Browse Definitions:
Definition

business structure

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

A business structure is a category of organization that is legally recognized in a given jurisdiction and characterized by the legal definition of that particular category.

Common examples of business structures include corporations, partnerships, holding companies, non-profits, subsidiaries and limited-liability companies. Here are a few examples:

A sole proprietorship is an unincorporated business owned by a single individual. Freelancers and many other self-employed people are, in legal terms, operating a sole proprietor business.

A corporation is a large and complex organization that is owned by its stockholders. The corporation is considered an independent legal entity and, as such, is responsible for its actions and debts. A standard corporation is sometimes known as a C corporation or C corp but is usually just called a corporation unless the distinction is required for clarity.

An S corporation (S corp) is an alternative to the C corp in which the business' profits and losses pass through to stockholders and must be reconciled on their individual tax returns.

A benefit corporation (B corp) is an organization that commits to what is sometimes called the triple-bottom line -- an expanded version of that business concept that includes social and environmental results as well as financial results. To this end, a B corp seeks to  identify social missions and demonstrate corporate sustainability efforts; in return, the organization may be eligible for certain types of legal protection, bidding protection or tax benefits.

This was last updated in December 2015

Continue Reading About business structure

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • security information and event management (SIEM)

    Security information and event management (SIEM) is an approach to security management that seeks to provide a holistic view of ...

  • polymorphic virus

    A polymorphic virus is a harmful, destructive or intrusive type of malware that can change or 'morph,' making it difficult to ...

  • cyberterrorism

    According to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, cyberterrorism is any 'premeditated, politically motivated attack against ...

SearchHealthIT

  • accountable care organization (ACO)

    An accountable care organization (ACO) is an association of hospitals, healthcare providers and insurers in which all parties ...

  • patient engagement

    Patient engagement is an ideal healthcare situation in which people are well-informed about -- and motivated to be involved -- in...

  • personal health record (PHR)

    A personal health record (PHR) is a collection of health-related information that is documented and maintained by the individual ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close