A business entity is an entity that is formed and administered as per corporate law in order to engage in business activities, charitable work, or other activities allowable. Most often, business entities are formed to sell a product or a service.[citation needed] There are many types of business entities defined in the legal systems of various countries. These include corporations, cooperatives, partnerships, sole traders, limited liability companies and other specifically permitted and labelled types of entities. The specific rules vary by country and by state or province. Some of these types are listed below, by country. For guidance, approximate equivalents in the company law of English-speaking countries are given in most cases, for example:


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.
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.
Corp., Inc., Corporation, Incorporated: used to denote corporations (public or otherwise). These are the only terms universally accepted by all 51 corporation chartering jurisdictions in the United States. However, in some states other suffixes may be used to identify a corporation, such as Ltd., Co./Company, or the Italian term S.p.A. (in Connecticut; see under Italy). Some states that allow the use of "Company" prohibit the use of "and Company", "and Co.", "& Company" or "& Co.". In most states sole proprietorships and partnerships may register a fictitious "doing business as" name with the word "Company" in it. For a full list of allowed designations by state, see the table below.
LLC members are not personally responsible for the company's debt or liability. S-Corp shareholders are not personally responsible for the company's debt or liability. C-Corp shareholders are not personally responsible for the company's debt or liability. Non-Profit directors are not personally responsible for organizational debt or liability. Sole Proprietors are personally responsible for debt and liability.
Please note: We believe accurate, plain-English legal information should help you solve many of your own legal problems. But it's not a substitute for personalized advice from a knowledgeable lawyer. If you want the help of a trained professional-- and we'll always point out situations in which we think that's a good idea-- consult an attorney licensed to practice in your state.
The "mit beschränkter Haftung (mbH)" suffix (German: [ˈɛmbeːˌhaː], "with limited liability") is sometimes added to the name of a firm that already ends in "-gesellschaft" ("company"), e.g., "Mustermann Dental-Handelsgesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung" ("dental trading company with limited liability"), which would be abbreviated as "Mustermann Dental-Handelsgesellschaft mbH".
LLC members are not personally responsible for the company's debt or liability. S-Corp shareholders are not personally responsible for the company's debt or liability. C-Corp shareholders are not personally responsible for the company's debt or liability. Non-Profit directors are not personally responsible for organizational debt or liability. Sole Proprietors are personally responsible for debt and liability.
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.
Utah "corporation", "incorporated", "company"; the abbreviation: "corp.", "inc." or "co." or words or abbreviations of like import to the words or abbreviations listed in another language; without the written consent of the United States Olympic Committee, may not contain the words "Olympic", "Olympiad", or "Citius Altius Fortius"; without the written consent of the Division of Consumer Protection may not contain the words "university", "college" or "institute" § 16-10a-401 Utah Code
Please do not place your social security number on filing or other documents you submit to the Secretary of State. Although we attempt to prevent disclosure of social security numbers, due to the large number of documents filed, we cannot guarantee that a social security number placed on a document will not be disclosed. It is the responsibility of the filer to ensure that a social security number is not contained on the filing.
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