Types of Businesses

By Sruthi Anne4 min read · Posted Aug 1, 2022

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It is crucial that business owners carefully consider the various business organization types and have a good knowledge of how they work, including sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation. Deciding which organizational form is best can be influenced by tax / legal, financial / personal concerns and whether the benefits and drawbacks of these businesses best fit one’s way of life.

Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship, also referred to as the sole trader or simply proprietorship, is a business that is owned and operated by one individual, in which the owner and business are not legally separate. The owner is responsible for all losses or debts and receiving all profits.

Sole proprietorships are the most common types of businesses in the United States, although they only account for a small percentage of cumulative business receipts. While 20% of enterprises end up declaring bankruptcy, it controls 72% of all business in the country.

When one is certain they won't fail, they should establish a sole proprietorship, file a 1040, and be aware that if they break the law, the government may take away their business but cannot take away their income.

Corporation

A corporation, also referred to as a C corp, is a separate legal entity from its owners. Corporations generate revenue, pay taxes, and face legal consequences. The strongest protection against personal liability is provided to owners by corporations, although forming a corporation is more expensive than creating other types of entities. Additionally, corporations require more thorough reporting, operational procedures, and record-keeping.

Corporations must pay income tax on their profits, unlike sole proprietors, partnerships, and LLCs. Sometimes, corporate profits are taxed twice: once when the business makes a profit and once again when shareholders get dividend payments on their personal tax returns.

Corporations live entirely different lives from their shareholders. The C corp can operate relatively unaffected even if a stakeholder leaves the company or sells their interests. They can be an excellent option for firms with a medium to high level of risk, those that need to acquire capital, and those that intend to "go public" or eventually be sold.

Partnership

A partnership serves as the most basic example of shared ownership between two or more persons. The two most common types of partnerships are limited partnerships (LP) and limited liability partnerships (LLP).

In limited partnerships, all other partners are subject to limited liability, but the only general partner is subject to unlimited liability. According to a partnership agreement, the partners who have limited liability also often have limited control over the company. Profits are passed through to personal tax returns, thus the general partner—the partner without limited liability—must also pay self-employment taxes.

Similar to limited partnerships, limited partnerships have limited liability for each owner. In an LLP, no partner is responsible for the obligations incurred by the other partners against the company.

Businesses with several owners, professional organizations (like law firms), and those looking to test out a potential business idea before forming a more formal company may find that partnerships are a useful option.

Limited Liability Companies (LLC)

An LLC is a type of business entity that can have one or more owners, also referred to as "members." Unless they opt for a different management structure called "manager management," LLC members typically share equal responsibility for running the business.

A crucial aspect of LLCs is limited liability, which exempts all LLC owners from personal culpability for the debts and claims of the company. This implies that if the LLC itself cannot pay the creditor—such as a supplier, a lender, or a landlord—the firm cannot legally confiscate an LLC member's home, car, or other personal property. Due to the fact that only LLC assets are utilized to pay off corporate debts, LLC owners only stand to lose the money they deposited in the LLC.

An LLC is also not treated differently from its owners for tax purposes. Instead, it is a "pass-through entity," such as a partnership or a sole proprietorship, as defined by the IRS. This means that business income is distributed to LLC members via the business, who then declare their respective gains (or losses) on their personal income tax returns.

Anyone beginning a business or who is already a sole proprietor should think about creating an LLC. This is particularly true if you want to do everything in your power to reduce your personal legal liability.

The foundation of any firm is profound business management. Pitch Labs provides materials and articles to assist you enhance your skills, broaden your understanding of the subject, and grow your business. Please refer to our "Types of Entrepreneurs" article for more details on the different types of entrepreneurs.

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Sruthi Anne

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