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How do Business Structures Differ?

Starting a new business is an exciting venture, but with so many business structures, deciding the legal structure of your company can seem overwhelming. Will it be a sole proprietorship? A corporation? Is it an LLC?

Trying to figure out the various business legal structures can seem complex. However, the experts at David Mills, CPA, LLC have the experience and knowledge to provide expert advice and guidance

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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says there are five primary types of business structures. Which one you chose will affect which income tax return form you have to file.

The five most common business legal structures are:

Sole Proprietorship

In a sole proprietorship, the individual who owns the business is an unincorporated business by themselves. 

This type of business structure is sometimes known as the sole trader, individual entrepreneurship or proprietorship. There is no legal distinction between the owner and the business entity. 

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, a sole proprietorship is “the simplest and most common structure chosen to start a business.” 

Partnership

A partnership is when two or more individuals join together to create a business. According to the IRS, in a partnership “each person contributes money, property, labor or skill, and expects to share in the profits and losses of the business.”

Within a partnership, there are two common types: limited partnerships (LP) and limited liability partnerships (LLP). 

The U.S. Small Business Administration notes a limited partnership has one partner with unlimited liability and all others with limited liability. 

In a limited partnership, the partners with limited liability tend to have limited control over the company. Profits are passed through to personal tax returns, and the general partner — the partner without limited liability — must also pay self-employment taxes.

A limited liability partnership (LLP) gives limited liability to every owner. This structure protects each partner from debts against the partnership.

Corporation

When a corporation is formed, prospective shareholders exchange money, property or both, for the corporation’s capital stock. 

Sometimes called a “C-corp” a corporation is a legal entity separate from its owners. 

The Small Business Administration notes corporations offer “the strongest protection to its owners from personal liability” but “the cost to form a corporation is higher than other structures.”

Operating a corporation requires more extensive record-keeping and reporting.

S Corporation

The IRS says S Corporations “are corporations that elect to pass corporate income, losses, deductions, and credits through to their shareholders for federal tax purposes.”

Becoming an S Corporation requires a business to meet certain qualifications including being a domestic corporation and having no more than 100 shareholders.

Businesses must file with the IRS to earn S Corporation status.

Limited Liability Company

A limited liability company, more commonly referred to as an “LLC” combines the advantages of both the corporation and partnership business structures.

An LLC can protect an individual from personal liability in most instances. 

Owners of an LLC are known as “members” and the members can be individuals, corporations, other LLCs or foreign entities. Most states, including Illinois, permit “single-member” LLCs, in which there is only one owner.

Let the Experts at David Mills, CPA, LLC Help

The professionals at David Mills, CPA, LLC, have offices in both Morton and East Peoria. They work with business clients in the Tri-County (Peoria, Woodford and Tazewell) area as well as beyond.

When establishing a business, contact David Mills, CPA, LLC to ensure the legal entity you select best matches your professional goals.

Your Small Business Needs a Budget

five stacks of silver coins increasing in height from left to rightSmall businesses need budgets, but too often, they don’t have one. The staff at David Mills CPA, LLC can assist with your budgeting needs.

Creating a business budget can seem overwhelming. One survey found as many as two-thirds of all small businesses don’t have a budget.

Without a budget, though, your company’s financial health is at risk. Small businesses face challenges every day. A budget helps mitigate those difficulties.

The experts at David Mills CPA will show you how budgeting can grow your profits. Interpreting the numbers is key, but we understand making sense of those figures can feel overwhelming.

We can help you answer the critical questions:

  • Do you really know where your money is going?
  • What does it cost you to open the doors each day?
  • What are your most profitable services or products?
  • When you have vendor price increases how much more do you need to sell to remain at the same profit levels?

A smartly planned budget will include flexibility to help you navigate any troubled waters your business may face.

close up of black calculator keysA budget should be more than just a yearly chore. It’s a tool to help you tackle short-term obstacles while planning for the long-term future.

Experts can help answer budgeting questions

We will teach you the questions to ask when looking at your budget versus actual numbers. In this way, your budget becomes a valuable tool to manage cash flow and build your business.

Budgets help make your business more efficient. They can help keep your company out of debt while developing a roadmap for future growth or expansion.

Planning your business budget will make it more efficient to operate your company.

Let the staff at David Mills CPA assist you with all your business budgeting needs. Contact us today for more information.

David Mills CPA: East Peoria Location Now Open!

Exciting news! David Mills CPA has officially opened our East Peoria location. We can provide your business with accounting and financial services. Our office is open Monday-Friday from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM.

David Mills Services Offered David Mills East Peoria location

In order to best serve our customers, we offer a wide variety of services. We can assist your business with the financial aspects so you can focus on what is most important to you. A list of our services include:

  • QuickBooks
  • Bookkeeping
  • Family Office Services
  • Trust & Estate Taxation
  • Income Tax Planning
  • Daily Money Manager
  • Financial
  • Tax Preparation
  • Controller/CFO Services
  • Payroll
  • Business Structure
  • Cash Flow & Budgeting

Now Booking Appointments

Our East Peoria location is now booking appointments. For all of your financial needs, contact David Mills CPA today. We look forward to working with you and serving our customers in East Peoria.