What is the best legal structure for a hot dog cart business?

UPDATED: Jul 21, 2010

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What is the best legal structure for a hot dog cart business?

I was told to do an LLC. I am planning to use the name DMC Financial, and register a fictitious name. So the Business would be called City Dogs. (DMC FInancial dba City Dogs). I was told to do it this way because an LLC has the least amount of personal liability, and if I called the LLC City Dogs I would be required to put City Dogs LLC on all my advertising. Is this the correct way to go about this. I want to be able to write off business expenses etc. This is my first business and I want to do it correctly by choosing the correct legal structure for my business. If an LLC isn’t the best route what would be?

Asked on July 21, 2010 under Business Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

1) LLCs and corporations both shield you from liability. They both have different options for the tax treatment you get, so consult with a tax advisor about what is most advantageous.

2) Between LLCs and corporations, an LLC is usually simpler unless you expect later selling shares of the business; for  that, a corporation is superior.

3) You don't need to always say or write "LLC." Think about McDonalds: McDonalds is a corporation, but they don't run ads as "McDonalds, Inc."--just as McDonalds. You can absolutely omit the business structure (the "inc." or "LLC") in your non-legal communications, such as advertisements. There is therefore no need to set up under a very different name and then register a fictitious name.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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