Articles Tagged with Corporations

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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 220165_business_pda.jpgBusiness owners must choose a structure for their organization when starting a business in New Jersey. Choosing the right structure is the first of many decisions towards running a successful business.

Business owners have the option to form a sole proprietorship, a partnership, limited liability company (“LLC”), or a corporation. Each business structure offers different types of liabilities, expenses, and tax treatment. Choosing the right business structure generally depends on the type of business, how it will be run, and the number of owners.

Owner/Business Liability
Generally, the more risky the business activity, the better it is to operate the business through a corporation or an LLC. Corporations and LLCs provide New Jersey business owners with limited liability. This means that anyone seeking compensations for anything related to the business will have a hard time placing personal liability on the business owner.

On the other hand, owners of sole proprietorship and partnerships can normally be held personally liable for business debts. Owners of sole proprietorship will always be responsible for claims against the business. Similarly, in a partnership, every partner can be held personally liable for claims against the business. This means that if someone won money in a law suit against the partnership, that person could collect from any one of the partners. Therefore, if one of the partners filed for bankruptcy or simply did not have any money to pay, the remaining partners would be responsible to make payment.


Sole proprietorships and partnerships are the easiest to form and maintain with minimum expense. There is little special paperwork that needs to be filled out to establish these business structures, and there are rarely any fees associated to maintain them.

Conversely, corporations and LLCs are more difficult to form and can be expensive to establish and maintain. Businesses that establish a corporation are required to file “articles of incorporation” with the secretary of state and pay fees associated with the incorporation. Similarly, LLCs must register with the secretary of state, designate an agent for service of process, and pay associated fees for registration. Businesses that operate as corporations and LLCs must also have separate business bank accounts and keep detailed records of all business finances.
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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for pen-LLC.jpg Since the entity known as a Limited Liability Company, or “LLC” came along in New Jersey in 1993, it has quickly become one of the most common business forms. LLCs are popular largely because of their flexibility, limited liability, and tax advantages.

For example, as long as they meet the requisite qualifications, an LLC may elect to be taxed as a sole proprietor, partnership, C corporation, or S corporation, which means it may avoid the double taxation of a C corp wherein both the owners and the company are taxed. Also, although an LLC is not incorporated, in many instances, LLC owners – called “members” – are protected from personal liability for the company’s debts the way a corporation is.

New Jersey’s Limited Liability Company Act was enacted in 1993, and while it has been revised in 1996 and 2006, revisions have been minor until recently. On September 21, 2012, Governor Christie signed the Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act which is scheduled to go into effect for new LLCs on March 20, 2013. (For existing LLC’s it will become effective in March of 2014.)

The new law will include several revisions and additions, including the following:

  • Duration: Under the prior law, an LLC has a default duration period of thirty years unless the members designate otherwise on the certificate of formation. Under the new law, an LLC will have an unlimited or perpetual duration period unless otherwise indicated on the certificate, which is more like a corporation which is also considered to have perpetual existence.
  • Not-for-Profit: The new law allows LLCs to be formed for any lawful purpose regardless of whether they are for profit or not-for-profit or formed to own non-income-producing property.

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