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:
Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) – Public limited companies formed under EU Regulation and the Companies Acts 1963–2006. Sole object of a UCIT is collective investment in transferable securities of capital raised from the public that operates on the principle of risk-spreading. Central Bank of Ireland must approve all registrations of UCITS.
Limited liability companies can claim deductions but not tax-exempt status. S-Corps can claim deductions but not tax-exempt status. C-Corporations are not tax-exempt entities Not only are donations to Non-Profits tax-exempt, but NPOs can themselves apply for tax-exempt status. Sole Proprietorships are the least official business entity and cannot claim tax exemption.
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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.
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.
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
Vermont "corporation", "incorporated", "company", or "limited", or the abbreviation "corp.", "inc.", "co.", or "ltd.", or words or abbreviations of like import in another language; shall not have the word "cooperative" or any abbreviation thereof as part of its name unless the corporation is a worker cooperative corporation Title 11A, § 4.01 Vermont 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
Unlike in many other Western countries, Canadian businesses generally only have one form of incorporation available. Unlimited liability corporations can be formed in Alberta "AULC", British Columbia "BCULC"[8] and Nova Scotia "NSULC". The aforementioned unlimited liability corporations are generally not used as operating business structures, but are instead used to create favorable tax positions for either Americans investing in Canada or vice versa.[9] For U.S. tax purposes the ULC is classified as a disregarded entity.
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