In this learning pathway, we will identify some of the questions entrepreneurs need to ask when considering what legal form of business to use for their new enterprise.

Important note: The terminology used for different business structures, and the laws that apply to them, vary from country to country, and can change over time. The resources used in this learning pathway are not specific to one country, but they give a general overview which may not reflect the legal and taxation position in your own country or region. These resources are provided to illustrate the sorts of issues that an entrepreneur will need to consider when choosing a form of legal structure for their business. As you work through the pathway, you will be asked to research the terminology used in your own country, and the laws that currently apply there. You will use the results of your research for the learning challenge, and for the assessment if you choose to take it – and it is information that will be essential for you if you are actually planning on becoming an entrepreneur.


Different forms of business entity

We will look at the three main forms of business entity:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Corporation

The video below outlines these forms and gives some examples of each, in an American context. On the next pages we will:

  • Explore the factors an entrepreneur needs to consider when deciding on a form of business ownership
  • Look more closely at each business model in turn

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Remember that there are other forms of business ownership as well, such as cooperatives and franchises. These are not covered in this course, but you may find it useful to explore them.


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