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What is a Limited Liability Company (LLC)?

A limited liability company (LLC) establishes a separate entity from the sole proprietor or partners in a business which shields them from some of the liability associated with the business. An LLC is a business entity that creates a distinction between the business’s assets and liabilities and the assets and liabilities of the owner or partners. Sole proprietors and partnerships who do not file for this distinction leave themselves and all of their personal assets at risk, in the event of a lawsuit or bankruptcy. Continue reading...

What are the Forms of Ownership of a Corporation in the United States?

There are many different forms of ownership of a company in the United States. This subtopic describes some of them. Corporations can be privately held or publicly traded. There are also C-Corporations (C-corps), which are the typically large companies controlled by a board of directors, and S-Corporations (S-Corps), which are smaller and have some of the characteristics of LLCs. LLC is an abbreviation for Limited Liability Company, which is a pass-through entity for partnerships or sole proprietors which shields the private assets of the owners from the liabilities of the business. LLCs are almost entirely regulated by state law, and while they can issue stock, it depends on the state. Continue reading...

What is a Sole Proprietorship?

Sole proprietorships are businesses owned by a single person. The owner assumes all legal and financial responsibility for the company. Most sole proprietors will file an LLC with their state, to shield their personal assets from business risks to the extent that they can, as well as to be recognized by the state as a business for other purposes. LLC stands for limited liability company, and it serves as a pass-through entity for the owner. Continue reading...

What is a Partnership?

A partnership is a business owned by two or more people, usually designated as an LLC. They play a role in the operation of the business, and are responsible for the legal and financial liabilities. In a partnership, as in a sole proprietorship, there is no legal shield against law suits and liabilities unless they have filed as an LLC or S-Corp. If the partnership were to be sued, without any kind of legal shield in place, the owners would be held completely accountable. Continue reading...

What is IRS Publication 334, Tax Guide for Small Business?

IRS Link to Publication — Found Here The Tax Guide for Small Businesses is a 50-page booklet designed to help small businesses navigate the forms and publications needed to file their taxes. There are many nuances to filing small business taxes, and many kinds of small businesses, so this form comes into use quite often. The Tax Guide for Small Businesses includes instructions and a list of documents and forms which will help small businesses file their taxes. Continue reading...

What are Articles of Partnership?

Articles of Partnership lay out the nature of the agreement entered into by partners in business entity. Also called a ‘partnership agreement,’ articles of partnership plainly describe the nature of the partnership, which partners are General Partners and which are Limited Partners, and other important details. Partnerships can take the form of Limited Liability Partnerships, General Partnerships, and even S Corporations (but those file articles of incorporation instead). Continue reading...

What is Liability?

As a general statement, a liability refers to some form of currency (money or service) that is owed from one party to another, typically in the form of debt or a balance outstanding. On a balance sheet, a company’s liabilities would include its loans, accounts payable, outstanding debt. Short-term liabilities are generally those owed within a year, whereas long-term liabilities might stretch beyond that. Continue reading...

What are Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) and How Do They Work?

Dive into the intricacies of Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs), a unique blend of partnership and corporate structures. Designed to protect individual partners from personal liability, LLPs have become a preferred choice for professionals worldwide. From understanding its foundation to its global variations, this comprehensive guide sheds light on the advantages of LLPs, their management autonomy, and their tax-transparent nature. Whether you're an established professional or venturing into a new business collaboration, discover how LLPs can offer you the benefits of combined expertise, reduced costs, and scalable operations. Navigate the world of LLPs and make informed decisions for your business endeavors. Continue reading...

What is a C-Corporation?

C-corps are generally the larger, more established companies in the country – most publicly-traded companies are C-corps. C-Corporations are companies which, as opposed to S-Corporations, are subject to federal income tax entirely separately from their owners. In addition, the earnings (or losses) are distributed among the shareholders (usually as dividends) and will appear on their individual income tax reports. This is the double-taxation for which C-corps are infamous. Continue reading...

What is the Operating Cash Flow Ratio?

The operating cash flow ratio, or OCF ratio, is used to measure whether a company’s cash flows are sufficient to cover current liabilities. It essentially measures how many times a company can use cash flow from operations to cover debt expenses. It can be measured by dividing a company’s cash flow from operations by its current liabilities. Companies with high (relative to their peers or other companies in the sector OCF ratios are generally in good financial health, meaning they can adequately cover ongoing liabilities with cash flow from operations. Continue reading...

