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.
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. 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:
A public limited company. Must have at least seven members. Liability is limited to the amount, if any, unpaid on shares they hold. Unlawful to issue any form of prospectus except in compliance with the Companies Acts 1963–2006. Nominal value of Company's allotted share capital must satisfy specified minimums which must be fully paid before company commences business or exercises any borrowing powers.
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.
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
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.
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
The law specifies that all taxable personal property must be assessed as of a specific point in time, and that point is precisely at 12:01 a.m. January 1 (regardless of what transpires after that date). Even if closed shortly after the lien date, a business must still file a Business Property Statement and pay taxes for the coming fiscal year on any taxable property they owned on the lien date.