Legal Entity: All You Need to Know 2023

legal entity
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

The concept of a legal entity is crucial in today’s changing business climate because it provides employers with legal protection, accountability, and legitimacy. But what does the word “legal entity” represent, and how does it impact hiring practices, compliance, and day-to-day operations at employers? In this article, we will be touching on the impact of legal entities in business, how to form a legal entity in the UK, and the types and examples of legal entities.

A legal entity is defined as any business or organisation that is subject to state or federal laws and has rights, obligations, and liabilities. Legal entities exist to protect shareholders, reduce risk, and separate personal and corporate assets. Because each legal entity is distinct, so are its tax obligations and legal obligations.

A legal entity identification (LEI) is a unique 20-digit alphanumerical code provided to legal entities that transact money. They can be obtained from a Local Operating Unit (LOU), which is a firm that is allowed to issue codes. LEI is responsible for the following key functions in addition to functioning as a global resource for legal entities:

  • Giving identity: The basic objective of LEIs is to provide unique, uniform identification to legal entities all around the world.
  • Transparency is promoted by the consistent format of LEIs, which makes it easier to monitor the financial activities of legal organisations, promoting openness and easy access to important data.
  • Risk reduction: By connecting to full legal entity data, LEIs assist regulators and financial institutions in controlling the risk associated with individual firms.
  • LEIs provide data accuracy and are required to be updated regularly by legal businesses.

There are various legal entity types, each with its own set of traits and objectives. The following are several sorts of legal entities recognised around the world:

  • Sole Proprietorships: A single person owns and manages sole proprietorships, the most fundamental type of legal entity. In most cases, a sole proprietorship does not create a legal separation of the owner’s assets from those of the business, and the owner is personally liable for the company’s liabilities. 
  • Corporations: Corporations are a separate legal entity from their owners, their shareholders. People Because stockholders are often shielded from personal accountability for the company’s debt, corporations provide the highest level of personal liability protection.
  • Partnerships: A partnership is a type of legal entity formed when two or more people join and manage a business together. The two forms of partnerships are limited partnerships, in which members contribute capital but have limited liability, and general partnerships, in which partners share debt liabilities.
  • Limited Liability: A limited liability company is a type of legal entity that combines the characteristics of a partnership and a corporation. The structure limits the owners’ responsibility while allowing for administrative and taxing flexibility. 
  • Joint Venture: A joint venture is a legal entity formed when two or more businesses join forces to collaborate. Even though the participant is a separate legal entity, the participants share resources, costs, rewards, and risks.

Now that you know what a legal entity is and what the most frequent sorts are, here are some real-world examples to help you understand:

  • Local bakeries, plumbers, independent contractors, photographers, and other businesses are examples of sole proprietorships.
  • Corporations: One of the world’s top technology businesses, Apple, is an example of a global corporation.  
  • Partnerships: A law firm, Smith & Johnson, is an example of a partnership in which the two parties share resources, earnings, and tasks to provide services. 
  • Businesses with limited liability: Google, one of the world’s largest technology corporations, is a limited liability company. 
  • BMW Brilliance was formed as a joint venture between BMW and Brilliance Auto Group to produce and market BMW vehicles in China.

The definition of “legal entity” differs based on the jurisdiction of the country. The following is a summary of the most frequent legal entity types in different countries:

  • UK: The most popular type of legal entity in the United Kingdom is a limited liability partnership (LLP). This entity allows for administrative independence while maintaining restricted responsibility by combining the characteristics of a limited liability company and a partnership.
  • Australia: In Australia, Pty Ltd., or proprietary limited businesses, are highly valued. Because it provides limited liability, this structure is appropriate for organisations of all sizes and sectors.
  • Dubai: Dubai’s several legal firms in its “free zones” provide total ownership and tax breaks to foreign investors. Free zones are specially defined regions that have their own set of rules.
  • South Africa: The legal entity structures known as a private company (Pty Ltd) and a public corporation (Ltd) in South Africa allow for limited liability and advantageous rules.
  • Netherlands: In the Netherlands, the most frequent legal entities are sole proprietorships, general partnerships, and professional partnerships.

Determining when to incorporate a legal entity for your company is a vital decision that requires careful consideration of various aspects. The year of incorporation can have a substantial impact on your organization’s operations, taxation, and responsibility. Here are some of the most important considerations:

  • The nature of your company: By taking into account the nature of your company as well as any prospective liabilities, you can protect your assets from your business assets.
  • Protection from personal liability: Creating a legal entity reduces your accountability when dealing with arguments, debts, and court rulings.
  • Business development: Establishing a legal entity helps reduce risk for businesses seeking finance and engaging with partners.
  • Taxation: The tax systems that apply to various types of legal entities differ, and this can be an important factor in deciding the type of legal entity.
  • Business branding: Establishing a distinct firm name and identity through legal formation is crucial for marketing, branding, and legal recognition.
  • Legal organisations may be obliged to adhere to industry standards, licences, and approvals to carry out particular commercial activities.

