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A sole proprietorship is the simplest and most common structure chosen to start a business. It is an unincorporated business owned and run by one individual with no distinction between the business and you, the owner. You are entitled to all profits and are responsible for all your business’s debts, losses and liabilities.
BUSINESS FORMATIONS FEES DIFFER FROM STATE TO STATE
Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Easy to create and most beneficial to protecting your personal assets.
Limited Liability Company (LLC)
Whether you are accepting donations or voluntering for a great cause, we are here to help.
Need an S-Corp or C-Corp, let us set up your business.
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ADVANTAGES OF A SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP
- Easy and inexpensive to form: A sole proprietorship is the simplest and least expensive business structure to establish. Costs are minimal, with legal costs limited to obtaining the necessary licenses or permits.
- Complete control. Because you are the sole owner of the business, you have complete control over all decisions. You aren’t required to consult with anyone else when you need to make decisions or want to make changes.
- Easy tax preparation. Your business is not taxed separately, so it’s easy to fulfill the tax reporting requirements for a sole proprietorship. The tax rates are also the lowest of the business structures.
DISADVANTAGES OF A PROPRIETORSHIP
- Unlimited personal liability. Because there is no legal separation between you and your business, you can be held personally liable for the debts and obligations of the business. This risk extends to any liabilities incurred as a result of employee actions.
- Hard to raise money. Sole proprietors often face challenges when trying to raise money. You cannot sell stock in the business, which limits investor opportunity. Banks are also hesitant to lend to a sole proprietorship because of a perceived additional risk when it comes to repayment if the business fails.
- Heavy burden. The flipside of complete control is the burden and pressure it can impose. You alone are ultimately responsible for the successes and failures of your business.
An LLC lets you take advantage of the benefits of both the corporation and partnership business structures.
LLCs protect you from personal liability in most instances, your personal assets — like your vehicle, 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.
LLCs can have a limited life in many states. When a member joins or leaves an LLC, some states may require the LLC to be dissolved and re-formed with new membership — unless there's already an agreement in place within the LLC for buying, selling, and transferring ownership.
LLCs can be a good choice for medium- or higher-risk businesses, owners with significant personal assets they want to be protected, and owners who want to pay a lower tax rate than they would with a corporation.
MOST COMMON TYPES OF CORPORATIONS
Nonprofit corporations are organized to do charity, education, religious, literary, or scientific work. Because their work benefits the public, nonprofits can receive tax-exempt status, meaning they don't pay state or federal taxes income taxes on any profits it makes.
Nonprofits must file with the IRS to get tax exemption, a different process from registering with their state.
Nonprofit corporations need to follow organizational rules very similar to a regular C corp. They also need to follow special rules about what they do with any profits they earn. For example, they can't distribute profits to members or political campaigns.
Nonprofits are often called 501(c)(3) corporations — a reference to the section of the Internal Revenue Code that is most commonly used to grant tax-exempt status.
The operating name of a company, as opposed to the legal name of the company. Some states require DBA or fictitious business name filings to be made for the protection of consumers conducting business with the entity.