Beresford Basics: LLCs 101

Feb 26, 2024

Part 1: What is an LLC?

Section A: A Comparative Analysis of Partnerships and Corporations

In answering the question, “What is an LLC?” we begin by exploring the fundamental differences between partnerships and corporations. This foundational knowledge sets the stage for our subsequent discussion in Section B on Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), which embody characteristics of both these traditional business structures.

Partnerships and Corporations

Partnerships and corporations represent two of the most enduring business entities in the United States. Historically prevalent until the late 20th century, they offer distinct sets of advantages and drawbacks.

Partnerships are collaborative business agreements where ownership and control are shared among two or more individuals. Typically established through formal agreements, partners bear personal responsibility for the business’s financial obligations.

Corporations, in contrast, are independent legal entities. Ownership lies with shareholders who determine company management. Established by filing Articles of Incorporation, corporations enjoy specific legal rights and are subject to corporate taxation.

Pros and Cons: A Closer Look


  • Pros: Partnerships offer a cost-effective and uncomplicated setup, with profits and losses allocated directly to the partners, who then pay taxes at their individual rates. This structure promotes managerial flexibility, permitting the partners to form virtually any management system they desire.
  • Cons: Partners face unlimited liability. That means their personal assets are liable for business debts and obligations. Partnerships also depend on the trust and cooperation of partners, which can lead to conflicts or potential dissolution if disagreements arise.


  • Pros: Corporations protect the shareholders’ personal assets with limited liability shields, which guard the shareholders against business debt.  Corporations have greater access to capital through stock sales and bonds, and offer longevity and operational stability beyond the death or departure of a shareholder.
  • Cons: The formation of corporations is costlier and more complex. They are also subject to business taxes and potential double taxation on dividends, where both the corporation and shareholders are taxed. Corporations also must adhere to stringent regulations, limiting managerial autonomy.

Stay tuned for Section B, where we’ll delve into how LLCs integrate the best aspects of partnerships and corporations, offering a unique and flexible business solution.

For any questions regarding LLCs, email me at or give me a call at (425) 776-4100.

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