Business Initiative Home

The Impact of Business Structure on Access to Capital

By: Jack Nicholaisen author image
Business Initiative

Access to capital is a critical aspect of any business’s growth and expansion.

Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or an established business owner, securing loans and investments can be the key to taking your enterprise to the next level.

But did you know that the structure of your business can significantly impact your access to capital?

In this article, we’ll delve into the relationship between business structure and access to capital, examining the factors that influence funding options and industry-specific trends.

article summaryKey Takeaways

  • Business structure affects funding options: The legal structure of your business (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation) can determine the types and amounts of funding you can access.
  • Corporations attract more investments: Incorporating your business often makes it easier to attract investors and raise capital through selling shares.
  • Partnerships can pool resources: Forming a partnership allows you to combine financial resources and creditworthiness with other partners, increasing your chances of obtaining loans.
  • Sole proprietorships face challenges: As a sole proprietor, you may face limited funding options and higher interest rates due to personal liability for business debts.
  • Research and plan ahead: Understand the implications of each business structure on funding opportunities, and choose the one that best aligns with your long-term goals and growth strategy.

Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be better equipped to make informed decisions for your business’s future.

Business Structures and Their Impact on Capital Access

There are several types of business structures, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and corporations.

Each structure has its own set of advantages and disadvantages when it comes to accessing capital.

Sole Proprietorships

Sole proprietorships are the simplest business structure, where the owner and the business are considered the same legal entity. While this structure makes it easy to set up and manage a business, it can limit access to capital.

According to a 2014 report by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), sole proprietorships received only 4.7% of small business loans.

This is partly due to the personal liability that sole proprietors face, making lenders hesitant to provide funding.


Partnerships involve two or more individuals or entities joining forces to run a business.

This structure offers increased access to capital compared to sole proprietorships, as the financial resources of multiple owners can be pooled.

However, a 2016 study by the Federal Reserve found that only 15% of partnerships received bank loans, indicating that partnerships may still face challenges in obtaining funding.

Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)

LLCs combine the benefits of partnerships and corporations, offering limited liability for owners while maintaining flexibility in management.

A 2014 study by the National Small Business Association found that 38% of small businesses with LLC structures received bank loans.

This increased access to capital can be attributed to the reduced risk for lenders, as well as the potential for increased profitability due to tax advantages.


Corporations offer the highest level of access to capital among business structures.

This is primarily due to the ability to issue stock, which can attract investors and increase the company’s overall value.

According to the 2014 SBA report, corporations received 34.4% of small business loans. Additionally, the limited liability provided by a corporate structure makes them more appealing to lenders.

Factors Influencing Capital Access

Several factors can influence a business’s access to capital, regardless of its structure.

These include:

1. Creditworthiness:

A strong credit history can significantly improve a business’s chances of securing loans and investments.

Lenders and investors are more likely to provide funding to businesses that exhibit financial responsibility and a history of repaying debts.

2. Collateral:

Providing collateral, such as real estate or equipment, can increase a business’s access to capital by reducing the risk for lenders and investors.

3. Industry:

Some industries are considered riskier than others, making it more difficult for businesses within those sectors to secure funding.

For example, a 2017 study by the Federal Reserve found that businesses in the construction and manufacturing sectors were more likely to receive bank loans than those in the retail or service sectors.

4. Business Size:

Larger businesses often have increased access to capital, as they are typically considered more stable and less risky than smaller enterprises.

As mentioned earlier, the industry in which a business operates can significantly impact its access to capital.

Here are some trends observed in various sectors:

  • Technology:

Startups and businesses in the technology sector often have access to venture capital funding, which can be a significant source of capital for these enterprises.

According to a 2020 report by PwC and CB Insights, technology companies received $130 billion in venture capital funding in 2019.

  • Healthcare:

Healthcare businesses may also benefit from venture capital funding, with the same 2020 PwC and CB Insights report indicating that healthcare companies received $36.5 billion in venture capital investments in 2019.

  • Retail:

Retail businesses often face challenges in securing funding, as they are generally considered riskier investments.

The 2017 Federal Reserve study found that only 45% of retail businesses received financing, compared to 63% of manufacturing businesses.

Lessons Learned

The structure of your business plays a significant role in determining its access to capital.

While corporations and LLCs generally have better access to funding than sole proprietorships and partnerships, other factors such as creditworthiness, collateral, industry, and business size also come into play.

By carefully considering these aspects and choosing the most appropriate structure for your enterprise, you can maximize your chances of securing the capital needed to grow and expand your business.

So, why wait?

Start assessing your business’s structure and funding options today to ensure a prosperous future for your enterprise!

In Conclusion…

Understanding the impact of your business structure on access to capital is crucial for making informed decisions that will pave the way for your enterprise’s growth and success.

By leveraging this information, you can strategically choose a structure that maximizes funding opportunities while minimizing risks, allowing you to secure the necessary resources to achieve your long-term goals.

By applying these insights in a practical sense, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the complex world of financing and create a solid foundation for your business.

Whether it’s attracting investors through stock issuance as a corporation or pooling resources with partners in an LLC, choosing the right structure can make all the difference.

Don’t leave your business’s future to chance!

Schedule a consultation call with our Business Initiative team today or use our contact form to get expert guidance tailored specifically for your unique needs.

Stay ahead of the curve by subscribing to our newsletter and following us on Twitter for regular updates on industry trends, financing strategies, and valuable insights that will empower you to make well-informed choices for your enterprise.

It’s time to take control of your business’s financial destiny – let us help you make it happen.


Ask an Expert

Not finding what you're looking for? Send us a message with your questions, and we will get back to you within one business day.

About the Author

jack nicholaisen
Jack Nicholaisen

Jack Nicholaisen is the founder of After acheiving the rank of Eagle Scout and studying Civil Engineering at Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), he has spent the last 4 years disecting the mess of informaiton online about LLCs in order to help aspiring entrepreneurs and established business owners better understand everything there is to know about starting, running, and growing Limited Liability Companies and other business entities.