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Compare and contrast the common forms of business entities

Compare and contrast the common forms of business entities

Compare and contrast the common forms of business entities

Among the many decisions that must be considered when launching a new business, probably few have the potential for greater impact than the selection of the type of business entity to establish. Each entity has its own benefits, pitfalls, and legal requirements. A variety of factors may contribute to the selection process. The aspiring businessperson needs to be protected from future liability. Different tax structures and the ability to transfer ownership might also influence the decision. Future aspirations for the business should also be considered. The owner of a small “mom and pop” store may or may not need to form a corporation.

This week you will explore the most common forms of business entities and compare the characteristics of each. You will examine what types of entities may be most beneficial for beginning entrepreneurs and perhaps determine when a partnership would be more appropriate than a sole proprietorship. Lastly, you will focus on the corporation as a business entity and the attributes that distinguish it from other forms.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Compare and contrast the common forms of business entities
  • Evaluate the different roles, rights, and duties of owners and managers in each type of business entity
  • Assess the role of the board of directors

Learning Resources

This page contains the Learning Resources for this week. Be sure to scroll down the page to see all of this week’s assigned Learning Resources. To access select media resources, please use the media players below and/or the course DVD (as applicable).

Required Readings

Miller, R. (2014). Business law today: The essentials (10th ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.

    • Chapter 19, “The Entrepreneur’s Options”
    • Chapter 20, “Corporations”

In Chapter 19, you are introduced to the major types of business entities, including such types as sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations. You will also explore when special business forms are needed, as well as specific rules governing franchising. Chapter 20 focuses specifically on corporations and the statutory requirements that make them legal entities. You will also explore how corporations are formed, financed, and managed.

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