Before starting your small business, you'll need to select an ownership structure for your new venture. LLC, corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship: There are pros and cons to each and it pays to take the time to read comparisons to learn which one will provide the type of liability protection you want and the tax, financing, and financial benefits that are best for the type of business you have.
Nolo has books, forms, and online applications to help you create your business entity and keep it running once you have decided on your legal structure. For a complete list of Nolo's small business products, see the Small Business Products page.
Choosing the Best Ownership Structure for Your Business
Understand what you need to think about when choosing the best ownership structure for your business.
Learn about the differences between corporations, LLCs, partnerships, and sole proprietorships.
Chart: Ways to Organize Your Business
Find out how to organize your business with this chart, which shows the pros and cons of the different business entity forms--corporation, partnership, LLC, S corporation, sole proprietorship, and more.
Understand the advantages the LLC entity offers over other business structures.
Which Type of Business Entity Needs an Employer Identification Number (EIN)?
Find out which business structures need an EIN and how to obtain one.
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How to Start Your Own Business: 50 Things You'll Need to Do
From insurance to accounting to taxes, here are the steps to starting a business.
When Do Start-Up Businesses Need to Hire a Lawyer?
You may not need to hire a lawyer as soon as you think when starting a business.
Should You Form a Real Estate LLC?
Learn why a limited liability company is a popular business structure for real estate companies.
Should an Independent Contractor Form an LLC?
Find out why it might make sense for you to form an LLC for your small business.
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"Ltd." refers to limited liability, meaning the company's owners are not personally responsible for the debts of the business.
50-State Guide to Converting a Corporation to an LLC
The rules for each state on how to convert a corporation or S corporation to an LLC.
Single owner businesses will want to understand the difference between these two business structures.
Learn the differences between an LLC and partnership structure before deciding what entity is best for you.
Corporations and S Corporations vs. LLCs
You may know you want limited liability, but how do you choose between a corporation versus an LLC?
Joint ventures can provide opportunities for growth for small businesses.
How Do I Start a Joint Venture?
A well-defined business objective and thorough analysis of your potential co-venturer are crucial for success.
How to Start a Business in California
From licenses and permits to taxes and insurance, learn what you need to do to start a business in California.
How to Start a Business in Florida
From licenses and permits to taxes and insurance, learn what you need to do to start a business in Florida.
How to Start a Business in Texas
From licenses and permits to taxes and insurance, learn what you need to do to start a business in Texas.