WHAT IS A BUSINESS ENTITY: What Is It, License & Requirements

What Is a Business Entity
Denilass business & tax services

Although starting a business can be a rewarding and worthwhile experience, it is often risky and fraught with difficulties. To address these issues, business owners frequently define their new company as a specific business entity before beginning operations. A better understanding of this term can be extremely beneficial. In this article, we discuss what a business entity is, its most common types and what business entity means under report, license, or number, and some examples to work with. 

What is the Meaning of a Business Entity?

A business entity is an organization formed by one or more people to conduct a specific business or to engage in a trade or similar activities. At the state level, business entities, also known as business structures, are formed by filing documents with a state agency such as the Secretary of State.

Sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation are the four major types of business entity. The entities are expected to comply with state laws by filing specific documents and paying any required fees in order to legally establish the business.

Your choice of business entity will determine the structure of the organization and, as a result, the documents you must file, your ability to raise funds, how liability is determined, and how taxes are paid. The type of business entity you choose will be heavily influenced by the type of business you want to run and the number of owners.

How Business Entities Work

One of the first steps that a business should take is to select a business entity. It influences what tax forms you’ll file and what happens if your company is sued. Many business structures provide personal asset protection. If you are sued, your business assets may be at risk, but your personal assets may not be.

New business entities are formed by filing paperwork with your state and paying any applicable fees. The best type of business entity to choose is determined by the nature and size of your business, as well as the number of owners. It’s one of the most important decisions a business owner can make, so it’s best to seek advice from tax and legal professionals.

Why is the Business Entity Concept of Accounting so Important?

The business entity concept is the preferred type of accounting setup for business organizations for six reasons. Consider:

  • When accounting records for a specific business are kept separate, business owners can compare that business’s profitability and other metrics to those of other businesses they own. If the accounting records of the business entity include financial information about the business’s owners or other businesses, it will be difficult to keep track of the finances for each business in question.
  • Business owners can compare the finances of one company to the finances of any other company during a given time period.
  • Using this concept, business owners can compare their company’s finances to those of other companies in their industry.
  • It will be much easier to keep track of and audit a company’s records.
  • A person’s business entities will be taxed separately.
  • If the company must be liquidated, having separate financial records for each owner allows them to determine how they will be compensated.

Types of Business Entity

States recognize a variety of business entities, but most entrepreneurs will select one of the following: corporations, general partnerships, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, or sole proprietorships.

#1. Sole Proprietorships

A sole proprietorship is one of the common types of business entity and an unincorporated business with one or two married owners. If you start a business and are the sole owner, this is the default entity. You do not need to register it with your state for your business entity, but depending on the type of business you run, you may need to obtain a business license or permits.

Consultants and freelancers are frequently sole proprietors. Instead of filing separate business and personal tax returns, you file a single tax return with this business entity. If your company is sued, this structure could put your personal assets at risk.

#2. General Partnerships

An unincorporated business with two or more owners is known as a general partnership. All partners run the company and split the profits. It is the most common type of ownership for businesses with multiple owners. As with a sole proprietorship, your personal assets may be at risk if your company is sued, but that risk is shared by all partners.

#3. Limited Partnership

A limited partnership is a legally recognized business entity. In this entity, there are two types of partners: general partners, who actively manage and assume liability for the business, and limited partners, who act only as investors without managing the business, limiting their liability and tax burden.

#4. Corporations

A corporation is a separate legal entity that separates your personal and commercial assets. It is comprised of shareholders, a board of directors, and officers. Establishing a corporation is more difficult than establishing a sole proprietorship or partnership. More paperwork is required, and the fees are higher. One disadvantage is that profits can be taxed twice: once when they are made and again when dividends are paid.

An S corporation is a type of corporation that allows for pass-through taxation. Profits are passed through to the owners’ personal income without being taxed, avoiding double taxation. S corporations are limited to 100 shareholders. All shareholders must be citizens of the United States.

#5. Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) 

A limited liability company (LLC) protects you from liability. It is less difficult to establish than a corporation. You can choose whether it is taxed as a corporation or as a pass-through entity. LLCs can have one or more owners (referred to as “members”), making them a viable alternative to sole proprietorships for freelancers and other small business owners.

What are Examples of a Business Entity?

Here are some examples of how business entities work:

#1. Example one: Sole Proprietorship

Alex and Ana, a married couple, decide to start a catering business together. Because they are a married couple, they can register the catering company as a sole proprietor business entity with the two of them as joint owners when they start a business together. Their company’s profits are considered personal income, and they pay taxes on their own behalf.

