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American businesses are many and diverse, with their creation in any given case being driven by expectations that a select commercial form will yield distinct and optimal advantages. The United States is home to legions of mammoth corporations that are global in their dimensions, but it also supports millions of small businesses designated as sole proprietorships. In between are many and varied partnerships and limited liability companies.

And those business types hardly exhaust the possibilities. We spotlight in today’s blog post closely-held businesses, which comprise yet another commercial entity form.

A closely-held business is immediately distinguished from a corporation and many other commercial models by its comparatively smaller size. Indeed, the size difference is something that adherents of closely-held entities often tout as a key advantage. Smaller and tighter business operations often allow for enhanced flexibility and commercial efficiencies.

Another distinguishing feature of this business form is its concentration of ownership among a relatively small group of closely interacting parties (e.g., family members or a limited number of professionals). Closely-held companies are also typically marked by an absence of stock trading in public markets.

Proponents of the business form point to narrowly sourced ownership and non-public share trading as additional selling points. A close-to-the-vest management structure can exert quick and meaningful controls over operations and often respond with more dispatch and purpose to business challenges than is the case for a much larger and alternative business type.

Challenges, too, can obviously emerge for closely-held business owners, which similarly arise from their smaller size and tighter autonomy among just a few people.

As is true with consideration of any commercial entity, a closely-held business might or might not be the optimal formation choice for a start-up company. An in-depth overview of this business type underscores the reasonableness of business principals securing on-point guidance and legal representation from experienced business law attorneys.