Ownership and Governance

Different entities have different names for the owners. How you refer to the owners of the business is important. If you don’t speak with precision, you will lose credibility. It is also important for business owners to use the correct term to refer to their co-owners, although in my experience owners often call one another “partners.”

💡Think about why it matters what term a business owner uses when referring to their co-owners.

The correct names are in the table below:


A table listing Business Entity types and corresponding type of owner.
Business Entity Owner
Corporation (C or S) Shareholder or Stockholder
Partnership Partner
Limited Liability Company (LLC) Member
Sole Proprietor Owner
Limited Partnership General Partner/Limited Partners



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To the extent possible under law, Samantha Prince has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to Entrepreneurship Law: Company Creation, except where otherwise noted.