Sole ownership, business partnership, or LLC?

Determine the legal structure of your business: Decide the form of ownership is best for you: Sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), corporation, S corporation, nonprofit, or cooperative.


How to start a business with a partner: People who go into business together often start partnerships with little planning and few ground rules. As you can imagine, this is a terrible idea. Business partners must understand each partner’s goals, work ethic, financial ideals, role at the business, and leadership style before the owners finalize the partnership. The following are aspects to consider before committing to a business partner:

Make sure you really want a business partner: Decide if having a partner is critical to the business’ success. (Perhaps your business partner has connections, financial resources to help the business, or skills you don’t have.) Make sure you each bring unique skills to the table, and don’t share too much overlapping knowledge.

Want to learn more? Make sure to get Courier’s Business Guide (coming July 2014).

Image: Dave Dugdale,