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Why is Understanding Business Entities Important

2. Why is studying business entities important?

Owners and managers of a business seek to organize their resources to maximize productivity and opportunities. These individuals must understand the important characteristics of the business entity to take advantage of all of the benefits associated with carrying on a business activity as a legal entity. Taking advantage of a business entity status means choosing an entity form for your business, operating within your chosen entity form, and undertaking business transactions with various entity types. Understanding business entity characteristics includes familiarizing one’s self with the ownership structure, organizational structure, potential liability, compensation methods, and tax laws applicable to the business entity. Lastly, the owners and managers of a business must comply with the procedural and substantive laws applicable to that business entity. This is generally known as business governance.

•    Note: Numerous other requirements may exist before a business entity may carry on business in a jurisdiction. For example, she will likely have to obtain a business license from the local government before undertaking business. She will have to do a fictitious name filing if she operates under a name other than her own name. Further, she will need to set up an employer identification number (EIN) if she plans to have employees for her business. All of this is distinct from the nature and characteristics of the business entity.

•    Discussion: Try to outline the procedural steps necessary to form a business entity within a state. This will likely require you to go to the Secretary of State’s website for your particular state. The process and rules for form any business entity type will be explained there. Note: The process may vary slightly, for each state.

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