Forms of Business Ownership

"One of the first decisions that you will have to make as a business owner is how the company should be structured. This decision will have long-term implications, so consult with an accountant and attorney to help you select the form of ownership that is right for you. In making a choice, you will want to take into account the following:

Your vision regarding the size and nature of your business.
The level of control you wish to have.
The level of 'structure' you are willing to deal with.
The business's vulnerability to lawsuits.
Tax implications of the different ownership structures.
Expected profit (or loss) of the business.
Whether or not you need to re-invest earnings into the business.
Your need for access to cash out of the business for yourself. "

Read more in this guide from the SBA that explains the basics regarding the essential choices - sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation and limited liability company.