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Educating Social Entrepreneurs, Volume II by Maria Aggestam, Paul Miesing

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CHAPTER 17

Legal Structures Available to Social Enterprises: An Overview

Helen Takacs

Dickinson College

Introduction

An early challenge for social entrepreneurs is deciding on the most appropriate legal structure for the venture. The choice of a legal structure is critical for a variety of reasons including issues related to growth, liability, taxation, and longevity. Research has long shown that business planning activities, such as choosing a legal structure for an organization, are challenging for entrepreneurs, who often focus more on the creative nature of their work than on practical aspects (Khandekar and Young 1985). This would seem to hold true for social entrepreneurs. This chapter provides an overview to the various legal structures ...

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