types of business

Top 8 Types of Business Ownerships And Classifications

In this article, you’ll learn about types of business. Let’s start.

When you want to start a new venture or take your existing small business to a higher level, it is important to select an ownership structure to help your goals. When selecting a structure for your business, the main considerations are simplicity, controls, obligations, financing, and taxes. 

Here are eight types of business ownership and classification:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership 
  • LLP 
  • LLC
  • Series LLC
  • C corporation
  • S corporation
  • Nonprofit corporation

Common Types Of Business Ownership 

The most basic types of business ownership are sole proprietorships, limited liability partnerships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLC), series LLC, and corporations, which could be taxed as S corporations or C corporations. 

In addition, social entrepreneurs can select from nonprofit corporations as well as for-profit corporations and low-profit limited liability companies (L3C). States provide various business structures with specific requirements and privileges. 

Professional LLCs (PLCs) and professional corporations are specific structures for professional firms in some states (PCs). It would help if you researched your state’s specific regulations before making any judgments concerning your business structure. 

It’s easy to start your company in a state other than your home state, where the regulations and taxes for small businesses are more beneficial. However, this is not a simple decision, and you should conduct a study and talk with legal and financial experts before deciding. 

If you’re searching for the best LLC services, you can find valuable information on this website, including reviews, comparisons, and pricing details to help you make an informed decision.

Types of business 

Sole proprietorship 

The default structure for a business that hasn’t submitted any papers to form a legal organization is a sole proprietorship. It is the most common type of business ownership, and four out of five small business owners with no workers prefer it.

A sole proprietor is an individual who owns and operates an unincorporated business. However, if you want to handle your domestic limited liability company (LLC) as a corporation, you are not considered a single owner.

Advantages of a sole proprietorship 

A sole proprietorship is a basic ownership structure that offers several benefits, including the following:

  • Simplicity: in most cases, sole proprietors who operate under their names can go to work right away without having to file any documentation with the state. Certain licensing and registration requirements, such as getting a business license to sell online, may be avoided for sole proprietorships. As a result, a sole proprietorship is the simplest and least expensive among the several types of business ownerships. 
  • Control over the business: a single person owns a sole proprietorship. There’s no need to seek consensus before making business decisions: everything is yours. 
  • Pass-through taxation: a sole proprietorship’s profits are passed through to the owner’s income, greatly simplifying taxes. A sole proprietorship qualifies for the 20 percent qualifying business income (QBI) deduction under the 2017 tax cuts and jobs act since it is a pass-through organization. Tax software can assist you in obtaining all of the tax credits and deductions that your company is eligible for. 

Disadvantages of a sole proprietorship 

When compared to other types of ownership, sole proprietorships have some drawbacks. 

  • Legal liability: a sole proprietorship gives its owner more than just money. The two are legally inseparable. That implies any lawsuits or other claims brought against the company are brought against the owner personally. Every day you operate your firm as a sole owner, you put your assets on the line. 
  • Financial risk: in addition to legal risk, sole proprietors are solely responsible for all financial risks associated with the business. If your company runs into financial difficulties, creditors may be able to seize your home, bank accounts, cars, and other assets to fulfill their claims. 
  • Asses to funding: sole proprietorships have a harder time getting loans and investing capital than other types of business ownerships because of their informal structures. This can make providing competitive benefits like small company health insurance challenging. 


Partnerships, sometimes known as general partnerships, are corporations having several owners. By default, if you form a business partnership without first forming a legal business entity with the state, your business is a partnership. 

Your state may have limitations on how a partnership can be named While they don’t require any paperwork, which may necessitate the filing of a “doing business as” (DBA) name. Formal partnership agreements, describing each partner’s ownership share, rights, and obligations, are usually the foundation of partnerships. 

A partnership is a legally binding agreement between two or more people to manage and operate a business and share profits.

Partnerships come in a variety of shapes and sizes. In a partnership firm, for example, all partners share equal liability and earnings, although, in other businesses, partners may have restricted liability. There’s also the “silent partner,” in which one party isn’t involved in the business’s day-to-day operations.

Partnerships are a popular type of business ownership for professional firms. 

Advantages of partnerships 

Partnerships have several important benefits, including

  • Simplicity: a partnership is a reasonably straightforward organization because it does not require any papers to form. They could also be relatively simple to run, depending on the number of partners and the terms of your agreements. 
  • Pass-through taxation is pass-through entities, with income distributed proportionally to partners based on their ownership interest. For example, If your partnership is split evenly down the middle, 50 percent of the profits will go to each partner’s earnings. Partnerships are eligible for the 20% QBI reduction. 
  • Control over the business: partnerships allow owners to participate in the business directly and allocate earnings and control as they see suitable. It is relatively simple to bring in new partners. 

Disadvantages of a partnerships

The following are some of the disadvantages of partnerships: 

  • Legal liability: partnerships, like sole proprietorships, expose partners to legal liability for the firm’s operations. Liability insurance can help mitigate these risks, but it has its limitations. 
  • Financial risk: in addition, partners assume financial responsibility for the company, putting their assets at risk in the event of financial difficulty or insolvency. 

Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)

An LLP is a legal structure that allows partners to profit from the simplicity and pass-through taxation while limiting their responsibility. LLPs are required to record with the secretary of state and have a written operating agreement among partners. 

They are a common business entity with professionals such as doctors, lawyers, accountants, architects, and engineers when they are available. 

LLPs are a legal and tax structure that allows partners to profit from economies of scale by working together while also limiting their liability for the conduct of other partners. Before getting too enthusiastic, examine the laws of your country (and your state) as you would with any legal company. In a nutshell, consult a lawyer first. They almost certainly have direct knowledge of an LLP.

Advantage of an LLP 

LLPs offer their owners several benefits, including: 

  • Limited liability: an LLP, like an LLC, is a distinct legal entity with its assets and liabilities. Although the level of security varies by state, this protects partners from personal liability for legal and financial claims against the firm. In most cases, the partner’s liability is limited to the amount of money they have invested in the firm. Liability insurance is typically required because partners may still be responsible for their errors and misbehavior. 
  • Ownership and control: like partnerships, LLPs provide owners to engage actively and manage their business operations. 
  • Tax options: LLPs can be considered pass-through entities, which can help owners save money, especially with the 20% QBI deduction. However, the way they are taxed differs from state to state. 

Disadvantage of LLP 

These are some limitations of LLPs include: 

  • Limited availability: LLPs aren’t available in every state, and they may be limited to specific types of business. 
  • Increased complexity: partners should thoroughly understand their state’s rules and tax laws before deciding on this structure because different states approach LLPs differently.

Limited liability company (LLC)

It is a legal entity formed by drafting an LLC operating agreement and submitting articles of formation to the secretary of state. LLCs are a common business ownership form for small firms because they allow owners to keep some of the benefits of a sole proprietorship while minimizing legal and financial risk. 

When comparing the benefits of a sole proprietorship vs. an LLC, before using top LLC services companies, and sole proprietorship companies, make sure to consider all of the positives and negatives. 

In the United States, a limited liability corporation (LLC) is a corporate structure that shields its owners from personal accountability for the firm’s debts or liabilities. Limited liability companies (LLCs) are hybrid businesses that combine the advantages of a corporation with those of a partnership or a single proprietorship.

Advantages of LLC 

An LLC provides various advantages, one of which is limited liability:

  • Limited liability: you create a separate legal entity with its assets and duties when incorporating an LLC. Any legal claims against the company are filed against the company, not the proprietors. However, members of an LLC may still be held liable for their actions. Thus liability insurance is usually recommended. 
  • Active ownership: LLCs allow two or more people to own the company and have as much control and engagement as they like.
  • Tax options: LLCs are pass-through businesses, which can help owners save money, especially with the 20% QBI deduction. However, LLCs offer even more freedom by allowing members to elect to be taxed instead (see “corporations” below). Larger companies benefit from this, but LLCs gain flexibility as their business grows. 

Disadvantages of an LLC

The following are some LLCs drawbacks:  

  • Complexity: articles of formation must be filed with the state for an LLC to be constituted. You’ll also have to deal with endless regulatory paperwork, such as keeping a registered agent on file to receive legal documents and completing periodic reports with the state as needed. All of this adds time and complication to the administrative process. 
  • Administrative cost: a limited liability company (LLC) is more expensive to form and manage than a single proprietorship. Fees are usually required for state filings, and you may need software or assistance to complete them. You may also require further legal and financial advice to ensure that you get most of your options, which might add to the price. 

Series LLC 

Series LLCs are a new type of corporate ownership structure that is now accessible in 18 states and counting. They essentially allow a parent LLC to incorporate many internal LLCs in a subsidiary-like manner. These layered LLCs can be utilized to protect distinct corporate divisions from liabilities.

A series LLC is a special type of limited liability corporation (LLC) in which the articles of organization expressly provide for the unrestricted separation of membership interests, assets, and activities into separate series. Each series is treated as a distinct entity, with its own name, bank account, and books and records. Each series of a series LLC may have separate members and management. The rights and responsibilities of these members and supervisors vary depending on the series. Each series has the legal authority to enter into contracts, sue or be sued, and own real and personal property.

Series LLCs are complicated, but they’re worth considering with your advisors if your company has separate parts that could benefit from individual attention. 

Advantages of series LLC

Series LLCs have several advantages, including.’

  • Really limited liability: Within a series, each LLC has its members, assets, and liabilities.  
  • Active ownership: owners of series LLC can actively engage in the management of their individual LLCs.
  • Tax options: traditional LLCs benefit from the same tax advantages and flexibility as series LLCs. 
  • Unified filing: even though it has several LLC, a series LLC only needs to register and file taxes through the parent LLC. However, because the registrations and returns must include all LLCs, they are still more complicated than a single LLC.

Disadvantages of a series LLC

Complexity: despite the centralized filing system, managing several LLCs with independent assets and owners is far more difficult than managing a single corporation. The series structure complicates taxes in particular.

Administrative costs: additional costs and professional advice are incurred as a result of the increased administrative strain. In addition, fees for incorporating a series LLC may be greater. 

