Welcome to the Citibank Small Business information guide series. This is one of ten
guides that have been developed just for you, a person who is thinking about starting a
small business or who has made the commitment to start one. It is targeted to people
who are considering starting a small business as well as small business owners who want
to learn more about successful strategies and skills. Citibank worked with a team of
entrepreneurs like you to develop, write, and produce this series. All of us know how
important it is to have clear and concise information to make smart business decisions.
Our goal is to share experiences about the dynamic, exciting small business community.
Everyone who starts an entrepreneurial venture wants to be successful. However,
success does not happen overnight, and it is not guaranteed. A major theme throughout
this series of guides is making the right decisions for your business. This guide provides
information and many of the tools for you to make the operational decisions – decisions
about the daily activities of a business – toward establishing a successful business
formula. The focus of this guide will include the following five topics.
• Business Legal Structure
• Business Physical Operations
• Business Regulations and Guidelines
• Business Financial Operations
• Day-to-Day Operations Management
There is a lot to know about the operations of a business, and this guide covers a lot of
information. Go through this guide at your own pace and give yourself enough time to
absorb the information. I. Business Legal Structure
When deciding to establish a business venture, the first decision you need to make
relates to the legal structure of the business – in other words, what kind of business are
you going to legally establish? The basic legal structures include the following.
• Sole Proprietorship
• Partnership (General or Limited)
• Corporation (C and S)
• Limited Liability Company (LLC)
Each of these business structures has advantages and disadvantages. The right choice for
you should match the purpose of your business and any related tax and liability issues.