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Types of Business in Trinidad and Tobago

There are 3 major types of business: Sole Proprietorship (commonly called soletrader), Partnership and LLC (Limited Liability Company).

Sole Trader

A Sole Trader Business is the simpliest business type because it's owned by a single Individual (the Trader). It refers to a person who owns the business and is personally responsible for its debts, and therefore there is no legal distinction between the owner and the Business. For instance, if a person by the name of "John Doe" registers a Sole Trader Business called "Elite Plumbing Services", then "John Doe" and "Elite Plumbing Services" are considered the same. This Business structure is suited for Professionals / Traders operating individually.


A Partnership is similar to a Sole Trader in business structure, but is owned by two or more individuals and/or firms, referred to as "partners". The partners agree to share the profits and responsibilities as outlined by a partnership agreement.

Limited Liability Company

A Limited Liability Company is the most respected business entity, and is usually the ideal entity for conducting Business. The Company itself becomes a legal entity, separating the assets and liabilities of the Company from the Directors and shareholders.

There are also various subtypes of Limited Liability Companies:


An NGO stands for a Non-Government Organization. Commonly referred to as a Non-profit.

External Company

An External Company is one that was originally incorporated outside of Trinidad & Tobago and wishes to trade inside Trinidad & Tobago.

Public Company

A Public Company is one allows the public to trade a portion of its shares.

Types of Business in Trinidad and Tobago - Transcript

Sole trader - A sole trader is a type of business owned by a single person, known as the proprietor. The owner is personally liable for any debts incurred in the course of operating the business. This type of business is also known as a sole proprietorship.

Firm - Also commonly referred to as a partnership. A firm is where the business is owned and operated by two or more persons, whether natural persons or legal entities (i.e., companies or other firms) or a combination of the two. The partners are liable for any debts incurred in the course of running the business.

Limited Liability Company - Also abbreviated to "LLC." A Limited Liability Company, as the name suggests, limits the liability of the directors and shareholders. This structure also offers protection to its shareholders and directors. A Company is considered a legal entity by itself and pays its taxes separately from its directors. Being a legal entity also means that its directors cannot be held personally responsible for the Company's debts or liabilities.

A Limited Liability Company is the most respected of all Business types. Many companies, as well as the government, only accept bids for tenders from Limited Liability Companies.