Choosing the Right Business Entity for a Maryland Company

The choice of business entity affects the owner's personal exposure to liability, the taxation of business profits, the attractiveness of the business to investors, and many other important things. A business established in an ill-suited form will likely run into legal and administrative obstacles, inefficiency, and increased costs. This paper describes the general characteristics of the sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and limited liability company in Maryland and identifies the advantages and disadvantages of each form. Accordingly, it can be used by new business owners as a guide to weigh the risks and benefits of various structures against the goals of their business. It can also be used as a tool for readers trying to assess the fit between the needs of their business and the form in which it is currently structured.

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