DEFINITION of 'Company'

An entity formed to engage in a business. A company may be organized in various ways for tax and financial liability purposes. The line of business the company is in will generally determine which business structure it chooses. There are several types of companies, including sole proprietorships, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, limited liability corporations, S corporations and C corporations.


The benefits of starting a company include income diversification, a strong correlation between effort and reward, creative freedom and flexibility. The disadvantages of starting a include increased financial responsibility, increased legal liability, long hours, responsibility for employees and responsibility for administrative, regulatory and tax issues. Many of the world's largest personal fortunes have been amassed by people who have started their own company.

  1. Sole Proprietorship

    The sole proprietor is an unincorporated business with one owner ...
  2. Corporation

    A legal entity that is separate and distinct from its owners. ...
  3. Subchapter S (S Corporation)

    A form of corporation that meets the IRS requirements to be taxed ...
  4. Limited Partnership - LP

    Two or more partners united to conduct a business jointly, and ...
  5. Limited Liability Company - LLC

    A corporate structure whereby the members of the company cannot ...
  6. Passive Income

    Earnings an individual derives from a rental property, limited ...
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  1. How are joint ventures regulated in the United States?

    Joint ventures are a very specific type of business arrangement. They can be organized in several different legal structures, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Can I buy insurance to reduce unlimited liability in a partnership?

    Partnership insurance is actually quite common. Most of the time, partners buy insurance to safeguard against the possibility ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are the benefits for a company investing in a greenfield investment?

    Advantages of greenfield investments include increased control, the ability to form marketing partnerships and the avoidance ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is a family Limited Liability Company (LLC)?

    A family limited liability company (LLC) is formed by family members to conduct business in a state that permits such form ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between a silent partner and a general partner?

    Business structures provide benefits to business owners and entrepreneurs. In the small business arena, the most common business ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What are the liabilities of a silent partner?

    Because of the nature of their interest in a business, silent partners have limited liability that extends only up to the ... Read Full Answer >>

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