Monday, January 20, 2003

llc, lp, llp, lllp, s corporation, c corporation, partnership, proprietorship... what are all these things?!

Many of these types of entities have similarities, and some are glaringly different.

An LLC is a Limited Liability Corporation, which may have pass through taxation like a partnership, liability protection like a corporation, and flexible structure.

A Limited Partnership (LP) is used to limit the authority of one or more of the partners.

A Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) limits the liability of the partners as to each others' negligent acts.

An LLLP is a Limited Liability Limited Partnership, limiting the liability of one or more partners from the negligence of another partner while at the same time limiting the authority of one or more partners.

An S Corporation is a little less flexible than an LLC, but can have the similar flow through taxation and asset protection.

A C Corporation [sic] is not very flexible in form, but the strongest asset protection and high in expense deduction qualifications (but dividends get taxed twice).

A partnership is very flexible and doesn't protect at all, as is a proprietorship (but is it not a partnership of one?).

The differences and similarities between these vehicles could fill books. So don't rely upon this very general lineup as if it were a scholarly treatise. What is needed, in determining how to structure your enterprise, is an evaluation of your goals, assets, liabilities, business plan, and tax considerations.

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