What is a Quick Ratio?

The quick ratio (also known as an “acid test”) is a financial ratio used to measure how well equipped a company is to meet its short-term liquidity needs. It basically measures how much cash (or assets easily and quickly converted to cash) a company has available to meet its short-term liquidity obligations. Since inventories are assets but are not necessarily liquid, they are excluded from the calculation. Continue reading...

What is a Balance Sheet?

A company's balance sheet gives a picture of how all the assets, liabilities, and equities of the company "balance out." The basic accounting equation is Total Assets = Total Liabilities + Equity, and a Balance Sheet is going to detail these parts to show how everything adds up at the time of the report. With things equal on both sides of the equation, the company's books are balanced, the same way someone might go back through the carbon copies of checks they've written and "balance the checkbook" to make sure all checks written have been accounted for. Continue reading...

What is the Debt Ratio?

The debt ratio measures a company’s total debt to total assets. It is the simplest calculation available for determining how indebted a company is on a relative basis. The debt ratio is crucial for determining a company’s financial standing, and should be considered by potential investors. To calculate the debt ratio, one only needs to divide total liabilities (i.e. long-term and short-term liabilities) by total assets. Continue reading...

What is a Liquidity Ratio?

A liquidity ratio is also known as a current ratio, and it generally measures the amount of cash or readily available cash relative to current liabilities. Liquidity ratios are important measures to test a company’s solvency, in addition to its potential ability to handle economic shocks. Continue reading...

What is a credit rating?

A credit rating is given to a company or debt issue after a disinterested third party evaluates the strength of the business or cash flow and rates its ability to pay all of its liabilities. Third-party institutions such as Standard & Poor’s (S&P), Moody’s, and Fitch will conduct research in order to give investors an idea of how likely a business, bond issue, or insurance company can pay all of its obligations. Continue reading...

What is Accrual Accounting?

Accrual accounting is the counterpart to cash accounting, and the accrual method puts expenses and revenues on the books as soon as they are contractually agreed-upon. Accrual accounting is required by GAAP conventions for all publicly traded companies who have over $5 million in annual revenues. This method is the counterpart to cash accounting, which may be more useful to smaller businesses. In accrual accounting, the expenses and revenues which are agreed upon are written onto the business’s ledger at the current time, regardless of when payment will actually settle on the transaction. When a sale is made or service is performed, the revenue from the activity is documented, even if no cash is received in the current period. Continue reading...

What is Off-Balance-Sheet-Financing?

A company might use this maneuver in order to keep their debt to equity levels in check. The most frequently used types of off-balance-sheet-financing are joint ventures, research and development partnerships, and operating leases. Continue reading...

What are foreign deposits?

Foreign deposits are taken in by international branch locations of US-based banking institutions. Banks are not obligated to pay FDIC premiums on these deposits. Foreign deposits are placed by customers into a US-based bank branch which is located in international locations. Because it is outside of Federal jurisdiction, banks are not subject to the same capital reserve requirements and do not have to pay FDIC insurance on the deposits. Continue reading...

What is Adjusted Book Value?

Adjusted Book Value takes true fair market value of all assets and liabilities into account. Adjusted Book Value tends to be used when a company has been devalued to the point of facing possible bankruptcy and liquidation. Book value in general does not account for intangible assets, such as intellectual property, so it is more useful in assessing the risk of loss in a foundering company than the earnings potential of a profitable company. Technically the adjustments to book value will raise or lower the value of assets and liabilities according to current fair market value. Continue reading...

What are Bank Deposits?

Deposits are cash, checks, and electronic transfers that banking customers put into their personal or corporate bank accounts. Deposits will increase the balance, or pay off a debt, within a bank account. Deposits may not show up on an account balance until they have cleared from the institution or account from which the check is written or the electronic transfer was requested. The types of accounts that can receive bank deposits include but are not limited to checking, savings, and money market accounts. Bank Certificates of Deposit (CDs) can be purchased with an initial deposit that satisfied minimum amount. Deposits are considered liabilities on the balance sheet of the bank, since they are obligated to pay that money out when a customer requests it. Continue reading...