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Sole-Proprietorship

  • Income is taxed on your personal return at your personal tax rate and subject to self-employment tax (an additional 15%).
  • Not required to file annual reports.
  • Maintained and operated by one person.
  • Does not pay payroll to owner.

Partnership

  • Income is taxed on each partner’s personal return at their personal tax rate. (Income is split by a pre-determined percentage per person.). Some or all of the income may be subject to self-employment tax (additional 15%).
  • Legal liability is limited for an RLLP (a Registered Limited Liability Partnership).
  • Not required to file annual reports (unless RLLP).
  • Managed by partners.
  • Should have an operating agreement (consult attorney).
  • Partners are not paid payroll.

C-Corporation

  • Only the corporation is responsible for the company’s debts (unless an owner signs a personal guarantee).
  • Unlimited number of shareholders (but can be a single person).
  • Taxed at corporate level and the shareholders are taxed on any distributions at the personal level as well.
  • Owners cannot take payroll, only stock distributions, dividends, etc.

S-Corporation

  • Only the corporation is responsible for the company’s debts (unless an owner signs a personal guarantee).
  • Maximum of 100 stockholders.
  • Managed by directors that are appointed by stockholders (can be a single person).
  • Income is taxed on shareholders’ personal returns (NOT subject to self-employment tax).
  • Should have by-laws (consult attorney).
  • Owner is paid payroll and receives a W2. ┬áCan also take a distribution.

LLC

  • Can elect to be treated as any of the above for tax purposes.
    • Will be automatically treated as a sole-proprietorship if owned by a single person and no other option is elected.
    • Will be automatically treated as a partnership if owned by more than one person and no other option is elected.
  • Not required to file annual reports.
  • Should be run by members (can be a single member).
  • Should have an operating agreement (consult attorney).

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