There are five basic forms of organization in which you can set up your export enterprise: the sole proprietorship, the partnership, the C corporation, subchapter S corporation, and Limited Liability Company (LLC). Each form has specific advantages and liabilities. To decide which form will serve you best, ask yourself the following questions:
- How big do I aspire for the company to become?
- Am I willing to risk my personal assets for the business?
- Am I willing to grow my business alone?
- Am I in this for the long haul?
- Are tax savings important to me?
- Will I sell my business someday?
Once you know your priorities and your preferred operating style, you’ll be well placed to discuss your options with your attorney and accountant to determine which organizational form will best support your business objectives. If you plan to develop a Web site or blog, select a domain name that is preferably the same as your business name. As the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) says, the steps to starting an online business are the same as starting any business. However, doing business online, comes with additional legal and financial considerations, particularly in the areas of privacy, security, copyright, and taxation.
For a a quick course on the four forms of organizational structures and their advantages and drawbacks, read Chapter 3, “Exporting: The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably.”
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