The Differences Between LLC, Sole Proprietorship, and S-Corp

Which entity should you file as?

In the first stages of starting a small business, many prospective business owners rarely think about their business structure and how it will affect their financial and operational requirements. To help you begin your business venture, we are going to list the various types of business entity types, along with their characteristics, so you can make an informed decision about your new business structure.

Sole Proprietorship

  •  Managed by a single owner
  •  The owner is personally liable for business lawsuits or liabilities.
  •  Relatively easy to form and operate
  •  Business profit and loss statements are reported on owner’s taxes
  •  Minimum legal restrictions


  •  Two or more owners who manage and contribute to the business
  •  Partners are personally liable for business lawsuits
  •  Relatively simple and easy business structure
  •  Owners report profit and losses on their personal tax returns

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

  •  No limit to amount of owners
  •  Owners are legally separated from the business (no shared liability)
  •  Taxed like a sole proprietorship (of only one owner) or partnership (if multiple owners)
  •  Extensive operating agreements
  •  No standard for treatment across different states
  •  Subject to self-employment tax
  •  Required to hold annual meetings and record their minutes

Limited Liability Company

  •  Legally separate from the owners
  • No limit on amount of shareholders
  •  Revenue taxation on both company and shareholder dividends (double taxation)
  •  Increased regulation and government oversight due to separation of business liability from owners

S Corporation

  •  Owners are legally separate from the business
  •  Double taxation on company profit and shareholder dividends
  •  Limit on amount of shareholders
  •  Required to hold meetings annually and record each meeting’s minutes

Still not sure what the best route is? We’re here to help!

This article is only intended to inform you about the most common business entity structures. If you have any questions regarding this article or your specific situation, don’t hesitate to call MBS Accountancy and our knowledgeable tax law experts and accountants will help you find your answers!

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