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What's Your Type?

Buying business real estate? The legal entity you choose could make a big difference in your tax bill.

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This story appears in the January 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

While location will always be important when buying real estate, tax experts say don't neglect to carefully consider the type of business entity you select to own that property. That's right-for business real estate, you should choose a business entity that will help you save on taxes.

It's almost never a good idea, for example, to use a corporation for the real estate you expect to own in your business because it will likely cost you plenty in taxes, says Maury Golbert, a partner with the New York City accounting and advisory firm Berdon LLP. As you know, with a corporation, earnings are subject to double taxation. First, the corporation pays taxes on income, and then after-tax income is taxed again when it's distributed to shareholders in the form of dividends. The corporation must also pay state and city taxes in many jurisdictions on income from rental real estate.

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