Deciding between a company structure and a partnership structure depends on several factors, such as the nature of the business, the number of owners, the level of liability protection, and the tax implications. Here are some pros and cons of each structure:
Limited liability: Shareholders have limited liability protection, meaning their personal assets are generally protected from the company's debts and obligations.
Separate legal entity: A company is a separate legal entity from its owners, meaning it can enter into contracts, own assets, and sue or be sued in its own name.
Perpetual existence: A company can continue to exist regardless of changes in ownership or management.
More complex to set up: Setting up a company requires more paperwork and compliance requirements, such as registering with the government and maintaining company records.
Higher administrative costs: Companies have more reporting and compliance obligations, such as annual filings and shareholder meetings, which can be costly and time-consuming.
Double taxation: Companies are subject to both corporate income tax and shareholder dividend tax, which can result in double taxation of profits.
Simpler to set up: A partnership can be formed by a simple agreement between the partners, and registration requirements may be less onerous than for a company.
Flexible ownership and management: Partnerships offer more flexibility in terms of ownership and management arrangements, as partners can share profits and responsibilities in any way they choose.
Pass-through taxation: Partnerships are not subject to corporate income tax, as profits and losses are passed through to the partners and taxed at their individual tax rates.
Unlimited liability: Partnerships do not offer limited liability protection, meaning partners are personally liable for the partnership's debts and obligations.
Lack of perpetual existence: Partnerships may be dissolved if one or more partners withdraw, retire, or die.
Potential for disputes: Partnerships may be more prone to disputes among partners, as decisions and responsibilities are shared among multiple individuals.
Ultimately, the decision between a company structure and a partnership structure will depend on the specific circumstances of the business and the preferences of the owners.