United States flag United States: Operating a Business in the United States

Starting a business in the United States

Legal Forms of Companies

Sole proprietorship
Number of partners: One person only.
Capital (max/min): No minimum legal capital required.
Shareholders and liability: The owner is liable for the company's debt.
General Partnership
Number of partners: No limit on the number of partners.
Capital (max/min): No minimum legal capital required.
Shareholders and liability: The General Partner is personally liable, with no limitation, for the company's debts and obligations.
Limited Partnership
Number of partners: In addition of general partners there is one or more limited partners.
Capital (max/min): No minimum legal capital required.
Shareholders and liability: The general partner has unlimited liability for the debt, whereas any limited partners have limited liability up to the amount of their investment.
Public Company
Number of partners: No limit on the number of partners.
Capital (max/min): No minimum legal capital required.
Shareholders and liability: Liability is limited to the value of the capital contributed.
Limited Liability Corporation or LLC
Number of partners: No limit on the number of partners.
Capital (max/min): No minimum legal capital required.
Shareholders and liability: Liability is limited to the value of the capital contributed.
The Competent Organisation
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The certificate of incorporation, also called Doing Business As (DBA) must be registered with the Trade Register of the State where the company is located. General Partnerships do not need to be registered.
Company Directories
United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
 
Setting Up a Company United States OECD
Procedures (number) 6.0 5.2
Time (days) 4.2 9.5

Source: Doing Business, 2016

 
Business Setup Procedures
Doing Business- U.S., for more information on procedures to start a business in the U.S.
U.S. State Corporations Databases

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Latest Update: June 2022

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