Business Structures

Guide to Structuring a Fourth Sector Business in North Carolina

One of the first challenges facing a social entrepreneur is deciding how to select an appropriate business structure.  Are you better off forming a non-profit, a for-profit, something in between – or maybe even both?  The following information has been selected to assist you in asking the right questions as you make your way through this decision process. Given the wide range of options, it’s important to take several factors into consideration as you work to find an answer that’s right for your unique situation.


We hope this information will prove useful to both individual entrepreneurs, as well as to the business counselors and legal professionals who serve them.

Preliminary Business Considerations

This article, written by social entrepreneur Jim Fruchterman, guides entrepreneurs through questions they need to consider before even beginning to think about choosing an attorney or weighing the pros and cons of various business structures.  Read more

Business Entity Flowchart

We’ve included a resource specifically designed for entrepreneurs planning to form a business in North Carolina.  Read more

Legal Considerations

The following three articles are intended to help social entrepreneurs understand the legal considerations involved when selecting a business structure.  While the articles are written for a lay audience, they do of necessity go into some legal detail.Read more

Program Related Investments (PRI’s)

Finally, some guidance from the IRS on Program Related Investments (PRI’s). Read more

The above is for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice.  A qualified legal or tax professional should be consulted to discuss your individual situation.