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What is the Most Common Form of Business Ownership?

What is the most common form of business ownership?

Different forms of business ownership exist, each with its own advantages and drawbacks. It’s essential to comprehend these factors before selecting which structure best meets your requirements.

The three most common business ownership structures are sole proprietorships, partnerships and corporations. When selecting the ideal structure for your needs, take into account factors like what you want to protect, how you plan to raise money and how taxes will be handled.

Sole Proprietorship

Sole proprietorships are the most common type of business and popular way to manage a small business. With this structure, you have complete control over all aspects of the company as you’re solely accountable for its financial performance. Plus, starting one is usually tax-efficient and straightforward – making it an attractive option for entrepreneurs looking to launch their venture.

However, sole proprietors remain liable for the debts of their business unless they have a written separation agreement that clearly delineates personal and professional assets. If your business goes bankrupt or you fail to repay a loan, creditors have the right to seize personal possessions to satisfy outstanding liabilities.

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Photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash


A partnership is an agreement between two or more people who share the profits and losses of a business. This form of ownership allows each partner to contribute money, property, or labor towards running it. They may also participate in management decisions as well as have formal partnership agreements outlining profit sharing percentages, dissolution terms, etc..

This type of ownership can be an ideal option for new businesses or existing companies looking to expand their market. Furthermore, it serves as a great option for firms wishing to attract limited partners.

Formally creating a partnership is possible without much formality, however it is highly recommended that all the partners sign a written partnership agreement prior to beginning operations.

Partnerships are a great option for startups or growing companies looking to diversify their shareholder base and raise capital. It has several advantages, such as the ability to divide profits, access to more available funds, and the chance to attract investors.

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Photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash

One major disadvantage of a partnership is its difficulty in management and potential for conflict between partners. This can be particularly true when one partner lacks managerial expertise.

Another issue is that partners often do not possess the authority to transfer their interests in a business to other individuals; however, this can be accomplished in some instances. If your venture involves frequent stock sales, then forming a corporation might be wise instead.

An S corporation is a type of corporation with all the same advantages as an LLC, but also shares and an elected board of directors. By creating an S corporation, you can avoid double taxation by reporting your corporate income on individual federal tax returns.

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