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. (May 2008)
A business entity is an entity that is formed and administered as per corporate law in order to engage in business activities, charitable work, or other activities allowable. Most often, business entities are formed to sell a product or a service. There are many types of business entities defined in the legal systems of various countries. These include corporations, cooperatives, partnerships, sole traders, limited liability company and other specifically permitted and labelled types of entities. The specific rules vary by country and by state or province. Some of these types are listed below, by country. For guidance, approximately equivalents in the company law of English-speaking countries are given in most cases,
- ≈ public limited company (UK, Ireland and the Commonwealth)
- ≈ Ltd. (UK, Ireland and the Commonwealth)
- ≈ limited partnership
- = unlimited partnership
- = chartered company
- = statutory company
- = holding company
- = subsidiary company
- = one man company (sole proprietor)
- = Charitable incorporated organisation (UK)
- = NGOs
However, the regulations governing particular types of entity, even those described as roughly equivalent, differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
When creating or restructuring a business, the legal responsibilities will depend on the type of business entity chosen.