Professional Corporation vs Business Corporation – Making the Choice

Choosing between a Professional Corporation (PC) and a Business Corporation (BC) is crucial for entrepreneurs as it determines the legal structure, liabilities, and taxation of their business endeavors.

Professional Corporation vs Business Corporation - Making the Choice

So, what is the difference between Professional corporation vs Business corporation? PCs are for licensed professionals offering services with limited liability, while BCs are for various commercial activities.

PCs have specific regulations, provide tax benefits, and are suited for professional services. On the other hand,

BCs have broader ownership, face general business regulations, and suit diverse commercial endeavors. 

Understanding the differences ensures alignment with professional requirements, business goals, and regulatory obligations, leading to informed decision-making and successful business operations.

Professional Corporation vs Business Corporation – Comparison Chart

Explore the differences between Professional Corporation (PC) and Business Corporation (BC) through our detailed comparison chart, highlighting key difference for informed decision-making.

Professional Corporation vs Business Corporation – Comparison Chart

What is a Professional Corporation?

A Professional Corporation (PC) is a business entity formed by licensed professionals, like doctors or lawyers. It offers services within a specific profession. PC owners enjoy limited liability protection, meaning personal assets are typically safeguarded from business debts or lawsuits.

To form a professional corporation, licensed professionals like doctors or lawyers come together to provide services. It’s a specific business structure known as a corp. Professional corporations offer tax benefits and protect owners from double taxation.


  • Limited liability protection for owners
  • Allows licensed professionals to work together
  • Offers tax advantages
  • Enhanced credibility within the profession
  • Structured governance and regulation


  • More complex setup and ongoing requirements
  • Limited to certain licensed professions
  • Potential for higher taxes and regulatory scrutiny

What is a Business Corporation?

A standard corporation or business corporation is a type of business formation where owners, known as shareholders, run the company. Unlike a small business or sole proprietorship, shareholders have limited personal liability, protecting their assets. Examples include a law firm or other professional services.


  • Ability to raise capital through selling shares
  • Never-ending existence beyond owner changes
  • Potential tax advantages and deductions
  • Separate legal entity status for business dealings


  • Complex administrative requirements
  • Double taxation on profits
  • Stricter regulatory compliance obligations

Professional Corporation vs Business Corporation – What are the Differences

While both types of corporations offer limited liability protection, but they have distinct features and are suited for different purposes.

Definition and Purpose

A Professional Corporation is formed by licensed professionals, such as doctors, lawyers, or accountants, to provide services in their respective fields. The primary purpose of a PC is to offer professional services while enjoying limited liability protection.

A Business Corporation, or C Corporation, is a legal entity individuals form to conduct business activities. BCs are often established for commercial purposes, such as manufacturing, retail, or services, and can engage in a wide range of business activities.

Ownership and Structure

In a PC, owners are typically professionals licensed in the same field, and each owner’s liability is limited to their investment in the corporation. PC ownership may be restricted to individuals holding specific professional licenses, and there may be regulations governing ownership and management.

BCs can have various owners, including individuals, other corporations, or even trusts, and shares of stock represent ownership. The structure of a BC typically includes shareholders, directors, and officers, with shareholders owning the corporation and electing the board of directors to oversee major decisions.

Liability Protection

One of the key advantages of a PC is that it provides limited liability protection to its owners, shielding their assets from business debts and legal liabilities. The owner’s assets are generally protected if the corporation faces lawsuits or financial difficulties.

Like a PC, a BC provides limited liability protection to its owners, shielding their assets from business liabilities. This means that if the corporation incurs debts or legal obligations, the owner’s assets are generally protected, except in cases of fraud or misconduct.

Tax Considerations

PC owners may enjoy certain tax advantages, such as deducting professional expenses, but tax treatment can vary depending on the jurisdiction and specific regulations.

PC profits are typically taxed at the corporate level, and owners may also be subject to individual income tax on any distributions or salaries received from the corporation, affecting their tax rate and tax return.

BCs may benefit from potential tax advantages, such as deducting business expenses and accessing certain tax credits or incentives. However, BCs are subject to corporate income tax on their profits, and shareholders may also be taxed on any dividends or capital gains they receive from the corporation, influencing their tax rate and tax return.

Regulatory Requirements

PCs are subject to specific regulatory requirements imposed by state laws and professional licensing boards. These requirements may include maintaining professional liability insurance, adhering to ethical standards, and fulfilling continuing education obligations.

BCs must comply with various regulatory requirements imposed by state and federal laws, including filing articles of incorporation, holding shareholder meetings, and maintaining corporate records. Additionally, BCs may be subject to industry-specific regulations depending on the nature of their business activities.

Wrapping Up

Choosing between a Professional Corporation (PC) and a Business Corporation (BC) depends on factors like profession and business purpose.

PCs suit licensed professionals offering services with limited liability. BCs fit various business activities and provide similar protection. PCs have specific regulations and may offer tax benefits but face complexity.

BCs allow diverse ownership and a more straightforward structure but are subject to general business regulations. Deciding which is best involves considering business needs, professional requirements, and legal obligations

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