsible.

Corporations provide their owners with the best protection against personal liability, but they are more expensive to form than other structures. Corporations also necessitate more detailed record-keeping, operational processes, and reporting.


A cooperative is a business or organization held and operated by those who use its services. Profits and earnings generated by the joint remain distributed to members, also known as user-owners. The cooperative is typically run by an elected board of directors and officers, with regular members having voting power to influence the cooperative’s direction. Members can join the cooperative by purchasing shares, but the number of shares they own has no bearing on the weight of their vote.

Combine various Business Structures

S corp and nonprofits aren’t just business structures; they can also remain interpreted as a tax status. For example, an LLC can remain taxed as a C corporation, S corporation, or nonprofit. These arrangements are much less common and can be more challenging to implement. If you are considering one of these non-standard structures, consult a business counsellor or an attorney.

Limited liability corporation (LLC)

An LLC allows you to reap the profits of both the corporation and the partnership business structures. In most cases, LLCs protect you from personal liability. Your assets, such as your car, house, and savings accounts, are not at risk if your LLC goes bankrupt or remains sued.

What are the Five Most Common Types of Business Structure?

What are the Five Most Common Types of Business Structure?

Five common types of business structures

  • Sole proprietorship.
  • Partnership.
  • Corporation.
  • S corporation.
  • They are a limited liability company.

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A business structure describes a company’s legal system that influences the business’s day-by-day operations. The maximum common forms of business are sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation and S corporation. A more recent development in these forms of business.

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