C corporations 

Shareholders own a corporation, and they may have varying levels of control and engagement in the company’s day-to-day activities. Stock corporations issue shares of stock as a form of ownership.

Articles of incorporation are filed with the state to form a corporation. Appointing a board of directors to supervise the business and establishing bylaws for its governance are all part of the incorporation procedure.

Corporations constitute a further degree of separation between the corporation and its owners, with governance administered by a board of directors and ownership distributed among shareholders.

Companies are automatically classified as C corporations since they are taxed under Subchapter C of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). Thus, c corporations, unlike sole proprietorships, partnerships, and limited liability companies, are not pass-through businesses.

The corporation owns the profits, which are subject to corporate income tax. However, they may also be delivered to shareholders as dividends.

Advantages of a C corporation 

Corporations can withstand any amount of expansion thanks to their formal governance and ownership systems. As a company develops larger, the structure becomes more advantageous. The following are some of the benefits:

  • Limited liability: A corporation, like an LLC, is a separate legal entity with its assets and responsibilities. The liability of the company’s stockholders is usually limited to the amount of money they put into it.
  • Self-employment taxes: Employees who work for the company are paid and taxed as employees, avoiding self-employment tax. Income can be retained as equity and dispersed as shares and dividends, giving the company more financial freedom.
  • Access to capital: C Companies can raise funds by issuing shares. They can make unlimited stock offerings to individuals or businesses, both international and domestic. They can also issue a variety of different sorts of shares.

The Disadvantage of C Corporation

The following are the disadvantages of incorporation:

  • Corporate tax: C firms must pay corporate tax on their profits. Shareholders who manage for the company are paid a salary, and those who receive dividends pay personal income tax on their earnings. As a result, the profits of the company are taxed twice.
  • Complexity and cost: Corporations are more difficult to organize and run than other types of businesses.
  • Less control: Corporations are more difficult to organize and run than other types of businesses.

S Corporation

By choosing to be charged as an S corporation, some corporations can benefit from pass-through taxation. The corporation must have no more than hundreds of shareholders and only one class of stock to qualify.

Shares in an S corporation can only be owned by people, certain estates and trusts, and certain tax-exempt organizations.

An S corporation is founded in the same way as a C company, except that an extra electron is made with the Internal Revenue Service through a filing.

Advantage of an S corporation

An S corporation has the following advantages:

  • Limited liability: S companies, like other corporations, limit the owners’ liability for the debts and legal responsibilities of the company.
  • Access to funding: S corporations could attract investment capital and other forms of funding.
  • Pass-through taxation: S corporations are eligible for pass-through taxes, lowering the tax burden for both individual shareholders and the company.

Disadvantages of an S corporation

The following are the disadvantages of S corporations:

  • Higher startup costs: S companies, like any other corporation, are more expensive to form and operate than LLCs and sole proprietorships.
  • Increased complexity: S businesses are required to report earnings and other information to their shareholders regularly.
  • Limits on ownership: S corporations can only be owned by citizens or residents of the United States, and they can only issue one form of stock.

Nonprofit corporation

The majority of NGOs are established as corporations that apply for tax-exempt status under IRC Section 501(c). The establishment of their company is similar to that of other corporations, with articles of incorporation submitted with the secretary of state, a board of directors, and governance rules.

However, nonprofits can be founded primarily for the tax-exempt objectives outlined in Section 501(c), and they are subject to state-specific regulatory restrictions.

Nonprofits, contrary to popular assumptions, may and should make money. The way revenues have invested the distinction between a nonprofit and a for-profit organization. Profits are reinvested in the nonprofit’s services to further its benevolent objective rather than being given to shareholders.

Advantages of a nonprofit corporation

Nonprofit organizations have several advantages, including:

  • Liability protection: Nonprofit corporations have the same liability restrictions as regular businesses, shielding you from personal accountability for the nonprofit’s activities.
  • Tax exemption: Nonprofits may be eligible for federal tax exemptions and exemptions from a variety of state and local taxes. Nonprofits can stretch their budgets and devote more resources to their causes as a result of this. However, the federal tax exemption does not apply to other taxes. Nonprofits that receive federal tax-exempt status must usually apply separately for state and local tax, such as sales tax.

Disadvantages of a nonprofit corporation

The following are some of the restrictions of nonprofit corporations:

  • Limited activities: Nonprofit organizations must limit their operations to charitable causes.
  • Limited access to funding: Grants and charitable contributions are used to fund the operations of nonprofit organizations.
  • Increases regulatory oversight: Nonprofits have separate registration and reporting procedures to manage at the state and federal levels, in addition to the legal responsibilities of corporations.


In these articles, you have learned about types of business. I hope you have understood easily. As you could see, each business structure has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. First, you’ll need to answer some basic questions about your business to determine the best choice for you. For example, what is your vision for the company’s future? What is the current size of your company, and what are your expansion plans? After you’ve answered those questions, go to your legal and financial consultants to make sure your company is set up for long-term success. and if you need business law assignment help from our experts, then contact us.

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