BUSINESS ENTITIES

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SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP

A sole proprietorship, also known as the sole trader, individual entrepreneurship or proprietorship, is a type of enterprise that is owned and run by one person and in which there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business entity. A sole trader does not necessarily work 'alone'—it is possible for the sole trader to employ other people.

PARTNERSHIP

A partnership is a formal arrangement by two or more parties to manage and operate a business and share its profits. There are several types of partnership arrangements. In particular, in a partnership business, all partners share liabilities and profits equally, while in others, partners have limited liability

LIMITED PARTNERSHIP

A Limited Partnership is a partnership consisting of a general partner, who manages the business and has unlimited personal liability for the debts and obligations of the Limited Partnership, and a limited partner, who has limited liability but cannot participate in management.

CORPORATION

•    Corporations: A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the state to act as a single entity (a legal entity; a legal person in legal context) and recognized as such in law for certain purposes.

  • C Corporation:  A C corporation (or C-corp) is a legal structure for a corporation in which the owners, or shareholders, are taxed separately from the entity. C corporations, the most prevalent of corporations, are also subject to corporate income taxation. The taxing of profits from the business is at both corporate and personal levels, creating a double taxation situation.

  • S Corporation:  An S corporation, also known as an S sub-chapter, refers to a type of corporation that meets specific Internal Revenue Code requirements. The requirements give a corporation with 100 shareholders or less the benefit of incorporation while being taxed as a partnership. The corporation may pass income directly to shareholders and avoid double taxation.

LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY

A limited liability company (LLC) is the US-specific form of a private limited company. It is a business structure that can combine the pass-through taxation of a partnership or sole proprietorship with the limited liability of a corporation. An LLC is not a corporation under state law; it is a legal form of a company that provides limited liability to its owners in many jurisdictions. LLCs are well known for the flexibility that they provide to business owners; depending on the situation, an LLC may elect to use corporate tax rules instead of being treated as a partnership, and, under certain circumstances, LLCs may be organized as not-for-profit. In certain U.S. states (for example, Texas), businesses that provide professional services requiring a state professional license, such as legal or medical services, may not be allowed to form an LLC but may be required to form a similar entity called a professional limited liability company (PLLC).  

TRUST

A trust is a fiduciary relationship in which one party, known as a trustor, gives another party, the trustee, the right to hold title to property or assets for the benefit of a third party, the beneficiary. Trusts are established to provide legal protection for the trustor’s assets, to make sure those assets are distributed according to the wishes of the trustor, and to save time, reduce paperwork and, in some cases, avoid or reduce inheritance or estate taxes. In finance, a trust can also be a type of closed-end fund built as a public limited company.

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