In June 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded $2 million to 25 small businesses around the country with the dual aim of promoting small business growth while helping develop new technologies. Home to six of the enterprises which are now beneficiaries of the EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding program, California is among those states leading the way. These businesses will benefit from financial resources which may ultimately protect our health and the environment through technological advances.
Ventures seeking to participate in the SBIR program must meet specific criteria relating to their business structure. To be eligible, companies must be a for-profit U.S. business with fewer than 500 employees.
When setting up your business in California, there are a number of structures you can choose from, including:
- Sole Proprietorship You are the owner of an unincorporated business, and as a consequence, you will be held personally liable for expenses
- Partnership This is where two or more partners work together in a business – as with sole proprietorship, the partners share responsibility for the company
- Corporation A corporation is a separate legal entity which can be sued without putting the owners’ personal assets at risk
- S Corporation An S Corporation is a domestic incorporated entity with up to 100 shareholders which provides only some of the protections to the owner that a regular corporation offers
- Limited Liability Company (LLC) An LLC is a partnership which provides the added protection of limiting the owners’ liability
Organizing your business according to any of these structures can be complex. By choosing to work with an experienced business attorney, you can obtain the right advice, establish your business smoothly and avoid potentially costly mistakes.