What type of business entity should I choose?

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The type of business entity you choose for your North Carolina business depends on various factors, including your business goals, the size of your business, your personal financial and legal circumstances, and your preferences for taxation, management, and liability.

Here are some common types of business entities in North Carolina:

  1. Sole proprietorship: This is the simplest type of business entity, where the business is owned and operated by one person. It has no legal distinction from the owner and offers no personal liability protection. However, you may want to file a certificate of assumed name if you are doing business under a trade name.
  2. Partnership: This is a business owned by two or more people who share profits and losses. There are several types of partnerships, including general partnerships, limited partnerships, and limited liability partnerships.
  3. Limited Liability Company (LLC): This is a hybrid business entity that combines the liability protection of a corporation with the tax benefits and flexibility of a partnership. It offers personal liability protection to the owners, who are called members.
  4. Corporation: This is a separate legal entity owned by shareholders who elect a board of directors to manage the business. A corporation offers personal liability protection to its shareholders, but it is subject to double taxation.

You can organize a business online with the North Carolina Secretary of State.

The Assumed Business Name Act in the North Carolina General Statutes governs the requirements of filing a certificate of assumed name.

You can file a certificate of Assumed Name in Wake County with the Wake County Register of Deeds.

It is recommended that you consult with a business attorney or a financial advisor to determine the best legal structure for your North Carolina business based on your specific needs and goals. They can help you weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each entity type and provide guidance on the legal and financial requirements of forming a business entity in North Carolina.

Will Blackton is a business lawyer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. You can reach Will at wblackton@bobllaw.com or (919) 636-5979.

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