The Basics of Business Ownership Structures

Depending on the size, services and career goals of your business will depend on the type of business structure you have. While some business structures are geared for startups, other business structures are ideal for large, multi-national franchises. By knowing the basics of business structures, you will be able to pick out the best business type for your needs.

The business ownership structure that requires the least amount of work and maintenance is a sole proprietorship. It is ideal for a one man business, and all that’s required is going into business for yourself, without any paperwork to fill out. Sole proprietorship businesses don’t even need to be registered with the state unlike many other types of businesses. A partnership is similar to a sole proprietorship in the way that you still don’t have to fill out any paperwork, but it’s a business that’s run by two or more business owners.  If you plan on running a small business that won’t involve a lot of risk, then sole proprietorship or a partnership can be a great choice.

Having a limited partnership has the potential to complicate things at times.  In a limited partnership, there is one owner and as many investors as he wishes but the risk comes into  play when  you are the owner. The owner is fully responsible for any debts, and although the investors (“limited partners”) have only partial control over the operation of the partnership, they are free of legal responsibility from claims, for example.

For many small businesses, owning a corporation or LLC is worth the time and hassle it sometimes brings. If you are concerned about the risk of business debts and liability, an LLC and corporation limits the amount of claims and other legal woes a business can bring. Owners of a LLC must pay taxes on income such as salaries and bonuses which is similar to a partnership structure. For any business owner who has personal assets they want to protect or don’t want to run the risk of being sued, a corporation or LLC is a terrific option.

The success and protection of your business depends on picking the right business structure. For many businesses that are more concerned with protection than the complications of beginning a LLC, the time it takes to file the necessary paperwork is worth it. A Boston law firm can insure that you fill out the paperwork and file it according to your state’s policies, by which many law firms in Boston are qualified to do. Depending on your business type and size, the right law firm can assist you every step of the way.


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