S-Corps, LLCs: the ABCs of Legal Entities

Figuring out the best legal structure for a business is a critical decision for entrepreneurs.  Factors such as funding, taxation, management and control, liability and ownership of the entity will vary depending on the form of business entity.

A Law and Entrepreneurship class at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, gives future entrepreneurs inside and outside the business school an overview of how various legal structures work. It explores sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs and other types of businesses, and the benefits and drawbacks of each. The class is designed for students across the campus interested in entrepreneurship, although it is housed in the Foster College of Business.

Professor Tanya Marcum, who designed the class, wrote about it for EIX.   The class focuses on the stages of a business — from leaving your employer with your business idea to selling the business. Many guest speakers (both lawyers and entrepreneurs) inform the students of these stages and legal issues that entrepreneurs may encounter along the way. Students learn about the decisions that must be made when selecting an entity for their start-up business. Selection of the most appropriate entity will lead to less personal liability for the entrepreneurs, better tax advantages, and the retention of management and control of the business decision making choices of their business.

More information about the class and how it works can be found here.