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Choose the right one and set your company on the right track. Click the entities you want to compare, or scroll down to see all your options.

LLC
C Corporation
S Corporation
Nonprofit
Sole Proprietorship
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Entity Type & Summary
Liability & Taxation
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C Corporation Get started
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Sole Proprietorship Get started
*In order to be tax-exempt, additional filings are required directly with the IRS.
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Frequently asked questions

Do I need to form an LLC, corporation, or nonprofit to start my business?

No, but you might want to. Forming an LLC, a corporation, or a nonprofit protects your personal assets and may unlock tax benefits.

What's the main difference between a sole proprietorship and an LLC?

Personal liability protection. An LLC protects owners from being personally on the hook for business liabilities or debts. A sole proprietorship doesn't.

What's the difference between an LLC and a corporation?

Both protect owners so they're not personally on the hook for business liabilities or debts. Key differences include how they're owned (LLCs have one or more individual members and corporations have shareholders) and maintained (corporations generally have more formal record-keeping and reporting requirements). Even though LLCs are considered easier to start and maintain, investors tend to prefer corporations. Learn more

Can an LLC be taxed as an S corporation?

Yes. This can be helpful for business owners who want the management flexibility of an LLC—but also want to minimize employment taxes on the profits they receive.

Do I need a Doing Business As (DBA) name?

If you plan on using a business name that's different from your personal or official company name, you're required to get a DBA in most states or counties. Learn more

Do I need a business license or permit to get started?

Depending on the nature of your business, and where it's located, you might need a license or permit to operate legally within your county or state.