Starting a Business: Business Structure

One of the very first steps of starting and running a business is choosing a legal structure for your business.

This is arguably one of the most important steps, as this decision can determine how you raise capital, how your business profits are taxed, the level of personal liability you’ll have for obligations to the business, and the amount of paperwork your business is required to do.

There are three common structures you’ll most likely consider: sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations. In addition, other legal forms include limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, and unlimited liability corporations. Each legal structure is distinct and carries its own advantages and disadvantages. It’s recommended that you seek guidance from your legal advisor when deciding which legal structure is right for your business.

Get the Guide

To learn more about important considerations and information on starting a business in BC, download our in-depth guide.

More topics for start-ups to consider:

The Necessary First Steps

There are many necessary initial steps to take in order to successfully start or continue operations

learn more

Shareholders’ Agreements

Shareholders should enter into a shareholders’ agreement in the early stages of starting a business.

learn more


Starting a new business comes with many challenges, such as finding a space to operate.

learn more


At some point in your business’ lifecycle, you’ll probably need cash exceeding what your business is able to generate.

learn more


About Fraser

Fraser Hartley has worked with clients on a range of transactional matters, with a focus on corporate financings, mergers and acquisitions and financial restructurings. In addition, he provides advice on corporate governance and securities compliance issues and general corporate and commercial matters.

Fraser has acted for domestic, U.S. and international public and private companies and has significant experience acting for financial institutions in public and private capital markets transactions, secured lending and acquisition financings.

Prior to joining EKB, Fraser worked at an international law firm based in New York, practising U.S. law and also as legal counsel at a major U.S. investment bank supporting capital markets transactions.