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What is the right type of business entity for your company?

There are many types of business structures that can be used in the construction industry. The right legal structure for a business is one of the most important decisions entrepreneurs have to make. Knowing the key advantages and disadvantages of different business entities is vital in the early stages of your business.

What are the common types of businesses in California?

A one-person operation as a general contractor might be a sole proprietorship (but not always), while partnerships allow a company to operate with multiple owners. A limited liability company offers liability protection for a construction company's owners and shareholders and is similar to a corporation, except that they are taxed differently. There are other possible business structures that can also be used for your company.

What dictates the best choice of structure for a specific business?

Legal liability for a business operation is often the main factor construction company owners consider when they choose how to form their business. Business types that limit liability generally exempt owners from lawsuits and other possible claims that could financially ruin them as individuals. However, there is no one answer to this question. The most important concerns for your business may be different, so you have to consider your unique situation and goals carefully.

What is required to form one of these business types?

It depends on the business structure you choose. Sole proprietorships require virtually no formal actions to exist. A partnership, limited liability company or corporation all require a lot more paperwork and acknowledgment by the state to legally exist.

Do you need a lawyer to form your business?

It's not required, but it's generally a lot wiser to consult with an attorney when you are deciding on a formal structure for your construction business. An attorney can help you better understand the options you have when forming your business and what risks you may be taking. An attorney can also make sure that you take all the necessary steps to properly register your business with the state, obtain licensing and more.

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