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Business Formation QuickStart

Entrepreneurs must juggle countless tasks and competing priorities well before they open shop, including the creation of a legal structure. Business formation is a necessary early step when starting a business, whether you're registering a simple DBA, incorporating or forming a partnership.

The way in which your business is formed will determine the personal liability of the founders, how taxes are paid, and other important details. For example, a sole proprietor typically makes decisions on her or his own, while a partner in a partnerships must get approval from all other partners prior to making major decisions for the company. The main business legal structures are:

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Corporation
  • Nonprofit

The following checklists and articles will help you quickly get started with the process of creating a legal structure for your new business.

Starting a Partnership

Incorporating a Small Business

Starting an LLC

Forming a Nonprofit

State Resources

Tax Information from the IRS

See FindLaw's Incorporation and Legal Structures section to learn more.

Choosing a Legal Structure for Your Small Business? Get a Free Legal Evaluation

There are many processes that entrepreneurs can do on their own, including some tasks related to business formation. But the formation of most business entities, particularly LLCs and corporations, may benefit from the help of a trained lawyer. You can get started today with no obligation with a free evaluation of your small business's incorporation needs.

Next Steps
Contact a qualified business organizations attorney to help you
choose the best formation for your business.
(e.g., Chicago, IL or 60611)

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