I had a lot of fun today, as a guest speaker, teaching entrepreneurs and future entrepreneurs about the basics of various company structures and explaining the reason it matters.
Many business folks don't realize if they don't have any kind of "corporate" type protection they could be liable (i.e. on the hook) for all kinds of bad things due either to (1) people getting hurt or (2) a business deal going "bad". Most people really don't understand the differences between an LLC (a limited liability company) and a corporation or the tax consequences of a C-Corp versus an S-Corp.
I tried, using simple examples, to give everyone a quick flavor of going "lone wolf," partnering up, or legally forming some kind of different entity. The group was full of questions and curiosity, and they kept me on my toes. I have no doubt, many if not all of them, will move on to start great organizations, both commercial and non-profit.
The event was sponsored by Fast Trac, a program by the New York City Department of Business Services; you can find more information here. Alan Siege, usually conducts the sessions, and in a program lasting several weeks, tutors future business professionals on how to create a plan and avoid many pitfalls. Alan's a great guy, with a deep knowledge base, and you can learn more about him here. Thanks to the Williamsburg Library for hosting it.