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Choose the right small business structure
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Choosing a structure for a small business
Listen to lawyer and business expert Teresa Goody, CEO of The Goody Group, discuss considerations for choosing a legal business entity and where to find the information to make an informed decision.
Choose the right business entity
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The importance of choosing the right business entity

One aspect of starting a business that entrepreneurs struggle with the most is what type of business entity to choose. Not only does the right business structure provide legal and tax protection from its owners, but it also is a symbol of how you present your business to the world at large.

What does it mean to incorporate?

When people say "I'd like to register my business," they usually mean incorporating their business as a C Corporation or an S Corporation or forming an LLC. By incorporating or forming an LLC, the company's owner or owners create a separate legal entity to transact business. The process involves properly completing and filing your documents and appointing a registered agent. If you incorporate, most states require that you hold an organizational meeting, issue shares and adopt bylaws. To be an S Corporation, you’ll also have to file an election statement with the IRS. LLCs have fewer state requirements, but it’s a best practice to adopt an operating agreement.

Why is incorporating a business important?

When you incorporate, the business becomes a separate legal entity, distinct from its owners. This new entity ─ whether it’s a C Corp, S Corp or LLC ─ often has enhanced credibility with lenders, potential customers, vendors and employees. Limited liability is another key benefit. Without incorporation, you are responsible for any debts and losses your business may accumulate. However, when you incorporate, you are typically held responsible only for the amount of money you personally invest or business debts you personally guarantee. Your personal assets typically cannot be used to satisfy the debts and liabilities of your business

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