What type of business are you?
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney
As an up and coming business owner, there are definitely a lot of things to consider before your business is up and running. Topping the list of initial decisions that will affect your venture into the entrepreneurial world is what type of business you are. Depending on which type of business you’ve selected: the tax you’ll have to pay, the ability to raise capital or even the personal accountability or paperwork you’ll need to do will greatly differ.
Here are the different types to consider:
This type of business lives and dies by one individual only, as it is managed and owned by one person. It is the most common type of business but it also grants the lowest amount of protection. It offers no legal distinction between you, the owner, and the business. This basically means that any debt or profit accrued shall be solely your personal responsibility, thus giving you the upside of unlimited potential and the downside of unlimited liability in case of losses and debts. Single specialist services such as florists, wedding planners, carpenters or plumbers often fall into this category.
Since sole proprietorships are not considered as legal entities yet, it is the easiest to set up. You just need the appropriate business permits and licenses… and voila, you’ll be running your business in no time.
However, albeit being a simple ordeal in setting up this type of business, it is also quite difficult to make it successful. You will have to work long hours, mix your own money, keep track of financial records and worse, miss holidays and important occasions. Plus, if you’re looking to raise capital by taking investments or are planning to have partners join you in the future, then this is definitely not the ideal type of business for you.
When two or more individuals pool their money, property or industry and who then own, share profits and manage a business, this type of business is called a partnership.
There are 3 different kinds of partnerships:
- General Partnerships – simplest type of partnership where the partners share the unlimited liability for the debts and obligation of the partnership. This means that each partner’s assets can be used to repay any debts or liabilities to the business.
- Limited Partnerships – this type has one or more general partners who manage the operations of the business and take on the unlimited liability of the business. The other partners are called limited partners and usually have liability only up to the amount of capital they have contributed to the business.
- Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP) – similar to general partnerships, there are multiple people who share the responsibility of the business. The major difference is that each partner’s liabilities are limited to the amount they contributed to the business. Should the partnership fail, creditors are not able to go after a partner’s personal income, properties or assets.
This type of business is a separate legal entity owned by various people (shareholders) who all have a limited obligation and liability to the business. Shareholders are responsible for the debts of the corporation to a certain degree, depending on the extent of their contribution of capital. If one of the owners dies or declares bankruptcy, the business will still continue to exist.
The 3 most common types of corporations are:
- C Corporation – most common form of incorporation. It is taxed as a separate business entity and owners gain profits and pay taxes separately.
- S Corporation – has the same function as a C corporation but can only accept up to 100 shareholders.
- Non-Profit Corporation – this type of corporation is tax exempt and most often is used by humanitarian organizations. They must operate without generating profits and any income is to be spent on management and operations of the business.
Limited Liability Company (LLC)
A limited liability company (LLC) is a type of business that fuses the unique traits of a corporation and that of sole proprietorship or partnership. Partners or owners are not held liable for any of the business’ liabilities or debts. They basically retain the tax benefits of sole proprietorships without the liabilities associated with it. Similar to corporations, the business exists as a separate legal entity and will continue to exist even if one of the partners passes away or declares bankruptcy.
Starting a business can be a daunting task, however identifying the pros and cons of what type of business suits you best, will work wonders in the long run. Are you fond of making decisions alone without having to answer to everyone? Or would you rather build your business with friends and close confidantes who you can share the ups and downs with?
No matter what your decision is, know that True Client Pro is here to help you manage and organize your business. From creating proposals to finalizing contracts and managing your prospects, we are your friend and partner in making your dream a success!