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Compare and contrast the following forms of business organization: sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation.

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Focus Question: What is a Sole Proprietorship, a Partnership, and a Corporation and how do they differ?

Topics on the Page
  • Overview of Business Organizations
  • Sole Proprietorships
  • Partnerships
  • Corporations
    • Information about The Trump Organization and Donald Trump's Financial Holdings


The Cathedrals of Wall Street, Florine Stettheimer, 1939
The Cathedrals of Wall Street, Florine Stettheimer, 1939

Here is a more in-depth look at Sole Proprietorship from entrepreneur.com,

Click here to read about the advantages and disadvantages of different business structures.


apps.pngBizVizz is an app that lets you snap a picture of a brand's logo with your phone or tablet and get essential facts about American corporations, including amount of taxes paid, political contributions made, and government subsidies received. The app is produced by the filmmaker of As Goes Janesville about laid-off GM workers in Wisconsin.

Sole Proprietorship: A business operated by a single individual

Small flower shop in Madrid, Spain
Small flower shop in Madrid, Spain

" A sole proprietorship, also known as the sole trader or simply a proprietorship, is a type of business entity that is owned and run by one individual and in which there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business.

The owner receives all profits (subject to taxation specific to the business) and has unlimited responsibility for all losses and debts." for more read the article posted on wikipedia -->Sole Proprietorship

Good examples of sole proprietorships could be flower shops, bake shops, pizza places etc.

Image from Tuggle Duggins Attorneys at Law
Image from Tuggle Duggins Attorneys at Law

Partnership- consists of two different types of a partnership

  • General Partnership- manage company and assume responsibility for debts and other obligations of the company.

  • Limited Partnership- "A limited partnership has both general and limited partners. The general partners own and operate the business and assume liability for the partnership, while the limited partners serve as investors only; they have no control over the company and are not subject to the same liabilities as the general partners." for more information on Partnerships check out this link --> Advice on Partnerships

Partnership Defined by the Small Business Administration

Corporation- a business that is owned by a number of stockholders who share in the firm's profits and losses

Protest Against Wal-Mart, the largest American corporation
Protest Against Wal-Mart, the largest American corporation

Click here for 2015 ranking of top 10 American companies from Fortune Magazine.
Exxon Mobile
Berkshire Hathaway

First Product Coupon, circa 1888
First Product Coupon, circa 1888

10 Giant Corporations That Have Taken Over Much of American Life
  • Kraft
  • Coca-Cola
  • PepsiCo
  • Nestle (also owns Purina Pet products, Gerber Baby food, Ralph Lauren cologne, Garner Hair products)
  • Proctor and Gamble
  • General Mills
  • Kellogg's
  • Mars
  • Unilever
  • Johnson & Johnson

Public views of the Citizens United decision, 2010
Public views of the Citizens United decision, 2010

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Our Hidden History of Corporations in the United States

Citizens United v. Federal Education Commission (2010)

external image Gay_flag.svgCorporate Equality Index 2016: Rating U.S. Workplaces on LGBTQ Equality

The Trump Organization LLC

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Trump National Golf Club (Los Angeles)
Trump National Golf Club (Los Angeles)

The Companies Donald Trump Owns (November 9, 2016)
  • The President-Elect is listed as trustee, president, chairman or member for more than 530 entities
  • Almost half have Trump name as part of the company name
  • Businesses range from bottled water to luxury hotels

A List of Everything Donald Trump Runs That Has His Name on It

Trump's Empire: A Maze of Debts and Opaque Ties, The New York Times (August 20, 2016)
  • Companies are more than $650 million dollars in debt--twice the amount reported in public filings as part of the Presidential campaign

Trump's Campaign Paid His Businesses $8.2 Million, Politico (September 22, 2016)

Trump Organization Corporate Rap Sheet, Corporate Research Project (December 2016)
  • Discusses controversies around:
    • Alleged racial discrimination
    • Lobbying violations
    • Investor and consumer deception
    • Tax abatements
    • Workplace safety violations
    • Union avoidance
    • Environmental harm

Boycotts of Trump Companies

The Companies, Sports Teams, and Celebrity Chefs That Still Won't Work with Donald Trump, Slate (November 18, 2016)

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For more on Trump-related businesses, See Ivanka Trump.com

With Ivanka's Jewelry Ad, Trump Companies Begin to Seek Profit Off Election Result, The Washington Post (November 15, 2016)