The business entity is the legal structure of a business. It defines the rights and obligations of each owner, partner and shareholder. The business entity can be simple or complex, depending on the needs of the business
Related Post: Types of business entities and how do they differ
Here are eight common business entities and their advantages and disadvantages:
1. Sole Proprietorship
Owners are responsible for all business dealings and financial transactions, including the tax filing and payment process. The sole proprietorship is a very flexible legal structure that allows entrepreneurs to keep their business interests separate from their personal assets.
Advantages of sole proprietorship include:
- No need for a firm name or corporate entity
- Can be created at any time, with no waiting period required
- No requirement for annual reports or financial statements
- Limited protection against creditors (like bankruptcy)
2. Partnership (limited liability)
Partnerships have several types of partners, such as general partners and limited partners. General partners are responsible for managing the partnership’s day-to-day operations; they are taxed on their share of profits in addition to their share of losses. Limited partners can be individuals or corporations and have no legal right to participate in day-to-day partnership decisions; they are taxed only on their share of profits and losses.
3. S corporation (pass-through entity)
An S corporation is an entity that passes through its income and losses directly to its shareholders who then report them on their personal tax returns (Schedule E). This structure eliminates double taxation because S corporations are exempt from corporate income taxes at the state level, but they still pay various levels of federal taxes on their revenues.
4. Limited Partnership (LP)
With a limited partnership, the general partners (GP) are responsible for managing and managing the business. The GP has unlimited liability for their business activities, but they have limited personal liability.
With a limited partnership, there is no formal legal structure in place between the partners or the limited partners. Limited partnerships are often used for businesses that are small and have limited liabilities.
5. D-Distribution Company (DDC)
The D-Distribution Company (DDC) is a type of business entity that is recognized by the federal government and state governments. It can be used to own, operate and manage businesses. A DDC also offers tax advantages to its owners.
In terms of tax benefits, the IRS allows a limited amount of business income to be deducted from a corporate tax return. However, this benefit is best for firms that are not active for more than three years. If your company is active for longer than that, you may benefit from other tax benefits offered by the IRS such as the ability to deduct interest expenses from your business income taxes or deduct dividends from your corporate income taxes.
The C-Corporation is a business entity that can be organized in the State of Delaware. The shareholders of the Company are called members, and they elect the board of directors who manage the business.
The main advantages is that it is easy to form a company, which takes only a few minutes to complete. It also provides limited liability to its members.
The main disadvantage is that it is not as flexible as other types of businesses, due to its limited liability feature.
7. Limited Liability Company (LLC)
A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a business entity that allows its owners to limit their personal liability for the company’s debts and obligations.
The advantage of this business entity is that it provides limited liability for its owners. The members of an LLC are not personally liable for any debts or obligations incurred by the firm. In other words, if the LLC fails, creditors cannot get their money out of individual member’s assets, instead they must go after the assets of all members equally.
Also, it is relatively inexpensive to form an LLC and file your Articles of Organization with the State Secretary of State office where you want it to be formed. The cost will depend on whether you use a lawyer or do it yourself. Some states allow online filing for small entities (those with no employees or assets over $50K), which can save time and money in some cases.
There are some disadvantages to using an LLC as your business entity. For example, there is no automatic federal income tax deduction for contributions made to an LLC when forming a new business entity. This means that those interested in starting their own businesses might have to pay taxes on such contributions before they can deduct them from their income tax returns.
A corporation is a legal entity created by the State of Delaware to do business in the state. Corporations are taxed differently than sole proprietorships, partnerships and LLCs (limited liability companies). The main advantage of a corporation is that it is taxed as a separate entity from its owners, who may be liable for the debts of the company. A disadvantage of corporations is that they have limited liability for their owners’ debts.