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Inc. You?

Think Inc.

The big guys all do it, so should you be rushing to incorporate your company? Understand, for starters, that there are many valid umbrellas under which to operate a business (among them sole proprietorship, partnership and corporation) and that incorporation itself offers multiple variants, including limited liability corporations (LLCs), S corporations and the more conventional C corporation--the "Inc." that's part of the formal names of most large companies. But it's not just a name that's at stake: Taxation, liability (in the event of lawsuits) and control of the business are all influenced by the business structure you use.

Which is "best"? There's no pat answer--experts argue about the choices, and the worse news is that, much like marriages, business structures are easy and cheap to create, but expensive and complicated to undo. That's why we've gathered the following Web sites, books and more to help you sort through the maze.

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This article was originally published in the May 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Inc. You?.

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