Types of Legal Ownership

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Assignment 2: Types of Legal Ownership

There are four main types of legal ownership for businesses in the United States. These are sole proprietorship, general partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation. These differ from one another on a few major characteristics such as number of owners, operational requirements, and federal taxation.

Using your textbook, the Argosy University online library resources, and the Internet, research these and other major characteristics of the four types of business ownership.

Download and complete the following table on the types of business ownership structures:

Click here to download the download the table on types of business ownership structures. Use this table to complete your assignment.

  • Explain in detail the characteristics of the types of business ownership structures using real-world examples to illustrate. Be sure to provide at least one example for each type.

Write a 1–2-page paper in Word format. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.

This is a copy of the ownership structures if you can’t download it.

Types of Legal Ownership

Ownership Structures

Sole Proprietor

General Partnership

Limited Liability Company (LLC)


Number of Owners

One or more


Formation Difficulty




Sole proprietor has unlimited liability.

Officers/shareholders are not typically responsible for the debts of the corporation.

Operational Requirements

There are relatively few legal requirements.

Formal board of directors, annual meetings, and annual reporting required.


Sole proprietor has full control of management and operations.

Members have an operating agreement that outlines management.

Federal Taxation

It is not a taxable entity. Each partner pays tax on his/her share of income and can deduct losses against other sources of income.

It is taxed at the entity level. If dividends are distributed to shareholders, they are also taxed at the individual level.


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