These lecture notes and additional documents provide an overview of the most commonly used entities that people use to run their businesses including sole proprietorships, general partnerships, limited liability partnerships, limited liability companies, S Corporations and C Corporations.
It will provide you with an understanding of how the right entity can protect your personal assets if you are sued, and it reviews how a poor choice may translate into unexpected tax implications.
You will learn why calling someone your "business partner" may create unexpected liabilities, and why forming your company in another state doesn't mean you don't have to pay California taxes if you conduct business activities or own assets here.
You'll learn what kinds of entities are usually used to accept investment, and you'll learn what entity allows you to vary how you reward different classes of investors.
You'll learn about the "corporate veil" and how it can be pierced and you'll learn what you can do to prevent that from happening.
This practical introduction to corporate structure was written by Nancy Fulton, a serial entrepreneur and it is meant as a primer for those starting a first business who need a plain-language introduction to why it matters what kind of entity you use to run your business.
The data provided in this document should not be taken as legal advice.
The vast majority of business owners benefit from working with a lawyer and tax advisor in setting up their business.
Relevant and useful links are provided in the document to help people find additional information and resources as required.
Lecture Notes by Nancy Fulton
BHBA Notes provided by Justin Sterling