Sole Proprietorship – A sole proprietorship, also known as a trader firm or proprietorship, is a business firm that is owned and run by one individual. A sole proprietor may use a trade name or business name other than his or her name. Registration not required – In summary, biggest advantage is quick formation and low compliance. However, the biggest disadvantage is unlimited liability.
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Since limited liability companies can be a pass-through entity, owners are taxed on their personal income. S-Corp shareholders are taxed personally. The S-Corp, however, is not. C-Corp income is taxed at the corporate level first, then again at the personal level. This is called "double taxation." Non-Profits are only taxed once and can write off most of their expenses. Sole Proprietors are taxed only on their personal tax return.
LLC members are taxed on their personal tax returns. The LLC itself is not taxed. S-Corp shareholders are taxed on their personal tax returns. The company itself is not taxed. C-Corps are taxed both at the corporate level and again on shareholders' individual returns. Non-Profits are taxed on a corporate level but may also enjoy a host of tax-exempt benefits. Sole Proprietorships are taxed only on their owner's tax return.
When beginning a business, you must decide what form of business entity to establish. Your form of business determines which income tax return form you have to file. The most common forms of business are the sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and S corporation. A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a business structure allowed by state statute. Legal and tax considerations enter into selecting a business structure.
If you are foreign qualifying your business or wish to keep your contact information private, it may be wise to hire a professional Registered Agent service such as Swyft Filings. Our professional Registered Agent service ensures that your legal requirements will be fulfilled and that all communications will be relayed to your company in a timely manner.
The LLC is typically the best choice for smaller entities. The LLC structure provides a great deal of ownership flexibility in that an LLC may have any number of Members (owners) including non-US citizens and subsidiary companies. LLCs are also able to distribute several different classes of stock or ownership interest. However, their owners are typically required to pay a self-employment tax.

Since limited liability companies can be a pass-through entity, owners are taxed on their personal income. S-Corp shareholders are taxed personally. The S-Corp, however, is not. C-Corp income is taxed at the corporate level first, then again at the personal level. This is called "double taxation." Non-Profits are only taxed once and can write off most of their expenses. Sole Proprietors are taxed only on their personal tax return.
While limited liability companies have less compliance requirements than other entity types, there are reports and licenses that need to be filed and maintained. S-Corps usually will need to file reports and pay compliance fees on an annual or semi-annual basis. C-Corps generally must file reports with their state, as well as a host of other regulatory and compliance fees. Non-Profits have more compliance responsibilities than other entities as they must continually preserve their tax-exempt status. Sole Proprietors do not have ongoing compliance fees.
For businesses in industries like construction or real estate, where unforeseen circumstances and hazardous conditions may hold the owner responsible, consider starting an LLC. The protection gained means you will not be held personally liable, protecting you and your family from litigation or the debts of the business. An LLC may not be the best choice for business owners who plan on raising capital through outside investment. LLCs are not public structures and do not have shareholders, so taking a company public is not an option either. However, in the event that you'd like to take your business public you may switch to a public legal structure, like a C corporation, later on.

An LLC that does not want to accept its default federal tax classification, or that wishes to change its classification, uses Form 8832, Entity Classification Election (PDF), to elect how it will be classified for federal tax purposes. Generally, an election specifying an LLC’s classification cannot take effect more than 75 days prior to the date the election is filed, nor can it take effect later than 12 months after the date the election is filed. An LLC may be eligible for late election relief in certain circumstances. See About Form 8832, Entity Classification Election for more information.
Delaware "association", "company", "corporation", "club", "foundation", "fund", "incorporated", "institute", "society", "union", "syndicate", or "limited", (or abbreviations thereof, with or without punctuation), or words (or abbreviations thereof, with or without punctuation) of like import of foreign countries or jurisdictions (provided they are written in Roman characters or letters) Title 8, § 102, Delaware Code
Idaho "corporation", "incorporated", "company", "limited", or the abbreviation "corp.", "inc.", "co.", or "ltd.", or words or abbreviations of like import in another language; provided however, that if the word "company" or its abbreviation is used it shall not be immediately preceded by the word "and" or by an abbreviation of or symbol representing the word "and" § 30-1-401 Idaho Statutes
LLP, Limited Liability Partnership: a partnership where a partner's liability for the debts of the partnership is limited except in the case of liability for acts of professional negligence or malpractice. In some states, LLPs may only be formed for purposes of practicing a licensed profession, typically attorneys, accountants and architects. This is often the only form of limited partnership allowed for law firms (as opposed to general partnerships).

