(c) Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Contact ICAEW for permission to reproduce this article., Business Skills

Future enterprise: assessing forms of business

We consider how our current forms of business have developed over time and the constraints they impose. Do we need more flexible business forms to support future growth?

Business is conducted through a variety of legal forms including companies and partnerships. Each form has its own characteristics, such as whether the participants have limited liability and whether the form has its own separate identity. Each business needs to assess which form is most appropriate depending upon its objectives, for instance whether it is ‘for profit’ or ‘not for profit’ and related matters such tax implications. In many cases, businesses will need professional advice to navigate the complexities involved.

Our paper Future enterprise: assessing forms of business gives an overview of the main forms of business used today and explores whether they are truly serving the needs human enterprise of the 21st century or whether there might be better alternatives, perhaps modelled on the human networks we form in private life.

A number of questions arise from this on which we will be inviting comment and debate and we would welcome any comments on the paper generally. Comments may be made by e mail to marketfoundations@icaew.com.

This article was originally published by ICAEW.