image illustrating working together/collaboration.  four male business forms each standing at a different levels of stepped block pass pieces of jigsaw to each other to build a block


Our guides provide brief introductions to the main attributes and the most common legal forms suitable for start-ups in your country/region. Their aim is to help entrepreneurs and their advisers make an informed decision on which to choose. 

Each guide is the result of regional surveys with the characteristics of the business forms split up into four easy to read tables.

We have also explored some key factors to consider before making your decision. Time spent thinking of these things now could save you a lot of time, money and effort in the future.

Realising the returns

Do you want your business to create a profit for the investors or are you driven by other motivators, like community benefits? Is the long-term goal financial security for the founder or do you want to make a profitable sale?

Investing into the business

Before you ever make a profit to realise though, you'll need to invest the seed capital. Where or who is that going to come from, and what terms will you accept it on?

Legal characteristics

The business's legal rights and responsibilities will be of crucial importance to how stakeholders (suppliers, customers and even employees) deal with it. 

Administrative requirements

Will there be occasional requirements such as formalities around the start-up or sale of the business? Or will there be regular requirements around for example accounting information?

Making the right choice in each case will involve balancing the factors based on your individual circumstances. Getting the legal form right up front can be the difference between a constricting shell and an enabling framework. 

ACCA author, Jason Piper