#2. Example two: General Partnership

Three friends decide to open a bicycle shop. They register Super Great Bike Repair as a general partnership when they open the shop. This means that the profits and responsibilities of the store are shared by all three. They also distribute risks and taxes evenly among themselves. After opening the shop, the friends decide to expand. They all find someone willing to invest in their company. In exchange, the three newcomers become limited partners with a small stake in the repair shop.

#3. Example three: LLC

Jackson works as a freelancer, creating custom artwork for various advertising agencies. He decides to form an LLC to separate his income from freelance work from his personal income. He investigates the requirements in his state before applying for an LLC license. Jackson now has less liability for his freelance work thanks to the formation of an LLC. He can also designate his LLC license as a pass-through business entity. As a result, he does not have to pay taxes twice for his freelance business.

#4. Example four: Corporation

A group of carpenters decides to form a cabinet-making company. They begin by forming an LLC, which separates business profits from personal income. After a few years, the company grows and attracts new investors. The carpenters decide to convert their LLC to a corporation.

What Is a Business Entity Report

Consider a Business Entity Report to be the state’s biannual examination of your LLC. It functions similarly to a census in that it collects contact and structural information about each Indiana business.

Each state has its own reporting requirements, and some do not have any. However, in most states, you must submit one every other year with your LLC name, principal office address, registered agent information, and member/manager names and addresses. Whether your LLC is domestic or foreign, you must file a Business Entity Report.

Don’t be scared, but this isn’t something to take lightly. This is how the state updates the record of your LLC with the most recent information. They must know how to contact you in order to provide important information about your company’s status, upcoming filings, taxes, and service of process.

For example, if you change your registered agent or your current agent resigns, you must notify the state so that their contact information can be updated. If you miss one of their communications, your Indiana LLC may fall out of good standing or, worse, be administratively dissolved.

What is a Business Entity Number

You will receive a certificate of incorporation or authority displaying your entity ID number after you start your business. A business entity ID is a 10-digit number that is used to identify the records of your company. Your business records are open to the public, and they are kept separate from your confidential tax records. To conduct business in the state of New Jersey, fictitious or alternative names may be used. These names, however, must be registered by filling out a form specific to the type of business. Sole proprietorship business names must be registered with the county clerk’s office. Names for businesses can be reserved.

A single LLC, C-Corp, S-Corp, LP, or LLP must register as a business entity with the New Jersey Department of Revenue and Business Services. The income tax forms required to file your business tax returns are determined when you start your business. Failure to formally establish your company will make it difficult to file taxes, which may result in penalties and additional fees. If you are just starting out and need assistance, you should speak with a lawyer. An experienced business attorney will walk you through the entire incorporation process in New Jersey, from selecting a business name to filing your certificate of incorporation with the Treasury Department to filing annual returns. Visit the New Jersey State Business Portal for more information on starting a business.

You must provide us with your NJ Business Identification Number in order for us to process your PIN request. If you do not know your NJ Business Identification Number, you can look it up using the “Business Entity Name Search” function in the Division of Revenue & Enterprise Services’ Business Documents Department. An EIN should be issued to all businesses. To pay employees, file business tax returns, open a business bank account, or get a loan, you’ll need an EIN.

Is Every Business an Entity?

Any organization formed to conduct business is referred to as a “business entity.” Most businesses are organized in one of four ways: sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, or limited liability companies (LLCs).

Who is called Entity?

In general, an entity (pronounced N-tih-tee) is a real or existing thing. The word comes from the Latin ens, which means “being,” and distinguishes between a thing’s existence and its qualities. An entity exists, and that is all it takes to be an entity.

What is Another Word for Business Entity?

It is also known as a company, concern, corporation, enterprise, establishment, firm, or house.

What are the Five Basic Entities of Business?

States recognize a variety of business entities, but most entrepreneurs will select one of the following: corporations, general partnerships, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, or sole proprietorships.

What are the 5 Entity Types?

Many different legal entity types are recognized by state governments in the United States, but most small businesses incorporate under one of five entity types: sole proprietorship, partnership, C corporation, S corporation, or limited liability company (LLC).

What are the Two Types of Business Entity?

A multiple business entity strategy usually includes two types of entities. The first type of company is an operating company, and the second type of company is a holding company. The operating company has access to and typically possession of the assets, but it does not own them.

What are the Three Types of Entities?

The three most common types of business entities are sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation.


Your choice of business structure is critical. The entity you choose can influence how people perceive your company, and it has a significant impact on your legal exposure and finances. If you have any further questions, please leave them in the comments section.


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