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Which Business Structure is Right for Your Business?

Which Business Structure is Right for Your Business?

Choosing the right business structure is a crucial decision for any entrepreneur. Your choice will impact legal liability,taxes, ownership, and how your business operates. With several options available, understanding the pros and cons of each is essential. Let’s break down the most common business structures and help you determine which one suits your needs.

1. Sole Trader

  • What it is: The simplest and most common structure. You are the sole owner and have complete control over the business.
  • Pros: Easy and inexpensive to set up, minimal ongoing paperwork, you keep all the profits.
  • Cons: Unlimited personal liability for debts and losses, can be harder to raise capital.
  • Best for: Small businesses, freelancers, consultants, and those who want full control.

2. Partnership

  • What it is: Two or more people share ownership and responsibility for the business.
  • Pros: Shared workload and decision-making, combined skills and resources.
  • Cons: Unlimited liability for each partner, potential for disagreements and conflicts.
  • Best for: Businesses with multiple owners who want to share responsibilities and profits.

3. Company

  • What it is: A separate legal entity from its owners (shareholders).
  • Pros: Limited liability for shareholders, easier to raise capital, can be more credible to customers and investors.
  • Cons: More complex and expensive to set up, ongoing compliance requirements, profits taxed at the company rate.
  • Best for: Established businesses, those seeking investment, or wanting to limit personal liability.

4. Trust

  • What it is: A structure where a trustee holds assets for the benefit of beneficiaries.
  • Pros: Flexibility, asset protection, potential tax benefits.
  • Cons: Complex to set up and manage, requires professional advice.
  • Best for: Businesses with complex ownership structures, family businesses, or those seeking asset protection.

Choosing the Right Structure

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to which structure is best. Your ideal choice will depend on various factors,including:

  • Size and type of business: A small, one-person operation might thrive as a sole trader, while a larger business with investors might benefit from becoming a company.
  • Liability: If you want to protect your personal assets, a company or trust might be a better choice.
  • Tax implications: Different structures have varying tax rates and benefits. Consult with a tax professional for guidance.
  • Ownership and control: Do you want full control, or are you open to sharing ownership and decision-making?
  • Future plans: Consider your long-term goals for the business. Will you need to raise capital or expand in the future?

Sole Trader vs. Company: A Quick Comparison

FeatureSole TraderCompany
AdministrationLess complex, minimal reportingMore complex, additional reporting requirements (e.g., annual company tax return)
CostsLower ongoing costsHigher ongoing costs (e.g., ASIC fees, company tax)
Record KeepingEssential for tax purposes, can be simplified with software like GimblaEssential for tax and compliance, software like Gimbla can help

Seeking Professional Advice

Choosing a business structure is a significant decision. Don’t hesitate to seek professional advice from a lawyer or accountant. They can help you understand the legal and financial implications of each option and guide you towards the structure that best aligns with your business goals.


Your chosen structure can be changed as your business evolves. It’s important to review your structure regularly to ensure it still meets your needs.

Gimbla Contributor | May 15th, 2024