When deciding whether to incorporate a legal entity, examine your long-term goals and business objectives. Firms should consult with financial and legal experts when determining the best time and format for incorporating a legal entity.

To ensure compliance with legal standards, the formation of a legal entity involves several phases and considerations. The following is a general overview of the legal entity formation process:

  • Select the appropriate entity type. Examine your alternatives and select the legal entity type that best meets your company’s goals, considering elements such as management structure, taxation, and liability protection.
  • Choose and register a company name. Choose a name for your legal entity that is both distinctive and consistent with the laws and norms that govern your jurisdiction. 
  • Drafted bylaws Gather the papers required to define your legal entity’s internal policies and organisational framework.
  • Obtain the appropriate permits and licences. Depending on the type of business, licences, permissions, and permits may be required for it to operate legally. 
  • Obtain an employment identification number or a tax identification number. These are required for businesses to open bank accounts, hire staff, and conduct financial activities.
  • Create a business bank account: Employers must keep a corporate bank account to separate their personal and business finances.

The legal entity name is one of the most significant components of the business creation process for a multitude of reasons.

  • Brand identity: The legal entity name of your firm has a significant impact on how consumers, clients, and partners view it.
  • Customers, business partners, and government agencies all acknowledge legal entity names expressly. As a result, selecting a legal name is crucial for avoiding legal problems and administrative troubles.
  • Trademarks and differentiation: Choosing a distinct company name decreases the chance of trademark difficulties and aids in differentiating the business from competitors.
  • Online presence: Your corporate entity’s name will influence your domain name, social media profiles, and other online interactions.
  • Companies should adopt a legal entity name that is simple to say and understand across multiple languages and cultural contexts.

As one of the key components influencing the tax structure, the choice of legal entity can have a considerable impact on how a company is taxed.

For example, there is no distinction between the revenue of a sole proprietorship and that of their firm; both are simply recorded on the owner’s tax return. Even though a partnership is not taxed as an entity, each partner is required to register and pay taxes on their income. Limited liability businesses are taxed differently than corporations since they are not subject to double taxation.

Businesses can avoid the administrative hurdles of establishing a compliant legal entity by working with a global expansion firm like Native Teams. Businesses can hire and function fully compliantly without forming a legal entity due to their presence in over 55 countries worldwide. As your employer of record, Native Teams’ tax and legal professionals will handle your company’s worldwide payroll, taxes, HR documentation, and local law compliance, leaving you to focus completely on your day-to-day business operations.

What Is the Distinction Between Ltd and LLC in the United Kingdom?

The most major distinction is that an LLC has reduced annual expenses, whilst an LTD has slightly superior creditor protection. Another major distinction is the tax structure. An LLC is taxed as the owner’s income, but an LTD is taxed as a corporation.

How Much Does It Cost to Establish an Entity in the United Kingdom?

If you wish to register by mail, you must complete the IN01 form. A paper application for registration as a private or public business costs £40. The fee for a paper application to register an unlimited business is £20.

Can a Non-UK Resident Establish a Company in the UK?

Yes, a non-resident can form a UK company because registering a limited company with Companies House does not require you to be a UK resident. To form a UK company, all you need is a UK-registered office address, which can be a friend’s or family member’s address or a virtual office address.

Companies House allows you to form a business either online (£12) or by post (£40). The application (form IN01) takes some time to complete, especially if done on paper. Online applications are often processed within 24 hours, whereas postal applications take 8 to 10 days to process.

In the United Kingdom, What Is an LLC Called?

A private limited company (Ltd) is the most common type of LLC in the United Kingdom. Filing as a limited company ensures that if the company fails, shareholders’ only liability is for the face value of their share. Public limited companies (PLCs), on the other hand, are identical to private limited businesses.

How Much Does It Cost to Register a UK LLC?  

It costs £12 and can be paid with either a debit or credit card. Typically, your firm is registered within 24 hours. If you do not want to use the word ‘limited’ in your company name, you must register by mail.

Can a Foreigner Establish a Company in the United Kingdom?

Fortunately, even for a foreigner, the procedure for establishing a business in the United Kingdom is uncomplicated. As a result, the answer to the question “Can a non-UK resident form a UK limited company?” is unequivocally yes. However, there are several details to be aware of.


Firms that want to operate legally in a specific country must first create a legal entity and obtain a legal entity’s identity. From corporations to limited liability companies to sole proprietorships, there are several legal entities, each with its own set of tax liabilities and legal responsibilities.

Businesses must first choose a good corporate structure, then a legally appropriate entity name, and finally begin the administrative process to become a legal entity. Foreign expansion organizations, such as Native Teams, on the other hand, can assist organizations in expanding internationally by acting as employers of record and assuring complete legal compliance.


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