What Is The Difference Between An Inc., Ltd., Co., and LLC?

iStock.com/Natee Meepian
iStock.com/Natee Meepian / iStock.com/Natee Meepian

Raad Ahmed:

When forming a business, you definitely want to make sure that you are forming it properly. The primary difference between the terms Inc., Ltd., Co., and LLC are that they can be divided into two categories: Limited Liability Companies and Corporations.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Many people choose to form their small business as an LLC simply because it provides an extra layer of legal protection as far as protecting your personal assets go. This formation separates personal and company funds so that in the event of the company getting sued, only the funds from the business are up for grabs.

This is also an attractive formation because it is very flexible. A business of this type is owned by members and operated by either third-party managers or the members themselves. It's a very popular formation, and it is said that about 75 percent of small businesses are formed under an LLC.

Corporations (Inc., Ltd., Co.)

The primary difference between this type of company is that it is owned by stockholders. There are directors or officers that are appointed and help manage the day-to-day nuances of operating a business.

The stakeholders appoint the directors, and then the directors are charged with finding other officers of the corporation that manage the various tasks of running a business. This type of set-up ensures that no single person has all of the say in your company.

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