Different Types of Business Entities

A business is defined generally as an unincorporated company or corporation organized for the purpose of conducting commercial, corporate, or professional activities. Businesses may be either for profit entities or non-profitable non-profits that work to meet a social cause or further an educational mission. A business also has many different subcategories, such as partnership business, service business, property business, financial business, and intellectual property business. The activities performed by a business are usually conducted for the purpose of earning income or profit. Business can include manufacturing, selling, marketing, or operating businesses, but it may also encompass other types of undertakings such as trading, investment, telecommunications, banking, and management.


Many businesses are established to provide goods or services. These may be retail shops, boutiques, restaurants, department stores, hotels, motels, and warehouses. Many businesses use a combination of these services to draw customers. However, some businesses may focus on one or two types of sales. For instance, groceries may be run primarily as a retail outlet but also have various eating and drinking establishments. Bookstores and libraries often operate as for-profit enterprises, while real estate businesses typically provide property and building services.

Other types of businesses incorporate to protect themselves from liability. One type is general liability, which protects a business from negligence claims and lawsuits based on the actions of a third party. Another type of business structure is limited liability. This type limits the liability of the business owners or officers. Limited liability businesses are limited to the amount of liability that the owners or officers can incur. Business owners who are found negligent may be held personally liable for not only expenses and damages resulting from a lawsuit, but also past and future income or assets that the owners accumulate during their lifetime.

A limited liability company is a hybrid of the two business models. It combines the best of both business models: it allows the business owner to limit his or her personal liability, while maintaining ownership of the business. Unlike a corporation, there are very few risks involved in owning a limited liability company. However, the business owners are still personally responsible for all of the business debts of the LLC. Also, the company profits are limited to the profits made by the LLC.

Some partnerships share the profits equally; others distribute them among partners. In a partnership, the profits are usually divided between the partners in proportion to their contribution to the success of the partnership. The profits of a partnership are usually used for debt repayment and/or for growth purposes. In a limited liability partnership, the partnership owns all of the assets and owns no assets.

Sole proprietor v.s. corporation. There are differences between the two forms of business ownership. A sole proprietor has only one mode of operation: they own the entire corporation and it is their entire responsibility to see that the corporation succeeds. A sole proprietor also has limited liability, which makes it easier for lawsuits against the business to be resolved within the business.

Partnerships are another type of business entity. Similar to a partnership, the partnership partners share in the profits of the partnership and must contribute their part as well. Partnerships have many advantages over corporations: partners are not responsible for the success of the partnership and if one partner does not perform his duties, the other partner can step in to perform those duties and can use the profits from the partnership as his liability.

There are many ways to set up businesses, and it is important to recognize which type of business entity would work best for you. Sole proprietorship and limited partnerships offer many advantages over other options. For most people, owning their own business gives them a sense of ownership and freedom. It gives them the financial freedom and the ability to make their own decisions. Limited partnerships and sole proprietorship to offer different styles of operation and different benefits, so it is a matter of what you would prefer.