Business Types

While you're hustling and making your passion and/or hobby work for you and your legacy, make sure you understand what type of business structure you have or may need. Here is just a brief run through of what each is. If one sticks with you as fitting, please look into it some more as every state handles each business type differently. And let us know in the comments, what type of business you have.

 

Sole Proprietorship 

A sole proprietorship is easy to form and gives you complete control of your business. You're automatically considered to be a sole proprietorship if you do business activities but don't register as any other kind of business. You get all of the benefits directly AND you get all of the liability.

 

Partnership 

Partnerships are the simplest structure for two or more people to own a business together. There are two common kinds of partnerships: limited partnerships (LP) and limited liability partnerships (LLP). 

Limited partnerships have only one general partner with unlimited liability, and all other partners have limited liability. The partners with limited liability also tend to have limited control over the company, which is documented in a partnership agreement. Profits are passed through to personal tax returns, and the general partner — the partner without limited liability — must also pay self-employment taxes. 

Limited liability partnerships are similar to limited partnerships, but give limited liability to every owner. An LLP protects each partner from debts against the partnership, they won't be responsible for the actions of other partners.

 

Limited Liability Company (LLC) 

An LLC lets you take advantage of the benefits of both the corporation and partnership business structures. 

LLCs give your personal money protection from our business in most cases. (Your car, house, and savings accounts — won't be at risk in case your LLC faces bankruptcy or lawsuits).

Profits and losses can get passed through to your personal income without facing corporate taxes. However, members of an LLC are considered self-employed and must pay self-employment tax contributions towards Medicare and Social Security.

 

Corporation 

C Corp 

A corporation, sometimes called a C corp, is a legal entity that's separate from its owners. Corporations can make a profit, be taxed, and can be held legally liable. 

Corporations offer the strongest protection to its owners from personal liability, but the cost to form a corporation is higher than other structures. Corporations also require more extensive record-keeping, operational processes, and reporting. 

Unlike sole proprietors, partnerships, and LLCs, corporations pay income tax on their profits.

 

S Corp 

An S corporation, sometimes called an S corp, is a special type of corporation that's designed to avoid the double taxation drawback of regular C corps. S corps allow profits, and some losses, to be passed through directly to owners' personal income without ever being subject to corporate tax rates. 

Not all states tax S corps equally, but most recognize them the same way the federal government does and taxes the shareholders accordingly. Some states tax S corps on profits above a specified limit and other states don't recognize the S corp election at all, simply treating the business as a C corp. So check out what your state does before you take the leap.

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