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Corporate Basics

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.

Any public offering of shares must register with the SEC.

What is a Limited Liability Company (LLC)?
What is a C-Corporation?

Keywords: Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Stock, Regulation D, Initial Public Offering (IPO), shareholders, Limited Liability Company (LLC), S-Corp, C-Corp, partnerships, sole proprietors, private placements,