An unincorporated business that is owned by one individual. The business has no existence apart from the owner. The liabilities are the owners personal liabilities which are the risks of the business for all assets owned whether used by the business or personally owned. All income and expenses of the business are included on the owner’s personal income tax return.
Composed of two or more persons. Each general partner shares the profits, losses and management of the business. Each partner is personally and equally liable for the debts of the partnership. All parties involved may or may not have a formal partnership agreement.
An incorporated organization which exists for educational or charitable reasons, and from which its shareholders or trustees do not benefit financially. Any money earned must be retained by the organization, and used for its own expenses operations, and programs. Many non-profit organizations also seek tax exempt status and may also be exempt from local taxes including sales taxes or property taxes. Well-known non-profit organizations include Habitat for Humanity, the Red Cross, and United Way.
Limited Liability Companies (LLC)
Formed by one or more individuals and/or business entities through a special written operating agreement. The agreement detail the organization of the LLC including; provisions for management, assign ability of interests and distributions of profits or losses. It has members/member managers rather than shareholders. Members generally are not personally liable for the debts of the LLC unless they have signed a personal guaranty. They can also be taxed like a partnership or a corporation.
A corporation has certain rights, privileges, and liabilities beyond those of an individual as a chartered legal entity. Articles of incorporation detail the organization of a corporation, including its purpose and management structure. Doing business as a corporation may yield tax and financial benefits. These are offset by increased fees and decreased personal control. Corporations can be formed for profit or nonprofit purposes.