Business Formation: LLC or Corporation?

by J. Branden Snyder

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The decision to start a new company can be both exhilarating and frightening at the same time. There are many decisions that need to be made regarding the new business, including how to legally structure the business.

Determining how to best structure your business can be tricky. What is the best legal structure to protect your interests and assets? The answer to that question is dependent on a number of factors. If you are trying to decide between an LLC and a corporation, here are a few things you should know about the differences between the two.

LLC — A Limited Liability Company (LLC) can protect your personal assets from lawsuits or debts that arise from your business. For example, if you own a business that has public traffic, an LLC can protect your personal assets from lawsuits in a potential slip-and-fall situation. Additionally, an LLC can protect you from being personally liable for business debts or unpaid bills.

LLCs are ideal for small businesses and businesses that hold property — such as real estate — that is expected to increase in value. Some businesses cannot operate as an LLC. For example, businesses in the banking, trust and insurance industry are generally prohibited from forming an LLC.

Corporation — A corporation can also provide limited liability for the business owner while offering additional benefits. A corporation may be a better fit for your business if:

• You plan to have multiple investors in your business or plan to raise money from the public.
• You’d like to provide fringe benefits to owners, such as health insurance.
• You want to offer stock options and stock bonus incentives to employees.

Determining what type of business structure is best can be a difficult and complex decision. Need more help determining the best fit for your business? Hire a small business lawyer to help you make the right choice. Contact the experienced legal team at The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for help with your business formation decisions.

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