澳盘口

  • Comparison Chart: Decide on a Type of Business

    Use this business structure reference chart to compare common business types.

    Please use the menu below to select up to four business types to compare.

    Choose Business Types
    Download in PDF Format

    Sole Proprietorship

    Limited Liability Company

    General Partnership

    Limited Partnership

    Limited Liability Partnership

    Business Formation & Management
    State filing (and filing fee) required for creation
    Yes

    Articles of organization must be filed and necessary filing fees paid

    Yes

    Articles of incorporation must be filed and necessary filing fees paid

    Yes

    Articles of incorporation must be filed and necessary filing fees paid

    Yes

    Formation documents must be filed and necessary filing fees paid

    Yes

    Formation documents must be filed and necessary filing fees paid

    Ongoing state filings and fees
    Yes

    Varies by state, but typically an annual report and/or franchise tax is due every year.

    Yes

    Varies by state, but typically an annual report and/or franchise tax is due every year.

    Yes

    Varies by state, but typically an annual report and/or franchise tax is due every year.

    Yes

    Varies by state, but typically an annual report and/or franchise tax is due every year.

    Yes

    Varies by state, but typically an annual report and/or franchise tax is due every year.

    Strict ongoing corporate formalities requirements
    Yes
    • Adopt and maintain bylaws
    • Hold and document initial and annual meetings of directors and shareholders
    • Issue stock
    • Record stock transfers
    Yes
    • Adopt and maintain bylaws
    • Hold and document initial and annual meetings of directors and shareholders
    • Issue stock
    • Record stock transfers
    Flexibility in who manages the business

    Owner has full control of management and operations

    Yes
    • LLCs have an operating agreement that outlines the management
    • Can be member-managed or manager-managed
    • Directors, who are elected by shareholders, make major business decisions
    • Directors appoint officers, who oversee day-to-day operations
    • Directors, who are elected by shareholders, make major business decisions
    • Directors appoint officers, who oversee day-to-day operations

    Owner has full control of management and operations

    • General partners are responsible for management
    • Limited partners excluded from management unless on board of directors
    Yes
    • All partners have the right to manage directly
    • Management outlined in the partnership/operating agreement
    Benefits
    Limited liability protection

    Owner has unlimited liability

    Yes

    Owners typically are not personally responsible for business debts and liabilities

    Yes

    Owners typically are not personally responsible for business debts and liabilities

    Yes

    Owners typically are not personally responsible for business debts and liabilities

    Owners have unlimited liability

    Maybe

    At least one general partner has unlimited liability

    Yes

    Owners typically are not personally responsible for business debts and liabilities

    Perpetual duration of the business

    Dissolves if owner ceases doing business or dies

    Maybe

    Dependent on requirements of state of incorporation

    Yes
    Yes

    Dissolves upon withdrawal or death of an owner, unless safeguards specified in partnership agreement

    Yes

    Maybe

    Dependent on requirements of state of incorporation

    Ease of raising capital

    Often difficult unless owner contributes funds

    Maybe

    Possible to sell interests, but subject to operating agreement restrictions

    Yes

    Shares of stock can be sold to raise capital

    Yes

    Shares of stock can be sold to raise capital

    Contributions can be made from partners and/or more partners can be added

    Contributions can be made from partners and/or more partners can be added

    Contributions can be made from partners and/or more partners can be added

    Ease of adding owners/transferring ownership interest

    No

    Maybe

    Dependent on operating agreement restrictions

    Yes

    Shares of stock are easily sold to add new owners or change an existing owner's percent of ownership

    Yes

    Shares of stock are easily sold to add new owners or change an existing owner's percent of ownership, as long as IRS restrictions on ownership are met

    No

    Maybe

    Pending approval of other limited and general partners

    Maybe

    Dependent on partnership/operating agreement restrictions

    Taxation
    Business taxed at entity level

    Maybe

    LLCs may elect to be taxed like corporations, and in doing so must pay taxes at the business level on the LLC's income

    Yes

    C corporations pay taxes on corporate income

    Pass-through income/loss
    Yes

    Profits/losses are reported on the owner's personal tax return and any tax due is paid by the owner at the individual tax level

    Yes

    Typically profits/losses are reported on the owners' personal tax return and any tax due is paid by the owners at the individual tax level

    Yes

    Profits/losses are reported on the owners' personal tax returns and any tax due is paid by the owners at the individual tax level

    Yes

    Profits/losses are reported on the owners' personal tax returns and any tax due is paid by the owners at the individual tax level

    Yes

    Profits/losses are reported on the owners' personal tax returns and any tax due is paid by the owner at the individual tax level

    Yes

    Profits/losses are reported on the owners' personal tax return and any tax due is paid by the owners at the individual tax level

    Double taxation
    Yes

    Corporate income is taxed first at the business level and again at the individual level if distributed to owners in the form of dividends

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