Starting a business in St. Louis, Missouri, can be an exciting yet daunting experience. Selecting the most suitable business entity is a critical aspect of the process, as it determines the legal structure, taxation, and management of your venture. With various business entity options to choose from, a St. Louis attorney can provide guidance to ensure you make the best decision.
A sole proprietorship is the simplest form of business entity, where an individual runs and owns the business. In this structure, the owner has complete control over the business but also assumes full liability for any debts or legal issues. A St. Louis attorney can help you understand the legal implications of a sole proprietorship and advise on any necessary permits or licenses.
A partnership is an agreement between two or more individuals to run a business together. Partnerships can be classified into general partnerships, where all partners share equal responsibility and liability, or limited partnerships (LP), where one or more partners have limited liability. A St. Louis attorney can help you draft a partnership agreement, register the partnership with the state, and advise on relevant tax implications.
A corporation is a separate legal entity from its owners, who are referred to as shareholders. This structure offers liability protection to the shareholders, who are only responsible to the extent of their investment in the company. A St. Louis attorney can help you understand the differences between the various types of corporations, such as C‑corporations and S‑corporations, and assist in filing Articles of Incorporation and ensuring compliance with state and federal laws and regulations.
Limited Liability Company (LLC)
An LLC is a popular choice among small business owners, as it combines the liability protection of a corporation with the taxation benefits of a partnership. Owners, referred to as members, have limited liability for the company’s debts and actions. A business attorney can help you draft an operating agreement, file Articles of Organization with the Missouri Secretary of State and ensure compliance with state laws and regulations.
A nonprofit organization is a legal entity that operates for public benefit rather than generating profits for its owners. Nonprofits may qualify for tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Your attorney can help you draft bylaws, file Articles of Incorporation, and apply for tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
An Attorney Can Help
Choosing the right business entity is crucial to the success of your St. Louis-based venture. Each structure comes with its unique advantages and disadvantages, and a St. Louis business attorney can provide valuable guidance in selecting the most appropriate option for your needs.
If you have questions about your new business or startup, call the legal experts at Wallach & Associates, P.C. Call today at (314) 308-2900.