Forming a business in Massachusetts can be equally rewarding and challenging. One of the initial challenges is that it comes with various legal considerations and paperwork. From choosing the appropriate liability protection structure — LLC or corporation — to navigating state laws, entrepreneurs must carefully examine all possibilities and decide what suits their circumstances and goals. At Family Legal Partners, P.C., we take the time to work with our business owners to truly understand the nature of their business, their plans for the future, and their risk tolerance regarding personal liability. We then collaborate with other trusted professionals, such as accountants and financial advisers, to make the correct decision regarding choosing a business entity.

Different Types And Characteristics Of  Business Formation In Massachusetts  

When starting a business in Massachusetts, choosing the right type of business structure is crucial, as this choice impacts your legal responsibilities, tax obligations, and operational flexibility. 

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) combines elements of both corporations and partnerships. Owners enjoy limited liability protection, protecting them from business debts and lawsuits regarding their personal assets. LLCs are flexible in tax treatment, allowing members to choose whether the LLC should be taxed as a partnership or a corporation. Registering an LLC in Massachusetts involves filing a Certificate of Organization with the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth.


A corporation in Massachusetts is a more complex business structure suitable for businesses that plan to raise a significant amount of capital, expand extensively, or go public. There are two main types of corporations:

  • C Corporation: Offers liability protection to all shareholders, separating personal assets from business debts. C Corporations are taxed at the corporate level, and then shareholders are taxed again on dividends, leading to double taxation.
  • S Corporation: Designed to avoid double taxation, passing income directly to shareholders who report it on their personal tax returns. However, S Corporations have restrictions on the number and type of shareholders.

Forming a corporation requires filing Articles of Incorporation with the state and adhering to more stringent regulatory requirements, such as holding annual meetings and maintaining detailed records.

General Tips For Business Formation 

Selecting the right business structure is a pivotal decision that affects your liability, taxation, and capacity to grow your business.  Before starting, you should draft a business plan to outline your business goals, strategies, and financial projections. Consult with a business law attorney and tax professionals to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations. Utilizing resources offered by the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (MSBDC) Network and other local business support organizations for guidance and assistance would be a good idea. MSBDC provides free, confidential, one-to-one business assistance and free or low-cost educational training programs to prospective and existing small businesses throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


Choosing the right business structure depends on several factors, including liability, taxation, and management preferences. It is crucial to carefully evaluate which structure best aligns with your long-term business goals since each type offers unique advantages and responsibilities. Family Legal Partners, P.C. will help you evaluate the most beneficial structure for your specific needs and goals and can also assist you with the legal documents for your business’s formation.