If you’re thinking about starting a business right out of college, read on to get those resources, as well as information and advice from two successful students turned entrepreneurs.

• Service

As the name suggests, this type of business provides a service to its customers rather than tangible products. People in this type of business usually have specialized skill or expertise in a certain area. Examples include salons, accounting firms, hospitals and consultants.

• Merchandising

Sometimes called “buy and sell” businesses, this type of business buys products at wholesale price then sells them as is at retail price. The profit comes from selling a product at higher prices than their purchasing costs. Examples include grocery stores, resellers and distributors.

• Manufacturing

Combining raw materials, labor and overhead, manufacturing businesses buy products and use them to make a completely new product. These goods are then sold to customers.

• Hybrid

Some businesses may fall into more than one type, such as restaurants. Restaurants buy ingredients to make something new (manufacturing), sell bottles of wine as is (merchandising) and serve customers (service). In such cases, the business can be classified according to its major purpose. Because a restaurant offers an overall dining experience, it can be categorized as a service type.

Choosing a Business Structure

Your business structure can affect every aspect of your company, from the day-to-day operations to legal protections. Certain business structures fit certain businesses better than others and each requires different tax filing. Below is a quick look at the most common business structures. Sole proprietorship Typically used by small business entities, a sole proprietorship is a business owned by only one person. Your business assets and liabilities are not separate from your personal assets and liabilities, which means you’ll be held personally responsible for any business debts and obligations. This can be a good choice for low-risk businesses or owners who want to test their idea before creating a more formal business. Keep in mind, however, that there may be restrictions and tax consequences for converting to a different business structure later on.

• Partnership

This is a business owned by two or more people, where profits are divided among all owners. There are two types: limited partnerships (LP) and limited liability partnerships (LLP). With the former, only one general partner has unlimited liability, while all other partners have limited liability. Partners with limited liability also have limited control over the company, and the general partner must pay self-employment taxes. With the latter, all owners have limited liability, which protects each partner from debts against the partnership

• Corporation

Sometimes called a C corp, this is a legal entity that’s separate from the owners. This structure offers the strongest protection from personal liability, but it’s also the most expensive and can be difficult to manage as it requires extensive record-keeping, operational processes and reporting. An elected group of stockholders, called the board of directors, controls the corporation’s activities.

• Corporation

With an LLC, you have the benefits of the corporation and partnership structures. This means you’re protected from personal liability, and profits and losses can be passed through to your personal income without facing corporate taxes. Members of an LLC, however, are considered self-employed so must pay self-employment tax contributions towards Medicare and Social Security. An LLC can be a good choice for medium- or high-risk businesses and owners with significant personal assets.

Launching a Start-Up Right Out of Current position

Forming a start-up is a big leap for anyone. Though there’s no one-size-fits-all path for getting a start-up off the ground, there are a few steps that aspiring entrepreneurs can take to help ensure a new business has the best chance of surviving and being profitable.