A series LLC is a form of limited liability company that provides liability protection to multiple "series". Essentially, it's a master LLC with separate divisions, each protected and operating independently. As an entity, the series LLC is geared towards businesses where investors own multiple companies, with each series being protected from the debts and obligations of the other series. Currently, only several states support this option, including Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Nevada, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.
All businesses need a business license, though it can be the same as a Business tax Registration - however, you need a business name certificate and you can form an llc to Register Your Business instead of getting a dba business trade name certificate. Your corporation name is the same as the dba business name. This is a general LLC Registration that allows you, as the Business owner, the freedom of operating a registered corporate business.
An LLC that does not want to accept its default federal tax classification, or that wishes to change its classification, uses Form 8832, Entity Classification Election (PDF), to elect how it will be classified for federal tax purposes. Generally, an election specifying an LLC’s classification cannot take effect more than 75 days prior to the date the election is filed, nor can it take effect later than 12 months after the date the election is filed. An LLC may be eligible for late election relief in certain circumstances. See About Form 8832, Entity Classification Election for more information.
Maryland For Corporations: "Company", if it is not preceded by the word "and" or a symbol for the word "and"; "Corporation", "Incorporated" or "Limited" or abbreviations; for Limited liability companies: "limited liability company", "L.L.C.", "LLC", "L.C.", or "LC"; for Limited liability partnerships: "limited liability partnership", "L.L.P." or "LLP"; for Limited partnerships: "limited partnership", "L.P.", or "LP"; for Limited liability limited partnerships: "limited liability limited partnership", "L.L.L.P.", or "LLLP"; for Professional corporations: "chartered", "chtd.", "professional association", "P.A.", "professional corporation", or "P.C." Maryland Code – Corporations and Associations § 1-502
Limited liability companies can raise money via banks and investors but cannot sell stocks. S-Corps can get loans from banks, as well as distribute stock to up to 100 people. C-Corps have the easiest time raising capital as there is no cap on how many people can own stock. Non-Profits can both get loans and receive tax-deductible donations. Sole Proprietorships can occasionally receive bank loans but cannot sell stocks.
Despite being a relatively new option, the limited liability company (LLC) is now one of the most popular business structures among smaller organizations. While allowing business owners to remain free from a great deal of the regulations imposed on other types of companies, it still provides limited liability protection for its owners (members). This means that the personal assets of an LLC's ownership cannot be collected to fulfill the debts of the business.
These reports must be filed every two years for both nonprofit and for-profit businesses. The filings are due during the anniversary month of your business's formation or the anniversary month in which you were granted authority to do business in the state. As a courtesy, the Secretary of State will send a reminder notice the month your report is due.
Limited liability companies must pay state fees during the incorporation process. These fees can be deducted from taxes. S-Corps must pay state fees to legally incorporate. These fees can be deducted from taxes. C-Corps must pay state fees to become legally recognized. These fees can be deducted from taxes. Non-Profits pay state fees when they incorporate. These fees can be deducted from taxes. Since Sole Proprietorships aren't incorporated entities, they don't pay formation or compliance fees.
While limited liability companies have less compliance requirements than other entity types, there are reports and licenses that need to be filed and maintained. S-Corps usually will need to file reports and pay compliance fees on an annual or semi-annual basis. C-Corps generally must file reports with their state, as well as a host of other regulatory and compliance fees. Non-Profits have more compliance responsibilities than other entities as they must continually preserve their tax-exempt status. Sole Proprietors do not have ongoing compliance fees.
Charity company (khevra le'to'ellet ha'tzibur, חברה לתועלת הציבור) – company generally governed by the Companies Act, except it is a nonprofit. A charity company must have pre-defined goals, rather than engage in any lawful activity. Some provisions in the Companies Act apply specifically to charity companies. The letters "CC" (חל"צ) must be appended to such company's name.
Arizona "association", "bank", "company", "corporation", "limited" or "incorporated" or an abbreviation of one of these words or the equivalent in a foreign language. Corporation may not use "bank", "deposit", "credit union", "trust" or "trust company" unless it also has a license to operate one. May not use "limited liability company" or "limited company" or the abbreviations "L.L.C.", "L.C.", "LLC", or "LC" § 10-401 Arizona Revised Statutes
Maryland For Corporations: "Company", if it is not preceded by the word "and" or a symbol for the word "and"; "Corporation", "Incorporated" or "Limited" or abbreviations; for Limited liability companies: "limited liability company", "L.L.C.", "LLC", "L.C.", or "LC"; for Limited liability partnerships: "limited liability partnership", "L.L.P." or "LLP"; for Limited partnerships: "limited partnership", "L.P.", or "LP"; for Limited liability limited partnerships: "limited liability limited partnership", "L.L.L.P.", or "LLLP"; for Professional corporations: "chartered", "chtd.", "professional association", "P.A.", "professional corporation", or "P.C." Maryland Code – Corporations and Associations § 1-502
The application required for incorporating as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) is called the Articles of Incorporation (also referred to as a Certificate of Incorporation). This document contains basic information about the company, its owners, and its directors. Depending on your state of incorporation, there may also be state-level fees or taxes that must be paid.
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It should also be noted that the state of New York requires limited liability companies to comply with an unusually strict set of publication requirements. In addition to publishing notices in two papers in the county in which your business is forming, you will also be required to provide proof of this to New York’s Department of State within 120 days of becoming officially recognized as a business. Failing to do so can result in suspension of your right to conduct business in the state.
The first step in forming an LLC is to file your company’s Articles of Incorporation with the state in which you are looking to establish your business. Once this has been completed, it is recommended that you take the time to develop a formal set of documents that will explicitly outline the ownership and management structure of the business, as well as establish your initial bank accounts.

To keep your business legally viable after you incorporate, there are a number of steps you may need to follow. You may need to file an Article of Amendment to indicate changes in your company. You also may need to file an Initial or Annual Report, which is a requirement in most states. Our business filing experts can help you process necessary changes to your business.

PLLC, Professional Limited Liability Company: some states do not allow certain professionals to form an LLC that would limit the liability that results from the services professionals provide such as doctors, medical care; lawyers, legal advice; and accountants, accounting services; architects, architectural services; when the company formed offers the services of the professionals. Instead those states allow a PLLC or in the LLC statutes, the liability limitation only applies to the business side, such as creditors of the company, as opposed to the client/customer service side, the level of medical care, legal services, or accounting provided to clients. This is meant to maintain the higher ethical standards that these professionals have committed themselves to by becoming licensed in their profession and to prevent them from being immune (or at least limit their immunity) to malpractice suits.
PLLC, Professional Limited Liability Company: some states do not allow certain professionals to form an LLC that would limit the liability that results from the services professionals provide such as doctors, medical care; lawyers, legal advice; and accountants, accounting services; architects, architectural services; when the company formed offers the services of the professionals. Instead those states allow a PLLC or in the LLC statutes, the liability limitation only applies to the business side, such as creditors of the company, as opposed to the client/customer service side, the level of medical care, legal services, or accounting provided to clients. This is meant to maintain the higher ethical standards that these professionals have committed themselves to by becoming licensed in their profession and to prevent them from being immune (or at least limit their immunity) to malpractice suits.
Please note that the database does not include corporate or other business entity assumed names filed pursuant to General Business Law, §130. Assumed name filings are filed and maintained by the Division of Corporations for corporations, limited liability companies and limited partnerships. Although maintained by the Division of Corporations, searches of records of assumed names used by corporations, limited liability companies and limited partnerships must be made by a written, faxed or e-mail request to the Division. All other entities such as general partnerships, sole proprietorships and limited liability partnerships file an assumed name certificate directly with the county clerk in each county in which the entity conducts or transacts business.
Charity company (khevra le'to'ellet ha'tzibur, חברה לתועלת הציבור) – company generally governed by the Companies Act, except it is a nonprofit. A charity company must have pre-defined goals, rather than engage in any lawful activity. Some provisions in the Companies Act apply specifically to charity companies. The letters "CC" (חל"צ) must be appended to such company's name.
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